Transcript of doorstop interview – Parliament House, Canberra
E & OE – PROOF ONLY
Subject: Government running out of legislation & ideas, deforestation policy
Thursday, 29 March 2007
ALBANESE: Today the Main Committee in the Parliament will not meet. It won’t meet because this is a Government that after 11 long years has run out of legislation. This is a Government that’s out of ideas, it’s out of legislation, it’s out of touch and it’s out of time.
Whilst the Government has no business to do, Labor’s been busy announcing policies – announcing policies to expand broadband, announcing policies to tackle climate change, announcing major parts of our education revolution.
What this shows is that the Parliament normally on a day like today, the last day of a session before Budget, will be sitting late. I’m sure you can all book your dinners tonight because I’m sure the Parliament will be getting up at 5 o’clock. Because once again this is a Government that simply is out of business it’s out of ideas and I think the Australian people know that it’s out of time.
REPORTER: It’s got an idea to stop logging.
ALBANESE: Well no, that proposal was discussed at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in November last year in Nairobi. This is a plan that actually has come from a number of nations. Planting trees in Indonesia is a good idea, but if we were part of Kyoto we could actually get economic credits to engage in that activity. And Australia would get increased economic incentives for tree planting in developing countries.
REPORTER: So a $200 million fund is an old idea?
ALBANESE: Well it s an idea that came up and has been discussed at the last two UN Framework Convention conferences. It was debated in Montreal 2005 and in Nairobi in 2006. We do have to address deforestation, but the idea that this is a new idea from the Australian Government is just not the case.
ALBANESE: Well people who follow the international debate know that deforestation is an important issue that needs addressing and planting trees in Indonesia is a good idea.
REPORTER: It’s also monitoring the illegal logging of trees, it’s satellite technology it’s providing them with the support they need to monitor the stuff.
ALBANESE: Yes. And I haven’t seen the precise details of what the Australian Government has put out, but I have been a part of debates at international conferences about this very issue.
The tragedy is that you have an Australian Government that’s putting this out as if it is its own idea. Putting it out as if it substitutes for the failure to take action. And the fact Australia is isolated from the global community by being outside of the Kyoto Protocol, which means that the Australian economy can’t get those economic bonuses that would occur through the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.
REPORTER: It might have been discussed but isn’t it good that you’ve got Australia taking the diplomatic initiative, that’s it’s trying to push this thing that it’s trying to get it up.
ALBANESE: Well, these initiatives have been taken. I’ve been at conferences, where these initiatives have been discussed by the global community. I suggest that you all log onto UNFCCC.com and what you will see there is the debates and the transcripts of debates that took place at those conferences.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.