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Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
22 February 2002
Kelvin Thomson continues to play cheap politics with the matter of greenhouse funding, according to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp.
"Mr Thomson well knows that Australian Greenhouse Office funding has increased dramatically in recent years with a 300% increase from 1999-2000 to 2000-01," said Dr Kemp.
"In establishing the Australian Greenhouse Office, the first such dedicated agency in the world, the Howard Government provided funding through the Prime Minister's 1997 Safeguarding the Future package.
"The Howard Government then provided major additional funding through the 1999 Measures for a Better Environment package.
"The funding for greenhouse from these two measures amounts to almost one billion dollars. This represents an unparalleled and continuing commitment by this Government in the battle to combat global warming.
"The Shadow Minister says the AGO's budget was slashed. In fact it received new money of $46 million in the last Budget. Its activities were not threatened.
"In attempting to confuse the issue over the Coalition's commitment to greenhouse, Kelvin Thomson has focused on budget issues that are old news. As with so many of his Labor colleagues, he concentrates on the past rather than the future. He does not acknowledge the Government's balanced and comprehensive approach.
"When Labor was in office, its concern for the environment amounted to no more than how many votes it could grab. The Howard Government has placed a greater emphasis on our sustainability than any other government and has backed it up with record funding.
"In particular, the climate change funding commitment by the Howard Government has given Australia international greenhouse credibility. Because of that commitment, Australia is now acknowledged as a world leader in addressing the issue."
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400