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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
31 October 2002
Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp today pointed out that Opposition Environment Spokesperson Kelvin Thomson should have known of the projected underspends for the Australian Greenhouse Office six months ago and dismissed claims that the Government was not committed to tackling climate change.
"I advised six months ago, in a budget media statement, that there would be an underspend for the Australian Greenhouse Office for 2001-02," Dr Kemp said.
"The Howard Government has committed more money to the Environment than any previous Federal Government and our nearly $1 billion climate change package is evidence of that.
"The underspend from the 2001-02 budget for the Australian Greenhouse Office has been rephased over forward years to align with projected commitments."
The Government took this approach based on advice from the Australian Greenhouse Office in recognition that:
This approach particularly applies to the $97 million Leading the Agenda Output. This Output encompasses a range of programmes of which a major component is the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Programme. Progress payments for this Programme will be made in accordance with the actual achievement of greenhouse abatement over the next decade.
"All underspends from the Measures for a Better Environment package have been carried forward," Dr Kemp added.
"The rephasing of this funding will ensure that we achieve better greenhouse outcomes for our money."
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400