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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP



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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

13 May 2004

It's about time he thought about it!

Mark Latham has admitted that he came to the leadership `not having turned his mind to the environment' (Canberra Times, 28 February 2004).

And it is clear that he has not yet begun to think about it.

He's left full responsibility to the Member for Wills, Kelvin Thomson MP, who has yet to develop a single policy initiative in 30 months but has instead slavishly adopted the foolish notions of others.

With Labor again committing to ratifying Kyoto and supporting an emissions trading system, it has condemned the Australian people to job losses and fewer opportunities.

And none of this is necessary because Australia will reach its target for greenhouse gas abatement.

The Kyoto Protocol is not a solution to climate change. It is a short-term response that will reduce global greenhouse emissions by one per cent. It does not include many of the world's top emitters and there are growing doubts as to whether the Protocol will ever come into force.

If Australia was to ratify Kyoto, it would create obligations on our nation that are not imposed on many of our regional trading competitors. It could drive investment offshore to the significant detriment of our economy and a cost of jobs for the people Labor purports to represent.

An emissions trading system would do the same, driving up electricity prices for all Australians.

In contrast, the Howard Government is strengthening Australia's response to climate change and is providing $463.6 million over four years to reducing greenhouse, including a $70.3 million funding boost announced in this week's budget.

It continues to take practical actions to ensure Australia reaches its Kyoto target, lays the foundation for significant actions in the coming decades while, at the same time, maintaining a strong economy.

Commonwealth of Australia