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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
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

18 June 2004

Labor's new low: scare and despair on climate change

Speaking to the UK's Guardian newspaper, Lord Ernest Ronald Oxburgh, the Non-executive Chairman of Shell Transport said that unless a concerted effort is made in stopping the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, he sees very little hope for the world.

Whilst Labor rejects Lord Oxburgh's counsel of despair, he is absolutely right to highlight the enormity of the problem we face with climate change.

Kelvin Thomson 18 June

Which is it, Kelvin Thomson? Is Lord Oxburgh right or is he wrong? Do you accept his views or not?

You, the Member for Wills, Labor's environment spokesman, apparently believe it is right to frighten people, even if the facts don't support the fear.

Does your approach signal a return to the Graham Richardson "Whatever it takes" approach, a revisiting of "the ends justifies the means" mantra that fed the old left for years?

Or are you merely trying to fill the extremist void left by the sudden conversion of Peter Garrett, your soon-to-be successor as shadow environment spokesman?

If you want to spread fear in the community, you should talk about Labor's ratification of the flawed Kyoto treaty - the imposition of a national emissions trading scheme and a 5 per cent MRET that will drive up electricity prices and will cost Australia thousands upon thousands of jobs.

The Howard Government approach is based on science, not science fiction. It will ensure Australia reaches its internationally agreed greenhouse target. It will ensure that Australia continues to lower its greenhouse signature and is well-positioned to take advantage of the global opportunities in a more carbon-constrained world.

Commonwealth of Australia