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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
12 October 2005
Federal Labor has performed another flip flop on a key policy area with one of its environmental spokesmen giving the Howard Government's climate change partnership a ringing endorsement.
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Resources, Forestry and Tourism, Martin Ferguson, has wholeheartedly embraced the climate change partnership the Australian Government engineered with key developing and developed countries in the region:
"This is where the recent Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate really comes into its own, offering Australia an opportunity for its own economic growth and an opportunity to be part of the solution to the environmental consequences of what is happening in our region – one of the most rapid expansions of economic activity that has occurred in world history.
"The Asia-Pacific Partnership is aimed at promoting investments in clean energy technologies and its membership is certainly impressive. It's got the world's four largest economies, the United States, China, Japan and India.
"By any measure, the six countries in the Asia-Pacific Partnership – Australia, the United States, Japan, China, India and South Korea – represent a regional partnership of great significance and even greater opportunity.
"They are all key trading partners of Australia. Together they constitute 45% of the world's population, 49% of the world's gross domestic product, and 48% of the world's energy consumption.
"This is a regional grouping of countries that, working in partnership, has within its gift, the capacity to make a serious global impact on patterns of energy use and greenhouse emissions – and Australia is part of it."
(Martin Ferguson MP, Australian Uranuim Conference, Perth6, 11 October 2005)
Mr Ferguson's speech to the Australian Uranium Conference outlined why Australia needed to clean up coal and look beyond Kyoto. He went on to say:
"In August, a coalition of 22,000 businesses in New Zealand called on that country's government to scrap its commitment to Kyoto and consider joining the Asia-Pacific Partnership.
"Businesses in New Zealand are concerned that compliance with Kyoto could cost far more than the government has estimated."
This is the second time Mr Ferguson has provided a ringing endorsement for the climate change partnership but his comments are at complete odds with Kim Beazley and his environment spokesperson, Anthony Albanese.
Mr Ferguson's comments follow Mr Beazley and Mr Albanese have spent the past week rubbishing the climate change partnership. Mr Beazley has previously dismissed the historic agreement, saying:
"It's nothing. It's spin."
(Kim Beazley MP, AAP, 27 July 2005)
I welcome Mr Ferguson's endorsement of the climate change partnership and encourage him to continue explaining the benefits of this historic agreement to his Labor mates.
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell) (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434