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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

29 November 2005

Labor's climate change policy - Beazley adds backflip to flip flop

The Federal Labor Party has set a new low mark in indecision and policy backflips.

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley today sent his environment spokesperson into Federal Parliament to strongly endorse the Howard Government's Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

Anthony Albanese told Parliament that:
"We say the Asia-Pacific climate pact is good, it's consistent, it's good.... it is absolutely consistent and the statement of the climate pact says that it is consistent with our obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, it also says that we'll build on existing bilateral and multi-lateral initiatives."
(House of Representatives, November 29, 2005)

This is a backflip of almost breathtaking proportions.

The Asia-Pacific Partnership involves Australia, the US, China, Japan, South Korea and India - which together are responsible for almost 50 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions - working together to develop clean energy technology.

When it was announced on July 28 this year, Mr Beazley said:
"It's nothing. It's spin."
(Kim Beazley MP, AAP, 27 July 2005)

Mr Albanese's comments today display yet another policy splash-down by the Labor Party, which can't seem to figure out just what its climate change position really is.

The Federal ALP's endorsement of the Asia-Pacific Partnership in Parliament today follows the resounding approval given to it by Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Resources, Forestry and Tourism, Martin Ferguson at the Australian Uranium Conference in Perth just last month.

"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."
(Martin Ferguson MP, Australian Uranium Conference, Perth 6, 11 October 2005)

Such ringing endorsement of the Howard Government's climate change partnership by members of the Opposition is welcome, but it highlights just how confused the Labor Party and its leader Kim Beazley are.

Media contact:
Renae Stoikos on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia