Topics: Green Climate Fund
So is this a newer, greener Government? Or is there political mileage in at least being seen to be green?
To help us answer that question, we’re talking to Environment Minister Greg Hunt by web link from Tasmania. Minister, this announcement from Julie Bishop goes against the Government’s clearly-stated position on throwing cash at the Green Climate Fund.
So why the change of heart?
Well, what we have, I think, is an excellent outcome where we have been able to reach an agreement on projects in our region, on our terms, working with countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia.
This is a really good outcome where we’re focusing on protecting the great rainforests, reducing emissions, help foster an environment where the orang-utans and other species can thrive and I think Australians can be pleased with that.
For the layperson that’s watching all of this, there might seem to be some few back flips lately from the Government as far as Paid Parental Leave Scheme, Defence pay, and GP co-payments.
Is everything ok? Like is there something we should know? Are you guys all alright?
I think that part of the sign of a healthy Government is that you have got a clear direction but you can also listen. The things that we said we’d do pre-election in terms of reducing people’s electricity bills, saving lives at sea, of putting the budget back into health because honestly it was in a terrible state, are all things we have done.
Other elements, such as the Paid Parental Leave Scheme and the co-payment, we have listened and it’s a healthy sign that you’ve got a Government that can listen and if they can improve things, then they’re not a stick in the mud.
So there’s no chance we’re going to see an emissions trading scheme any time soon?
Well, two days ago Australia was ranked the worst-performing developed nation when it comes to climate change action. Are you not concerned at all this has happened on your watch?
Well actually, this was an NGO which gave these particular rankings. There’s a lot of leftist politics behind that. I know that Yale University has ranked Australia number three in the world for its environmental performance. So I would look at a hard scientific assessment rather than a leftist political assessment.
Minister, we do appreciate your time tonight. Just before you go – how do you respond to the findings today that the Government failed in its duty to protect Reza Berati, an asylum seeker who died at Manus Island earlier this year?
Look, I will let others talk about that. Obviously, this is a terrible tragedy, and all I can say is that there’s deep sympathy from myself and from anybody who looks at this situation.
Minister, thank you so much for your time tonight. We appreciate you talking to us.
Thanks guys. Cheers.