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Thursday, 29 October 2009
Page: 11488


Mr LINDSAY (10:49 AM) —In this debate on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 [No. 2] and related bills, I want to take two minutes of the parliament’s time to report on a visit I made to the United States about 2½ weeks ago. As part of a parliamentary delegation I was privileged to go to Columbia University in New York and meet with the world’s leading climate change scientists. It was a very interesting discussion. When asked quite directly what they thought of the Kyoto protocol, they said it was not worth the paper it was written on because there was no follow-through—lots of talk and no action. As for their advice on the way ahead, they said no one country should get too far ahead of any other country in relation to its approach to climate change and CPRS-ETS issues. I think that is very sensible advice. Australia should listen to that, and the government and the parliament should listen to that, because if we move too far ahead of the rest of the world our country will be damaged and our jobs will be lost, and that is indeed very concerning.

I note that this matter is given lower priority by the United States congress than the priority given to health issues and that they will not resolve their position before Copenhagen. Neither should we. That is a position that the opposition has adopted, and I think that deep down the government really thinks that is the way we should go. I support the sensible amendments that are being proposed and we look forward to seeing the government’s response in due course.