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Big job for Liberal appointee.

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KELVIN THOMSON Press Release from the Shadow Assistant Treasurer - Member for Wills


Failed Liberal Aged Care Minister Warwick Smith has a big task ahead of him in carrying out the investigation into the performance of the Australian Greenhouse Office announced last night by the Howard Government.

Since the Australian Greenhouse Office was established, future greenhouse gas emission projections have blown out dramatically. The Office has revised original projections of an emissions increase of 18% in the 20 years to 2010 to a massive 33%.

Mr Smith must establish why the Australian Greenhouse Office, under the direction of the Howard Government has failed so spectacularly to rein in greenhouse gas emissions. Mr Smith should also investigate why the Australian Greenhouse Office and the Howard Government has failed to meet international climate change reporting obligations. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change required the Third National Communication by 30 November 2001.

Although the Draft Third Report (which revealed the dramatic increase in greenhouse gas emissions projections) was prepared by October, it was never finalised or publicly released. The Howard Government deliberately chose to sit on it in the lead up to the election last year.

This is a further indication of the Howard Government’s blatant disregard for international processes and conventions. Effective action on climate change requires an international response and Australia must be part of that and ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr Smith must restore public confidence in the Greenhouse Office by providing a thorough assessment of both the Government’s failure to contain greenhouse gas emissions and its failure to fulfil its international commitments concerning progress reports on reducing emissions.

We can only safeguard our children’s future if we are prepared to confront climate change openly, using the most effective measures available. Mr Smith’s investigation will be crucial to understanding why the Howard Government has been so ineffective and secretive in combating climate change.

For Further Information; Kelvin Thomson MP Phone: 9350 5777 Mobile: 0419 594 882

2 May 2002

Gavan O’Neill Phone: 9350 5777 Mobile: 0409 189 644