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Transcript of doorstop interview: Parliament House, Canberra: 11 September 2019: David Littleproud; Angus Taylor; climate change; Anti-Science Coalition; leadership test for Morrison

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SUBJECTS: David Littleproud; Angus Taylor; climate change; Anti-Science

Coalition; leadership test for Morrison.


WATER: Well good morning, it’s a beautiful day here in Canberra, but it’s been an

interesting 24 hours here as well. We now have a Water Minister, a drought

minister who has confessed he doesn't know whether human-induced climate

change is real.

He went onto David Speers' show yesterday on Sky and said "I don't know if man

made climate change is real". Well Minister, it's no wonder that Australians are

concerned about whether the Morrison Government really is going to take any

action at all on climate change, when we have a climate-denying person holding

the Ministry as Water Minister and Drought Minister.

This sort of science-denialism is threatening the prosperity of our nation.

We absolutely need to be confident that the Government firstly believes in climate

change if we are going to be able to be confident that the Government is going to

take any action on climate change, and right now I don't think we can be confident

of either.

It's very clear when there are so many people in this country who are concerned

about climate change, who are concerned about the impacts of climate change

and the future of our nation, that the last thing we need is Ministers questioning

whether climate change is even real.

That's absolutely disappointing from this Minister and I hope that he will take the

time to have a look at some of the reports, some of the work being done by the

CSIRO, by the IPCC, by scientists across the world and here in Australia, who are

really concerned about the impact of climate change on the future of the planet

here in Australia and the future of our country.

I also wanted to mention Angus Taylor.

Angus Taylor should resign his Ministry, and if he won't resign, then the Prime

Minister should step up and sack him.

It is very clear that the Minister has failed to disclose his personal interests to the

Parliament and to his own Department as he was required to do both by the

Parliament and the Ministerial Standards.

It is very clear that his own Department to this day is still investigating an issue in

which he has a personal interest. It is very clear that he has failed in his obligation

to avoid conflicts of interest and to avoid the perception of a conflict of interest.

This Minister needs to step up, resign his Ministry, and if he won't do that, then the

Prime Minister should actually do the right thing and call for his resignation and if

he won't resign even on the Prime Minister's call, then the Prime Minister should

sack him.

JOURNALIST: Will you be supporting the motion from the crossbench re this

climate emergency?

BUTLER: Well it's actually up to the Government to decide whether there will be a

declaration of a climate emergency and frankly, I don't have any confidence that

they even believe in climate change.

They've had their own Minister out there saying that he's not sure whether man

made climate change exists he doesn't know whether it's even real.

How can we be confident that this Government will take any action on climate

change or take any serious action whatsoever when they've got science denying

ministers in their own front bench which is threatening the prosperity of our


JOURNALIST: Will you be voting for the motion?

BUTLER: Well as I say, it's a matter for the Government whether there is a climate

emergency declaration.

The question is, what will the Prime Minister do? What will his Ministers do? We've

got a senior frontbencher, someone who is the Drought Minister, the Water

Minister, out saying he's not sure if man made climate change is really a thing.

I don't know whether we can be confident that the Government will actually do

anything at all.

JOURNALIST: Just on another issue quickly, does Labor have any concerns

about Gladys Liu? She had her car crash interview last night on Sky News,

allegedly said she has forgotten (inaudible) Communist Party organisation.

BUTLER: Well look, I think it's pretty clear that Scott Morrison needs to take a

proper look at any of the issues relating to Gladys Liu.

I understand there has been some questions about Gladys Liu now for some time.

It's up to the Prime Minister, again, if there's an issue about one of his members,

he needs to step up, do the right thing.

He can't just brush off serious questions about members of his own team. It's up to

him, to take a look at that member.

Just as it's up to him to actually take seriously the very concerning issues relating

to failure to disclose, conflict of interest and the other matters that have been

discussed in relation to Minister Taylor.

JOURNALIST: She's faced a bit of criticism for not declaring China's actions in the

South China Sea as unlawful. She was pushed three times to declare the actions

as theft. And also questions as to whether President Xi is a dictator. Would you

use those terms to describe some of the actions of China?

BUTLER: Well it's not really a question about me is it?

It's a question about whether the Government is in a position to have confidence in

all of its members.

Prime Minister Morrison needs to take a proper look at these issues. As I said,

there's been some questions about this particular member now for some time. I

don't have a lot of confidence in Prime Minister Morrison actually doing the right


He's trying to look the other way, he's trying to deflect.

You know when we were asking yesterday about Angus Taylor in the Parliament,

we moved a motion seeking that the Prime Minister take action, that gave the

Prime Minister an opportunity to stand up and either explain why he was standing

by this Minister despite all of the allegations or explain why the allegations were

wrong and mount a defence of his Minister, but he didn't do either of those things.

He talked about the Labor party.

He deflects to Labor, he deflects, he deflects, he deflects.

It's time the Prime Minister actually took seriously Ministerial Standards because in

this country trust in democracy is at a low ebb.

There is a lot of concern amongst the community about whether they can believe

the people in this building. If we want our nation to work, if we want a government

that can work, if we want people to be actually able to enjoy future prosperity, then

that also implies strong democratic institutions, and that starts from the top.

The buck stops with the Prime Minister when it comes to making sure that the

people in this place, especially his Ministers are doing the right thing.

Thanks very much everyone. Thanks.