Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Garrett undermines PM's local government announcement.

Download PDFDownload PDF

Media Release The Hon Greg Hunt MP Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water

18 September 2008

Garrett Undermines PM’s Local Government Announcement

Peter Garrett today embarrassed the Prime Minister by undermining his announcement of a so-called new “cooperative engagement” with local government.

Earlier today I called on Mr Garrett to support a national audit of landfill sites to ensure they are safe and adhere to safe management practices.

This follows the methane gas emergency at Cranbourne in Victoria which has forced some residents to evacuate their homes and others to nervously monitor day to day gas levels.

My call for a national audit was supported by the Municipal Association of Victoria which agreed a national approach is needed on this issue.

But Mr Garrett dismissed the calls today, saying that: “The responsibility for landfill sites lies with state and territory as well as municipal governments.”

The Environment Minister hand-balled the issue back to local government.

There was no sign of the “cooperative engagement” his boss today promised.

On the very day the Prime Minister wanted to forge new bridges with local government, Mr Garrett was working to bring them down.

We have a looming environmental emergency that could impact on residents of housing estates around Australia and the Environment Minister says it has nothing to do with him.

Mr Rudd used to say on such matters: “The buck stops with me.”

Clearly, on an issue requiring national leadership, Mr Garrett does not think the buck stops with him.

If the buck doesn’t stop with the Environment Minister on this issue, what issue will it stop on?

Media contact: John Deller on 02 6277 2276 or 0400 496 596