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Kevin Rudd's short memory for the truth.

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Media contact: Malcolm Cole 02 6277 7500


5 October 2007


Mr Rudd has hit a new low in political opportunism on climate change with his false claim that Australia cannot attend the United Nations conference on the issue in Bali in December unless we first ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr Rudd is guilty of deliberate deceit on this important subject, and he has shown clearly that he is simply not up to the job of dealing with climate change.

Today, on Sydney Radio 2GB, Mr Rudd told Ray Hadley that Australia needed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol “in order to get to the Bali conference at the end of this year which designs the rules for how we deal with greenhouse gas emissions globally after 2012”.

Mr Rudd knows that this is simply false. Just last week, his environment spokesman Peter Garrett acknowledged that Australia will be an active participant at December’s talks, without ratifying Kyoto.

A spokesman for Mr Garrett was quoted in The Australian on September 28 confirming the Government’s consistent position, that Australia will be able to participate fully in the formulation of a post-Kyoto framework for climate change.

Mr Garrett’s welcome admission followed months of false claims that Australia would not have a voice at the Bali conference.

Even at the height of his disinformation campaign, however, Mr Garrett never went as far as to say Australia would be locked out of the talks. Mr Rudd is well and truly on his own with that outlandish claim.

For the record, Australia will have full rights to participate in the Bali meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is central to developing a new international framework on climate change. Australia is a full party and significant contributor to the UNFCCC.

As Mr Garrett has now acknowledged, Australia also actively participates in meetings of parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

The Labor Party’s obsession with the 10-year-old Kyoto Protocol is blinding them to the realities of international politics. The world community is looking to move ahead on a new climate change agreement. The Australian Labor Party is looking backwards.

Kevin Rudd and his inexperienced team of activists and trade union officials are still a long way from being able to make a useful contribution to international debate on this issue.