Rudd says Abbott out of step with world clima


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27-04-2011 08:08 AM


ABC Canberra 666

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ABC Canberra 666


27-04-2011 08:08 AM



27-04-2011 08:43 AM

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2011-04-27 08:08:32

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RUDD, Kevin, (Former Prime Minister)


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Rudd says Abbott out of step with world clima -

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The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has been touring the country criticising the Government's
proposed mining and carbon taxes. He also met locals on Christmas Island, concerned about the
impact of the immigration detention centre on their community.

TONY EASTLEY: While the Prime Minister has been overseas the Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott
has been touring the country, prosecuting his case against the Government's proposed mining and
carbon taxes.

Tony Abbott will visit a steel factory in the South Australian town of Whyalla today before holding
a business round table about the Government's plan to put a price on carbon.

He flew into South Australia from his first visit to Christmas Island, where he inspected the
immigration detention centre, talked to staff, and met locals concerned about the impact the centre
is having on their community.

To discuss that visit and other matters Mr Abbott is speaking to Naomi Woodley in Canberra.

TONY ABBOTT: Well, I think it's very important that workers right around Australia understand that
this carbon tax won't clean up the environment but it will clean out their wallets and it will wipe
out jobs, big time.

It's interesting that the AWU in South Australia said a week or so back that Whyalla would become a
ghost town under the carbon tax; so would Port Pirie. There are almost 4,000 jobs in Whyalla
directly dependent on the steel industry and as we know - because the OneSteel and BlueScope chiefs
have told us - they think this carbon tax is economic vandalism that will very seriously damage if
not destroy steel making in this country.

NAOMI WOODLEY: But the Government says there will be significant compensation for steel. Aren't you
spreading fear before the full facts of this debate are known?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, I don't think you can trust the Government. It's also the first anniversary of
the dumping of Kevin Rudd's emissions trading scheme, his version of the carbon tax. Now the Prime
Minister - the now Prime Minister - was saying then that this tax has got to be dumped. Now, of
course she's telling us that it's necessary to save the world.

Well, I just don't think people can trust the Prime Minister.

NAOMI WOODLEY: But didn't the CPRS debate show that this is a complex area and why shouldn't the
Government now be taking a considered approach to developing this new policy?

TONY ABBOTT: Naomi, what it showed was that Australia should not try to save the world on its own.
Now, all of us want to do the right thing by the environment. The Coalition has a strong and
effective policy to reduce emissions by planting more trees, getting better soil and using smarter

What we don't want is to damage Australians' cost of living by putting up the cost of power and
fuel and to destroy our manufacturing industry by making it uncompetitive with manufacturing

NAOMI WOODLEY: You flew into South Australia from Christmas Island. It was your first visit there
are, as I understand it. What were your impressions on the standard of the detention facilities

TONY ABBOTT: I think they were variable. I mean, obviously the main Christmas Island detention
centre is a purpose-built facility that the Howard government built. The current government said it
was a white elephant at the time, even though they've stacked the numbers in there.

Look, the basic problem is that the Government has lost control of our borders and the changes
announced yesterday are a weak response to problems of the Government's own making. They're not
going to stop the boats and they're not going to end the protests.

NAOMI WOODLEY: Did you have any opportunity to speak to asylum seekers?

TONY ABBOTT: Look it- it was fairly brief interactions because they were all going about their
ordinary business of the day. The basic problem here- and look, we can talk about conditions in the
centres and obviously in a perfect world they could always be otherwise, but as long as the boats
keep coming, we will have a serious problem.

NAOMI WOODLEY: But did you not think it would be instructive in the current debate to sit down in a
more formal sense with some asylum seekers to learn more about why they choose to take the route
that they have to get to Australia?

TONY ABBOTT: Look, everyone knows that there are millions and millions of people who would love to
come to Australia if the welcome mat is put out for them, who would love to come to Australia
illegally if the people smugglers have a product to sell.

And this is what the Government must do. It must immediately remove the product that the people
smugglers currently have to sell and temporary protection visas for trouble makers is not punishing
people it's rewarding people. And the boats will keep coming if the Government's policies don't
dramatically change.

TONY EASTLEY: The Federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, speaking to Naomi Woodley.