Australia's Can't-Do Prime Minister on Climate Change:
Quote number one (House of Reps Question Time, 28.3.07):
"I am aware of the views expressed by Sir Nicholas Stern. Some of the views that he has expressed I agree with, some I have reservations about and some, I believe, if implemented, literally would do great damage to the Australian economy. When it comes to the decisions of the government, uppermost in our mind will be the national interest, not the views of any one individual, however eminent he may be regarded by some."
Quote number two:
"...the truth is that if you want to run power stations in a modern economy there are really only two ways you can do it. You do it by fossil fuels or you do it by nuclear power. ...You cannot run power stations on renewables."
Quote number three:
"The only way that you can run power stations in Australia, and therefore provide electricity for a modern economy, is to run them on fossil fuels. If you believe in reducing the greenhouse gas content of fossil fuel usage you must clean up the use of coal. And as you clean up the use of coal you make its use more expensive, and that is where nuclear power comes into the equation. That is the irreducible common-sense minimum of this debate about the future of greenhouse gas emissions in a country such as Australia."
Quote number four:
"We should play to our natural advantages and I am simply not going to agree to prescriptions that are going to damage the future of the Australian economy, and I am not going to agree to prescriptions that are going to cost the jobs of Australian coalminers."
Quote number five:
"Sir Nicholas Stern is reported in the Sydney Morning Herald today as advocating a reduction of 30 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020. That would have a devastating effect on the Australian economy. It would cost thousands of jobs in the Australian coal industry. It would put back technological progress towards clean coal technology because of its impact on the operation of the Australian economy."
Quote number six:
"It is imperative that we do not take action as a nation which puts us at an unfair disadvantage with the rest of the world."
On to Question Time for Thursday 29.3.07. Quote number seven:
"The Leader of the Opposition has embraced a policy of cutting by 30 per cent greenhouse gas emissions in Australia by the year 2020. So in 13 years we are meant to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent. Anyone with an atom of common sense would know that that would visit enormous dislocation on the Australian economy and would throw thousands of people in the coal industry out of work."
Quote number eight:
"I will certainly rule out knee-jerk reactions that are going to greatly damage the Australian economy, reduce our international competitiveness and rob hardworking Australians of their jobs."