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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 15291

Weekly Radio Message - Climate Change

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/04/2007

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 15291


Listen to this Speech (MP3 - 2.12Mb - 139secs)

One of the distinguishing features of the Australian achievement has been our almost uncanny ability to find a sense of balance on major public policy issues.

Ours is not a nation of strident ideology or extremes. We embrace both public and private approaches to health policies where other countries emphasise one to the detriment of the other.

In education Australia has settled policies of choice between government and independent schools.

Our strong social security safety net coupled with the policy of mutual obligation means that we avoid the laissez faire harshness of the American welfare system as well as the nanny state mentality of many European countries.

It is critical that this balanced approach be applied to the vital issue of climate change.

We must avoid extreme overreaction which hurts our economy and destroys jobs.

Australia must neither ignore the dangers of global warming nor hastily apply ill-considered measures which do enduring damage.

That is why the Government is investing more than $3 billion in practical climate change policies. The phasing out of incandescent light bulbs, investing in clean coal technology and promoting reafforestation are all very practical ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

We can be sure of their benefits. They are real. They can be measured. They won't harm our economy.

It is why the Australian Government is working in collaboration with the business community, particularly energy and resource companies, to develop a sensible and balanced approach to emissions trading.

By contrast we will not commit to targets with unknown consequences - such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by the year 2020.

Such a step would put many Australian jobs at risk and cause great injury to the Australian economy.

Unlike Labor and the Greens, the Liberal and National parties will always put economic prosperity and jobs ahead of ideology and targets with unknown consequences.

That is the way to preserve a sensible balance with climate change policy. That's the approach that has served Australia so well in other policy areas.

It is the right way forward with climate change.

Listen to this Speech (MP3 - 2.12Mb - 139secs)

Transcript 15291