THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THE HON MATT THISLETHWAITE MP
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR IMMIGRATION
MEMBER FOR KINGSFORD-SMITH
TONY ABBOTT REVEALS TRUE FEELINGS ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been caught joking about the desperate plight of Pacific Islanders whose existence is being threatened by climate change and rising sea levels.
Flanked by Social Services Minister Scott Morrison and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, Mr Abbott is heard discussing his trip to Port Moresby this week where he attended the Pacific Islands Forum to cover issues such as climate change with leaders from Pacific Island nations.
In another embarrassing international gaffe, when discussing the topic of time in the Pacific Islands, Mr Dutton is heard to remark; “time doesn’t mean anything when you’ve got water lapping at your door”.
Mr Abbott laughs in response.
The Prime Minister’s response reveals his true views about climate change and the Pacific - he thinks it’s all a bit of a joke.
For many in the Pacific Islands rising sea levels are having profound effects on their lives, it is destroying crops, and threatening their homes and their very existence.
Their plight is desperate and all this Prime Minister can do is laugh about it.
The Abbott Government has stopped further funding for climate change adaptation programs in the Pacific, as well as removed the carbon price, cut back the Renewable Energy Target and reviewed marine reserves.
This has led some Pacific leaders to label Australia a “bad brother” rather than a “big brother” this week.
Our Pacific Island neighbours deserve an apology from Mr Abbott.
Their future isn’t a joke, this Government is.