Greg Combet and Mark Dreyfus must be congratulated for their foresight in announcing a floods rebuilding savings measure before the floods occurred, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.
It follows Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s inclusion of Green Start’s scrapping as she today announced, or re-announced in this case, measures to help rebuild following the devastating Queensland floods.
“I am abolishing, deferring and capping access to a number of carbon abatement programs. These include … the Green Start program…”
Julia Gillard, National Press Club, 27 January 2011
“The problem for Labor’s credibility is that Greg Combet and Mark Dreyfus announced the cancellation of the Green Start program last month, before the floods even occurred,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“Clearly, Mr Combet and Mr Dreyfus weren’t then able to anticipate the new reason that would be given by Ms Gillard today.
“The Government has made this decision following consideration of a number of reports and Departmental assessments. In particular, following the release of the Auditor-General’s (ANAO) report in September 2010 into Green Loans … the Department identified a number of risks which now indicate the Green Start Program cannot be implemented with satisfactory mitigation of risk.”
Greg Combet and Mark Dreyfus, media release, 21 December 2010
“The Coalition has questioned the spending of taxpayer dollars on a number of these programs, the money for which is clearly better used in rebuilding in the wake of this month’s flooding.
“However, it’s disingenuous of Ms Gillard to include an already scrapped program among savings measures towards rebuilding. It is hardly a difficult decision to cut something you have already cut.
“While the ‘real Julia Gillard’ we were promised in the election campaign continues to engage in such deception, she will continue to struggle to win the confidence of the Australian people.”