Dutton jokes about sea-level rise, after Abbott’s rejects Pacific Island plea for more climate action

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As Abbott returns from Pacific Islands Forum where he stood firm on Australia’s weak climate targets, immigration minister Peter Dutton cracks a joke about sea-level rise.

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Federal immigration minister Peter Dutton has been caught on microphone joking about the threat of sea-level rise to Pacific Island nations, the ABC reports.

Referring to a meeting on Syrian refugees that was delayed, Dutton quipped that it was running on “Cape York time”, then adding that “time doesn’t mean anything when you’re about to have water lapping at your door”.

The unfortunate comment – which was recorded be a big, overhead boom mike – was made as an aside to minister for social services Scott Morrison and Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who had just returned from a flying visit to the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby on Thursday, at which climate change was a key topic.

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It is made all the more unfortunate by the fact that Abbott had, at that meeting, rejected the pleas of low-lying Pacific island nations for a stronger stance on emissions and temperature rises.

Abbott and New Zealand prime minister John Key both refused to go further than their existing commitments on global warming, leaving Pacific island leaders with the impression they were putting economic growth ahead of the survival of neighbouring island communities.

“It is disappointing,” said Kiribati president Anote Tong, who last month sent an open letter to all heads of state calling for a global moratorium on new coal mine development.

According to the ABC, Tong had campaigned especially hard for Australia to further reduce emissions, support a tighter cap on global temperature rises and consider a moratorium on new coal mines.

“I would really have loved to go back and say yes, we had support, solid support from all of the Pacific neighbours including our developed neighbours. How does it feel? I’ve learned to live with the disappointments.”

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15 Comments
  1. Andrew_Nichols 3 years ago

    Nothing shows more clearly the relationship pf the economy to the environment. The economy is a purely human construct that solely concerns the exchange of ecosystem goods. ie its a subset of the environment not some equivalent to be “balanced” along with social matters in resource management decision making. Aus and NZ are quite happy for their economic activity to help wipe out the low lying Pacific Atolls and I suspect will be happy in helping relocate their people once their homelands have disappeared.

    • suthnsun 3 years ago

      I suspect this lot would have to be kicked to help in relocation.

    • Ana Milosevic 3 years ago

      In my humble opinion, we the Australian People should stand-up for our environment, and make sure that government do as we instruct them, because after all we are the EMPLOYER and governments are not “irreplaceable”. On the contrary we should MAKE BETTER CHOICE AT THE NEXT ELECTION, because our kids and grandkids will have reason to blame us for making such a poor choice of irresponsible lot as Abbott and his minions to be in charge of something so precious like our young generations future……

  2. VictimsFamily 3 years ago

    Hose please…
    It will be interesting in a few decades time, when these carnival hucksters are looked back upon as the worst thing that ever happened in Australian political history.

    • JeffJL 3 years ago

      While I don’t like the way this Liberal government is going I think we should also apportion some of the blame to Kevin Rudd. Had he not agitated from the back bench then it is less likely that the Liberals would have got in with their lack of ideas and we might now have a decent opposition with a working government. Both essential for good governance.

      • Isuzu 3 years ago

        Yes… Kevin wasnt allowed to play so he carried on and sulked until he got his ball and then left..
        Pathetic behaviour for an adult let along a man elected to parliament to represent his electorate

        • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

          Gillard and Rudd, a political marriage of convenience ended badly for both. They deserved each other but Australia deserved much better.

      • Ronald Brakels 3 years ago

        I know my grandmother was simply unstinting in her criticism of the Social Democratic Party of Germany for only winning 120 seats back in 1933. If only they had stoped infighting and gotten their act together Rotterdam would never have been bombed. Of course, more superficial thinkers put the entire blame on the NSDAP.

      • Ana Milosevic 3 years ago

        That my friend is last years snow, and can’t be undone, but we must think of NOW and the FUTURE….. And we can do a lot more if we care and demand that PRODUCTIVITY from the government…… Abbott and his so called ‘government’ are FAILURE and cannot be trusted on any issue at all.

    • Isuzu 3 years ago

      It wont be in a few decades… many people can already identify that the crazies are running the asylum and we will be apologising to refugees just as we have done for Aboriginals…

      As an aside and from a personal point of view I see Dutton as a complete waste of space. He has proved his incompetence on a few occasions with this last one being just another example..

  3. Chris Fraser 3 years ago

    Not as funny as ;
    “The science behind climate change is absolute crap”
    “The adults are back in charge”
    “This will be a government of no surprises”
    “No cuts to health, education, pensions …(etc)”

  4. larry w 3 years ago

    These people are disgusting and a disgrace to a once great country . Vote them out One Term Wonders.

  5. Chris Fraser 3 years ago

    By some perfect design Morrison let them carry on like jerks before finally letting them in on the microphone. Now there’s a politician with an eye for the future.

  6. Jacob 3 years ago

    Dutton said he is sorry that he got caught! Amazing.

  7. Jacob 3 years ago

    “Abbott’s rejects”? headline

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