“It may sound like something his mum made up,” Ludlam says in the video, “but on behalf of the Australian Greens, I’m asking you to join with me in calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull to make February 10 a public holiday in honour of this unique occasion.

“He approved the world’s largest coal mine, and signed off on dumping 3 million cubic meters of dredge spoil on the Great Barrier Reef; abolished a billion-dollar biodiversity fund, and wants native forests woodchipped and fed into power stations, and gutted our world-class marine reserve system.

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“Our hope, is that the statues built in Minister Hunt’s honour, in every capital city, will be built far enough above sea level that generations to come can honour him.”

So how did this happen? In a Melbourne radio interview on Wednesday, the environment minister said the idea for the award – and the concomitant list of nominees – was dreamed up by global news agency, Reuters.

“Reuters news agency said to the UAE Government that they’d like to create the award and present it at the World Government Summit,” Hunt said on 3AW.

“They then commissioned the World Bank, the OECD, Ernst & Young and an international strategic firm called Strategy and Co to draw up a list of 100 – they then winnowed it down to 10.

“They used a series of criteria, they had a voting program – and we didn’t know about it, and I got a call just over a week ago.”

But The Guardian is reporting today that Thomson Reuters has since distanced itself from the whole unfortunate business, saying it was “not correct” to say that the company initiated the award or were responsible for designing the selection process.

“Thomson Reuters was solely responsible for assisting in the administration of the award, to a set of criteria approved by the World Government Summit organisers,” said Tarek Fleihan, head of corporate communications for the financial information company in the Middle East, Africa and Russia.

As the Guardian reports, Thomson Reuters has also promised to issue a full clarifying statement, but has not yet done so. Reuters news, meanwhile, said it had no involvement in the process.

According to summit’s website, the criteria for World’s Best Minister include:

– Innovation and leadership: the solution that was introduced by the candidate will have revolutionised the utilisation of government services by its citizens. This work of true innovation will have increased productivity, reduced costs and improve the citizen’s opinion of the government.

– Quality and impact: the solution should address the needs of the citizens and must demonstrate a significant social impact. Significant social impact includes but is not limited to easily accessible government services for all citizens, efficiency in execution, human development impact, job creation, etc.

– Replication: the solution must have the quality of being easily replicated in multiple geographies. The solution should demonstrate propensity for impact beyond the local level, either nationally, regionally or globally.

– Reputation: the candidate must be highly credible amongst his peers and the general public. The candidate must have a proven record amongst his peers of developing innovative solutions that have positively impacted the citizens.

That last one might need to be reassessed by the end of this week.


Reader Interactions


  1. Chris Fraser says

    Excellent work. I’d like to see a half hour of satire from the pollies themselves, every week, from 8:30pm on the ABC.

  2. Alex Rogers says

    You couldn’t make this ^%$# up. The hereditary rulers of a country where stoning is a legal punishment congratulating Hunt as world’s best minister – global governance at its best.

  3. JohnRD says

    Any minister with sense would have realized that an award of this type was toxic politics. The key criteria would have been “silly enough to accept.”

  4. hippygreenieleftie says

    It would be no less comprehensible to hear that he’d won Miss Universe.
    If he were not so shameless one might hope for death by embarrassment.

  5. hippygreenieleftie says

    God be praised!! It was rumoured he’d be runner-up to Mugabe.
    I wonder if it comes with a formal award and ceremonial robes.
    I’ve sent him an email requesting a photo and an autograph.

  6. MaxG says

    I mean: how many people actually think he deservedly won the the award and go vote for him or the Libs?! That’s not funny at all.

  7. Danny Franklin says

    Good discussion , Coincidentally , if anyone needs to fill out a CA BOE-58-AH , my colleagues came across a sample version here http://goo.gl/uBJiD3

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