Australian federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbot thinks the governments fixation with climate change is causing other environmental issues to be ignored.
Abbot announced last week he would push for a Commonwealth takeover of the Murray-Darling river system and establish a “green army” to carry out large-scale environmental remediation work.
In the past Abbot has been ridiculed by the government after he suggested climate change was “crap”.
“I think I am a fair-dinkum environmentalist” he told reporters on Friday in Sydney. “I have always thought that.”
While he is has since lessened his position on climate change, he still believes the government is focusing too much on climate change.
“Climate change is important but it is not the only thing, and I hope I reminded Australians last night that climate change is not the only thing, and that Mr. Rudd preoccupation with climate change meant that he was neglecting other environmental problems, environmental problems that only Australians can fix” said Abbot.
In response the government simply view Abbots policy as “window dressing” a suggestion Abbot rejects.
“I think a newly elected coalition government will have enormous political authority, and I’d like to give the states one final chance to refer full power to manage the Murray Darling Basin to the Commonwealth” Abbot said.
“If they don’t want to accept that opportunity, then I think we do need to proceed with a referendum, so that Commonwealth clearly does have that power, but I don’t lightly promise a referendum and I think that the states should be given on final chance to do the right thing.”