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Australian Govt Rebukes Obama’s Climate Claims, Rules Out Extra Troops

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Radio Australia

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop criticises US president Barack Obama for a speech in Brisbane last weekend in which he claimed climate change threatened the Great Barrier Reef.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop chairs the UN Security Council meeting in New York overnight.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop chairs the UN Security Council meeting in New York overnight. Photo: Trevor Gollens

Speaking to 7.30 from New York, where she is attending a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Ms Bishop said “there was an issue regarding [Mr Obama’s] statement” and she could “understand the Queensland Government’s concern”.

In a speech at University of Queensland, Mr Obama had said that: “Here, a climate that increases in temperature will mean more extreme and frequent storms, more flooding, rising seas that submerge Pacific islands … The incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened.”

Ms Bishop told 7.30: “We are demonstrating world’s best practice in working with the World Heritage Committee to ensure that the Great Barrier Reef is preserved for generations to come.

“I think that President Obama might have overlooked that aspect of our commitment to conserving the Great Barrier Reef.”

Extra troops to fight Islamic State ruled out

It is highly unusual for an Australian foreign minister to openly criticise a US president.

Ms Bishop also said Australia currently had no intention of committing extra forces or resources to the mission against Islamic State, even though the White House had discussed it with the Abbott Government.

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