Howard and Turnbull should explain climate grant against advice
Australian Greens leader Bob Brown today called on Prime Minister Howard and Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull to explain a decision to bypass some of the world's top climate scientists in awarding a grant for climate change impacts studies earlier this week.
"Prime Minister Howard and Mr Turnbull must categorically state there was no political interference in this decision to award a $50 million grant to a bid from a marginal Coalition seat," Senator Brown asked.
According to today's Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Turnbull ignored the recommendations of an expert panel, chaired by the chief scientist, Dr Jim Peacock, 'which backed a proposal involving internationally acknowledged authorities on climate impacts from four universities, including the University of NSW'.
"Minister Turnbull and Prime Minister Howard must explain why they ignored the recommendations of the expert panel, chaired by Chief Scientist Jim Peacock."
"While we acknowledge the excellent work being done at Griffith and Macquarie Universities, the bid from a number of the IPCC's top climate scientists would surely have to have been hard to beat.
"The Auditor-General's report into the Regional Partnerships program, and today's revelations about the climate change grant raise questions about how all Commonwealth grants are allocated.
"Given the urgency of climate change, which is set to be reinforced by the expected message from the Nobel Prize winning IPCC this weekend, we cannot allow political mistakes to inform decisions that should be based on the absolute best science available," Senator Brown said.
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