Barack Obama Highlights Climate Change In Speech At University Of Queensland

Ahead of the G20 meeting, President Barack Obama has placed climate change at the centre of a speech to students at the University of Queensland.

Obama

Obama told the gathering that no region had more at stake than the Asia-Pacific. He said climate change was causing more wildfires, flooding, extreme storms and rising seas. “The incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened,” he said.

Obama pledges $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund to assist developing countries. “Let them leap frog some of the dirty industries that powered our development, go straight to a clean-energy economy that allows them to grow, create jobs and at the same time reduce their carbon pollution,” he said. [Read more…]


Tony Abbott’s Remarks At G20 Leaders’ Retreat

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has welcomed world leaders to the G20 meeting in Brisbane.

AbbottSpeaking in the former Legislative Council chamber of the Queensland Parliament, Abbott said: “This room symbolises the limitations on our power.”

Abbott emphasised the importance of economic reform. He told the gathering his government had repealed the carbon tax, stopped the “illegal boats”, started building roads and getting the Budget under control.

Abbott said the deregulation of universities was an issue he wished to lay before his “colleague leaders”. He said his government had found it difficult “to inject more price signals into our health system” via a $7 co-payment.

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Transcript of remarks by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the G20 Leaders’ Retreat at Parliament House, Brisbane.

Remarks at G20 Leaders’ Retreat, Brisbane

Thank you, everyone. It’s a real honour to have so many of you here in the beautiful city of Brisbane for this first ever G20 leaders’ retreat. [Read more…]


We Shirtfront The Tsar; Abbott Says He Will Confront Putin Over MH17 At G20

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he will “shirtfront” Russian President Vladimir Putin over the shooting of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

Abbott

Abbott made his comments at a media conference at Caval Ridge Mine in the Queensland electorate of Capricornia, held by Michelle Landry. He defended and praised the coal mining industry.

On Putin, Abbott said: “Look, I’m going to shirtfront Mr Putin – you bet I am. I’m going to be saying to Mr Putin – Australians were murdered and they were murdered by Russian-backed rebels using Russian supplied equipment. We are very unhappy about this. We accept that you didn’t want this to happen, but we now demand that you fully cooperate with the criminal investigation, and if the criminal investigation identifies suspects that you have some influence over, they’ve got to be produced and justice has got to be done.” [Read more…]


G20 Finance Ministers And Central Bank Governors Meeting Concludes In Cairns

The meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors has broken up in Cairns and Treasurer Joe Hockey says progress has been made on the group’s aim to lift global economic growth by 2% of the next five years.

Hockey

Hockey said: “The IMF and OECD have looked at over 900 measures put forward by countries – of which 700 are new – and estimate our efforts could lift global GDP by 1.8 per cent through to 2018. Their analysis has been released. We are 90 per cent of the way there to meet our 2 per cent goal.”

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Closing Statement from Treasurer Joe Hockey to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

Treasurer’s closing statement, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting

Today concludes the Cairns meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.

This is our third meeting this year, and let me say it was marked by a strong spirit of cooperation, helped no doubt by the wonderful Cairns community and environment. [Read more…]


Abbott Calls For Independent Investigation Of MH17; Foreign Minister Off To UN To Co-Ordinate Campaign

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has dispatched the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, to the United Nations to co-ordinate Australia’s demand for a full and fearless investigation into the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

Abbott

Speaking at a press conference, Abbott and Bishop said a binding United Nations Security Council resolution was needed to ensure that an independent and impartial investigation takes place.

Abbott said a proper investigation “is a matter of the utmost gravity for us and others”. He said 298 innocent people have been killed, “people who had no part in the conflict in Europe but whose lives were snuffed out”. [Read more…]


Shorten: A Pall Of Shock Hangs Across The Australian Nation

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has given support to the government and called for an independent investigation of the attack on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Shorten

Speaking at a press conference in Melbourne, Shorten describing the shooting down of the plane as an “act of devastating evil and shocking beyond comprehension”. He said a “pall of shock hangs across the Australian nation” as it attempts to comprehend something “alien to our experience”. [Read more…]


G20 Finance Ministers Commit To 2% GDP Growth Target

The G20 Finance Ministers have committed to a collective growth rate of 2% above the current trajectory over the next five years.

Hockey

Speaking after the meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Sydney, Treasurer Joe Hockey said: “Realistically, these policies could mean an extra US$2 trillion in global economic activity and tens of millions of additional jobs.”

Each country in the group has agreed to deliver a comprehensive growth strategy as part of the Brisbane Leaders Summit in November.

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Media release from the Treasurer, Joe Hockey.

CONCLUSION OF G20 FINANCE MINISTERS AND CENTRAL BANK GOVERNORS MEETING IN SYDNEY

Today marks the conclusion of the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Sydney, which is the first on Australia’s soil as part of our host year.

In an unprecedented statement, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors committed to implement policies to grow our collective GDP by more than 2 per cent above the current trajectory over the next five years. [Read more…]


Joe Hockey Speech To Lowy Institute: “The Age Of Personal And Corporate Responsibility Has Begun”

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has delivered a speech in which he says the age of personal and corporate responsibility has begun.

Hockey

Addressing the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Hockey said: “Individuals must do more for themselves, they must become more self-reliant. And the business sector must shoulder more of the burden. It must restore corporate accountability, and rely less on government assistance. It must stand on its own feet, and it must pay its fair share of tax.”

Hockey spoke at length of Australia’s role this year as president of the G20. He said: “The G20 is definitely the right body to take the wheel… Because G20 members account for 85 per cent of the world economy, 80 per cent of trade and about two thirds of foreign direct investment.”

Hockey said Australia “must play to its strengths”. He said Australia would work to promote stronger economic growth and better employment outcomes, and help to make the global economy more resilient and able to deal with future shocks. [Read more…]


Abbott Arrives In Davos For World Economic Forum

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has arrived in Davos, Switzerland, for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Abbott

Founded in 1971, the WEF is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Geneva. On its website, the organisation says: “The World Economic Forum is a membership organization. Our Members comprise 1,000 of the world’s top corporations, global enterprises usually with more than US$ 5 billion in turnover.”

The annual meetings held in the mountain resort of Davos is made up of around 2,500 business leaders, politicians and others.

At his press conference following his arrival, Abbott spoke at length about Australia’s role as this year’s president of the G20, the organisation representing the world’s 20 largest economies.

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Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s press conference in Davos, Switzerland.

ABBOTT: It is good to be here at the World Economic Forum because the people of Australia expect their government to be working for a stronger national economy and a stronger global economy, because a stronger national economy and a stronger global economy means more jobs for the people of Australia.

That is essentially why I am here, a long way from home in one respect, but very close to home in another respect, because nothing is more important to the people of Australia than jobs and my mission here is to showcase the Australian economy, to let the world know that Australia, since last year’s election, is under new management and once more open for business, and to highlight our agenda for the G20. [Read more…]


Gillard-Swan Open Letter To G20 Leaders

This is the text of an open letter from Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan to G20 leaders.

The G20 met at the Los Cabos resort in Mexico. Various reports suggest the letter was not well received by other leaders.

The G20 is the “Group of Twenty Finance Minister and Central Bank Governors” from 19 countries plus the European Union. The countries are: United States, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia, India, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, China, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea.

Dear colleagues,

The G20 Los Cabos Summit comes at a challenging time. Risks in Europe have intensified significantly in recent weeks.

Increasing concerns over Greece and the stability of the Spanish banking sector are adversely affecting global financial markets and moving us quickly into crisis management mode. [Read more…]