Wikinews interviews Dr Clive Hamilton about the upcoming by-election in the Higgins electorate of the Australian parliament

Monday, November 2, 2009

With two by-elections coming up in Australia, many minor parties and independents will be looking to gain a seat in the House of Representatives. Dr Clive Hamilton AM is one of the independents / candidate for the Australian Greens.

Dr Hamilton was awarded Member of the Order of Australia honours for his contributions to public debate and public policy earlier this year.

Wikinews reporter Patrick Gillett held an exclusive email interview with Dr Hamilton, candidate for the Division of Higgins. In participating in this interview, Dr Hamilton was about to fly out to a function.


((Patrick Gillett)) Why do you want to get into parliament?

The main reason for standing as the Greens candidate for Higgins is that I am extremely worried about climate change. The future of our children is at stake yet the main political parties seem more interested in appeasing the fossil fuel lobby.

((PG)) Why do you represent your party?

The Greens policy on climate change is the only one that is based on what the climate scientists are convinced we need to do.

((PG)) What would the three main policies you are taking into this by-election be?

Climate change policy, asylum seekers and work-life balance.

((PG)) How would you address these policies?

The Greens have strong policies in these areas.

((PG)) Sending asylum seekers to Indonesia: good or bad?

We have a legal and moral obligation to land asylum seekers in Australia if they are found in Australian waters, then to quickly assess their claims. Sending them to Indonesian camps is inhumane, as anyone who knows anything about Indonesian prisons will testify.

((PG)) Is the Australian dollar's near parrity with the US dollar a sign that the Australian economy is healthy, the US economy in chaos or both?"

This is too big a question to answer in any detail, except to say that rapid changes in the A$ are not healthy, and if it rises too high it will penalize our export industries, exacerbating the trade deficit. The last thing we want is a return to the 1980s when the $A bounced around as a result of currency speculation.

((PG)) How do you rate the governments economic stimulus package?

Overall, it was a necessary response.

((PG)) Should it be wound back?

Dr Hamilton didn't answer this question

((PG)) Is Kevin Rudd a better Prime Minister than John Howard?

Dr Hamilton didn't answer this question

File photo: Loy Yang Power Station supplies electricity around the Australian state of Victoria.
Image: Marcus Wong.

((PG)) Is the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme an effective sollution to climate change? Why?

The CPRS is a wholly inadequate and dangerous response to climate change. The climate scientists say countries like Australia must cut emissions by 25-40 per cent by 2020 to have any chance of avoiding two degrees of warming. If the world followed the Rudd plan we would experience four degrees or more, which would be catastrophic.

((PG)) Is there a better sollution?

The Greens’ safe climate package is a proportionate response.

((PG)) Why should the electorate vote for you?

See above.

External links

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.