Grattan / Bernie Fraser quits Climate Change Authority after difficulties with Hunt

Share Canberra's trusted news:

michelle grattan

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

THE chairman of the Climate Change Authority, Bernie Fraser, has quit – apparently after a long period of bad relations with Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

It is believed Fraser – who is a former secretary of the Treasury and former governor of the Reserve Bank – had found the minister very difficult to deal with. Hunt was seen as hostile to the authority.

The tension with the minister apparently wore Fraser down.

The government was angry that it could not abolish the authority because of the Senate, but was forced to retain it in negotiations with Clive Palmer.

The authority recently urged emission reduction targets for Australia post-2020 which were much more ambitious than the ones the government subsequently announced for this year’s Paris climate conference.

Fraser’s resignation has left the authority without a quorum, but it has taken legal advice that it can continue its operations. The authority discussed the situation at a meeting on Tuesday.

“Arrangements have been made to ensure the Authority’s work will continue uninterrupted,” the authority said in the short statement announcing Fraser’s resignation. No explanation of the resignation was given.

Professor David Karoly, a member of the authority, has been delegated with responsibility for its official duties.

Four of its nine members quit last year and have not been replaced by the government. Hunt reportedly told the authority that he sent recommended names to the Prime Minister’s Office but nothing had been done.

One of those remaining is the Chief Scientist Ian Chubb whose position is ex officio. His term as Chief Scientist expires in December.

Fraser’s decision – said to have been made reluctantly – came as a surprise to Hunt. It did not follow any specific argument.

Hunt thanked Fraser for his work, in a statement on Tuesday night. “He has had an outstanding career in public service, which I deeply respect and acknowledge,” Hunt said.

“In particular, I thank Mr Fraser for his assistance with the crossbench in the passage of the Emissions Reduction Fund.”

The Conversation

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep citynews.com.au free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleArt comes to City Walk, and your chance to enter
Next articleDigital edition 10 September

Leave a Reply