Scott Morrison causes confusion referring to a bill that doesn’t exist

9 May 2019

Written by: Taylah Melki

Prime minister Morrison has responded to a UN report about species extinction, alluding to legislation to protect animal species in Australia which has not been passed.

In response to a damning report released by the UN about the extinction of animals on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he has taken steps to introduce legislation to protect animal species in Australia.

“We already introduced and passed legislation through the Senate actually dealing with that very issue in the last week of the parliament. We’ve been taking action on that,” he said.

But in fact, the Morrison government failed to put forward any legislation regarding the protection of animals in the final week of parliament as he had stated.

The UN report stipulated a multi-year report highlighting the various ways human society was under threat from the destruction of the Earths plants, animals and resources.

These concerns were echoed by agricultural minister David Littleproud who said he was “scared” by the report published by the UN.

When contacted by The Guardian, the prime minister’s office failed to respond to questions about the so-called policy that had been introduced by Morrison.

The office of Melissa Price, the environmental minister also failed to reply when questioned about the legislation that Morrison was referring to.

In the past two years, the only legislation that has been passed regarding animal conservation and environmental preservation is that relating to the testing of chemicals on animals.

The industrial chemicals bill 2017 outlines the measures that have to be taken when performing cosmetic testing on animals. This bill was officially passed on 18 February 2019, not in the final weeks of parliament as the prime minister had mentioned in his response to the UN report.

With neither Morrison or environmental minister, Price, confirming or denying if this was the policy the he was referring to, it has raised many questions about whether Morrison actually made a mistake.

In an article in The Guardian, the federal policy director of the Wilderness Society, Tim Beshara said Morrison “alluded to a bill that doesn’t exist.”

“It looks like the prime minister of Australia is so desperate to move the debate off the environment as an issue that he has alluded to a bill that doesn’t exist so that journalists would stop asking questions about it,” he said.

Beshara highlighted the clear difference between the two legislations saying that the cosmetic testing on animals had nothing to do with the conservation of the environment and extinction of animals, instead it only protected the rabbits in the laboratories.

Reports from the Sydney Morning Herald also showed Morrison’s lack of environmental support throwing his weight behind the creation of jobs and rallying against the expansion of more regulation around the environment to protect the Earth.

“We believe there should be responsible, practical, environmental regulations that protect and safeguard our environment, and of course they should be in place, but we’re very cautious when it comes to unaccountable bureaucracies that can, at the end of the day, destroy the opportunities for businesses to create jobs,” he said.


Photo: Arrival of Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia by Flickr available here and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.