Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for South Australia
Date: Friday, 12 November 2021
Journalist: Senator Birmingham, how disappointed are you with the manure that was laid out the front of your office this morning?
Simon Birmingham: This is just juvenile behaviour. People need to realise that Australia has committed to net zero by 2050. Russia hasn’t. China hasn’t. Perhaps they should try their protests our in Moscow or Beijing.
Journalist: They say that there is absolutely no plan going forward or details about how you’re going to make that net zero happen. What do you make of that?
Simon Birmingham: Nothing will ever satisfy the extremists. These guys just want to protest and they want to cause havoc. What they won’t look at is the billions of dollars being invested in new technologies, the actions that are being taken and the commitments that have been made to reach net zero by 2050.
Journalist: How much of a disruption did this morning’s protest cause and the cost of the clean up?
Simon Birmingham: Look, if there is one silver lining it’s better that they decide to target me and my office than disrupt tens of thousands of South Australians by gluing themselves to King William Street again.
Journalist: Do you see any bright side to the protest today? You made some comments about gardeners coming to get free manure.
Simon Birmingham: I hope and trust that the manure can go to a good purpose in a good garden somewhere and produce some spring veggies.
Journalist: Do you honestly believe they are extremists though? They’re obviously fighting for a good reason.
Simon Birmingham: Everyone is entitled to have their views and be passionate about them. But to go around endlessly causing disruption isn’t helpful for anybody. All it does is waste other people’s time and money and effort. These people aren’t paying attention to what’s really happening around the world. As I said before, Australia has made a commitment to net zero by 2050. We’re investing billions to reach it and make it happen and they seem to ignore the fact that three out of the four largest polluters in the world Russia, China and India haven’t made that commitment.
Journalist: You had to get professional cleaners in this morning to clean it up. How much did that cost roughly?
Simon Birmingham: I’ll see the final costings later. It’s disappointing that those kinds of expenses have to be met but this is just the latest in a series of expensive disruptions to individuals [inaudible]. Thanks guys.