Greg Hunt: Minister for clearing trees

Greg Hunt: Minister for clearing trees

Comedian and filmmaker Dan Ilic unveiled a portrait of environment minister Greg Hunt on February 29 outside Parliament House in Canberra. The portrait, entitled “Greg Hunt, best minister in the world for clearing trees” was in response to Hunt being named the “Best Minister in the World”.

The irony of the award is that Hunt has overseen a huge rise in tree clearing and carbon emissions, while his government is spending billions from the Emissions Reduction Fund to keep trees in the ground and plant new trees.

Wilderness Society national director Lyndon Schneiders said: “The Turnbull government's climate policy is completely illogical. It does nothing while state governments gut laws to allow millions of trees to be ripped up and burnt, then it spends billions of dollars in taxpayers' money keeping trees in the ground and planting new trees. It would be easier and far cheaper to just stop tree clearing.”

A recent report by the Wilderness Society found Australia's greenhouse gas emissions from tree clearing are skyrocketing, with land-sector emissions almost doubling in the past three years while emissions from most other sectors are dropping. Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry emissions increased 79% from the equivalent of 13Mt CO2 in 2012 to 23Mt CO2 in 2015, more than 10 times faster than any other sector.

The Wilderness Society tried to deliver the painting to the minister but they were refused entry to parliament. Canberra's Portrait Gallery and the National Arboretum also rejected the painting.

Like the article? Subscribe to Green Left now! You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.