Greg Hunt

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The Honourable
Greg Hunt
MP
Minister for Environment
Incumbent
Assumed office
18 September 2013
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Preceded by Mark Butler
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Flinders
Incumbent
Assumed office
10 November 2001
Preceded by Peter Reith
Personal details
Born (1965-11-18) 18 November 1965 (age 48)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Alma mater University of Melbourne (BA, LLB)
Yale University (MA)

Gregory Andrew "Greg" Hunt (born 18 November 1965) is an Australian politician and has been a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives since November 2001, representing the Division of Flinders, Victoria. He has been the Minister for the Environment since 18 September 2013.[1]

Background and early career[edit]

Hunt was born in Melbourne and was educated at The Peninsula School. He graduated from Melbourne Law School with a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours), where he won a prize for a final year thesis he co-authored entitled A Tax to Make the Polluter Pay.[2][3][4][5] He subsequently studied at Yale University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar and obtained a Master of Arts in International Relations. He was Associate to the Chief Justice of the Australian Federal Court in 1992.

Hunt was senior adviser to Alexander Downer, both as Leader of the Opposition (1994–95) and Minister for Foreign Affairs (1995–98). He worked for McKinsey & Company (1999–2001) and was Director of Strategy at the World Economic Forum in Geneva (2000–01).[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Hunt was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage in October 2004. In January 2007 he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Following the 2007 election, Hunt was appointed Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water.[6] After the 2010 election, he was re-appointed to the Shadow Ministry as Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Heritage.[7]

After the 2013 election, Hunt was appointed Minister for the Environment under Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 18 September 2013.[8]

On 19 September, one of his first actions as Minister for the Environment was to ring Tim Flannery, the head of the Climate Commission, to announce the closure of the scientific advisory body.[9]

In October 2013, while being interviewed by the BBC, Hunt referred to research that he had conducted using Wikipedia to contradict Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in regards to the relationship between climate change and bushfires.[10][11][12] He said:

"Australia has since European settlement and obviously well before that, had a history of recurrent bushfires. I looked up what Wikipedia says, for example, just to see what the rest of the world thought, and it opens up with the fact that bushfires in Australia are frequently occurring events during the hotter months of the year. Large areas of land are ravaged every year by bushfires. That’s the Australian experience."[13][14][15]

In November 2013, Hunt was criticised by Greens MP Adam Bandt, for ruling out attending the upcoming UN Climate Summit despite being the Environment Minister, saying:

"Instead of sitting in his office reading Wikipedia, Greg Hunt should be in Warsaw tackling global warming and talking to the world’s experts on climate change."[16]

In December 2013 Hunt announced a project to dredge Abbot Point in the Great Barrier Reef, which was approved by the Marine Park Authority in January 2014.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Hunt is married and has a daughter and a son. His father, Alan Hunt, was a member of the Victorian Legislative Council between 1961 and 1992.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Greg's on desperate Hunt for credibility". dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Hon Greg Hunt MP". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Liberate the True Liberals". Andrew Leigh. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "A Tax to Make the Polluter Pay". petermartin.com.au. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "About Greg". Greghunt.com.au. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Hon Greg Hunt MP". Ministerial appointments Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage from 26.10.04 to 30.1.07. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 30.1.07 to 3.12.07. Minister for the Environment from 18.9.13. Australian Government. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Commonwealth Government – Abbott Ministry". Parliament of Australia. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Abbott shuts down Climate Commission". Melbourne: theage.com.au. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  10. ^ Han, Esther; Judith Ireland (24 October 2013). "Greg Hunt uses Wikipedia research to dismiss links between climate change and bushfires". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 October 2013. "Environment Minister Greg Hunt has hosed down suggestions of a link between climate change and increased bushfire intensity, saying he had looked up what Wikipedia said and it was clear that bushfires in Australia were frequent events that had occurred during hotter months since before European settlement." 
  11. ^ "Environment Minister Greg Hunt 'looked up Wikipedia' for climate change facts". news.com.au. 24 October 2013. 
  12. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-24/hunt-on-bbc/5043324
  13. ^ Davidson, Helen (24 October 2013). "Greg Hunt uses Wikipedia research to dismiss climate change-bushfires link". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  14. ^ "'I looked up what Wikipedia said'". The Age (Melbourne: Fairfax). 24 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  15. ^ "'Wikipedia's verdict on Greg Hunt: 'terrible at his job". The Age (Melbourne: Fairfax). 24 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  16. ^ Arup, Tom (7 November 2013). "Coalition turns back on UN climate summit". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  17. ^ "Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority approves plan to dump Abbot Point spoil". Australian Broadcasting Commission. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Peter Reith
Member for Flinders
2001–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Butler
as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Water
Minister for the Environment
2013–present
Incumbent