Scott Morrison’s underwhelming interview with Leigh Sales has sparked harsh criticism of the award-winning journalist who viewers said did not go hard enough on the Prime Minister.
While Australians were hyped up about Mr Morrison’s appearance on ABC’s 7.30 after a controversial day, he did little to convince viewers of his stance and policies on climate change, with many saying Ms Sales didn’t hit him with the right questions.
Ms Sales started the interview by getting straight to the point, asking: “Do you believe that climate change poses a significant threat to Australia?”.
“Not just Australia but the world, yes,” replied Mr Morrison.
It almost seemed Mr Morrison believed climate change was real, and social media was quick to react.
The irony wasn’t lost on most people, who quickly reminded us all of Mr Morrison’s infamous coal stunt in parliament, as many did today when he announced the Liberal Party’s Climate Solutions Fund.
But many instead criticised Ms Sales over the interview, with one Twitter user saying the ABC was “hopelessly compromised” by the presenter letting Mr Morrison get away with “shouting propaganda”.
Another said Mr Morrison again bullied his way through an interview and Ms Sales just “let him just run all over her”.
Mr Morrison even tried to get Ms Sales to answer some of her own questions during the interview, turning one back on her when asked why the Coalition had so much trouble with climate policy if it there had been the success the PM claimed.
“You would have to explain that to me, Leigh, because what we have been doing is getting on with the job,” he responded.
Ms Sales is usually applauded for her “forensic” approach to interviews and she has been hailed for the program’s success.
She told The Australian that the public values her tough questioning of those in power.
“Not a day goes by without someone coming up to me and thanking me, because I think they see the value in people in power being questioned and held to account,” she said in a piece on 7.30’s success today.
But others were more rightly critical of Mr Morrison’s emission target reasoning.
Asked what effect an increase in temperature by three degrees would do to the economy and environment, Mr Morrison responded: “The question is Australia’s role in that.
“1.3 per cent is our share of global emissions. That’s less than other countries, more than some. It is all part of a global response that we’re part of and that we have been achieving. This is the point I’m making today. Australia has been achieving. Our 2020 targets will be achieved – in fact, they’ll be exceeded.”
The 10-year fund, which Mr Morrison officially announced in a speech in Melbourne today, is an extension of the Abbott government’s “direct action” Emissions Reduction Fund.
The Prime Minister says the injection of a further $2 billion will ensure Australia meets its 2030 targets without “taking a sledgehammer” to the economy.