US president Barack Obama’s suggestion that Australia was not doing enough to save the Great Barrier Reef was misinformed and unnecessary, Trade Minister Andrew Robb says.
Mr Obama piled pressure on the Abbott government to act on climate change while in Brisbane for the G20, saying natural wonders like the reef were under direct threat.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop later said her office had sent Mr Obama a briefing on federal government preservation efforts, but stopped short of rebuking him.
Trade Minister Andrew Robb went one step further than his coalition colleague on Sunday.
“It was misinformed, but it was also unnecessary,” he told Sky News.
He said Australia had met its 2012 Kyoto target and the government remained adamant it would stay on track for 2020.
“Others shouldn’t be coming and lecturing us on climate change and emissions,” he said.
Mr Robb said he understood the issue was only added to Mr Obama’s Brisbane speech at late notice.
“It was a surprise to most people, including all the organisers, and including him I think,” he said.
“I don’t know that it got the due consideration that most major contributions by the president would receive.”