Rupert Murdoch has bemoaned Australia’s investment in windmills and “all that rubbish,” while saying that climate change should be handled with scepticism.
In an interview broadcast on Sky News, the media mogul spoke frankly about his country’s politics, social welfare, and how he sees current Prime Minister Tony Abbott as a 'thoroughly decent' man.
He told interviewer Paul Kelly, the editor of Murdoch-owned The Australian newspaper, that he had met Mr Abbott “three, four times, and the impression is that he is an admirable, honest, principled man and somebody that we really need as Prime Minister who we can all look up to and admire.”
“However, how much does he understand free markets and what should be happening? I don’t know. Only time will tell. It's too early to make a judgment on this government.”
He also praised how Australia had been keeping up good neighbourly relations with nearby countries, the Sydney Morning Herald reports, rejecting a random notion that China may want to one day own them: “We have to come to terms with the Chinese and live with them. I don't believe they are aggressive. I don't believe they want to take us over.”
The interview was conducted in May to mark The Australian's 50th anniversary, the Guardian reports.
One of the other socio-economic issues to arise in the conversation was the future of Australia's business, industry and welfare.
"All I can see from this distance is the prospect of a lot of unemployment unless we can get small people starting businesses and some bigger industries coming too.
"We can be the low-cost energy country in the world. We shouldn’t be building windmills and all that rubbish.
“It sounds bad coming from me but I think the welfare state has been overdone particularly in Europe.
“With the welfare obligations in Europe you are not going to get growth of more than one or two per cent. We have huge unemployment of young people for many years to come. We’ve got to see this doesn’t happen to us.
“But I don’t believe we should make it payable not to work. There should always be an incentive to work.”
The octogenarian owner of News Corporation also went on to say that man-made climate change is having little impact on the natural order of things.
“Climate change has been going on as long as the planet is here. And there will always be a little bit of it. At the moment the north pole is melting but the south pole is getting bigger. Things are happening. How much of it are we doing, with emissions and so on? As far as Australia goes? Nothing in the overall picture.
"f the temperature rises 3 degrees in 100 years, at the very most one of those [degrees] would be man-made.
"If the sea level rises six inches, that's a big deal in the world, the Maldives might disappear or something, but OK, we can't mitigate that, we can't stop it, we have to stop building vast houses on seashores.
"The world has been changing for thousands and thousands of years. It's just a lot more complicated because we are so much more advanced."