12 Sep 2015

Australia's Dutton overheard joking about rising seas in Pacific

7:27 am on 12 September 2015

Australia's immigration minister has been overheard quipping about the plight of Pacific countries facing rising sea levels from climate change.

Peter Dutton was speaking with the country's Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who had just returned from the Pacific Islands Forum Summit in Papua New Guinea, where climate change was a key focus.

Noting that the meeting was running late in audio broadcast by the ABC, Mr Dutton remarked that it was running to "Cape York time", to which Mr Abbott replied, "we had a bit of that up in Port Moresby."

Mr Dutton then responded:

"Time doesn't mean anything when you're about to have water lapping at your door [laughter]"

The Social Services minister, Scott Morrison, then pointed out that there was a large television microphone directly above them.

Mr Dutton later refused to comment about his quip, describing the exchange as a private conversation.

Peter Dutton

Peter Dutton Photo: AAP