Bob Carr offered top post in UTS Australia China body

Fresh from dishing out undiplomatic disclosures in his bombshell book, Diary of a Foreign Minister, Bob Carr intends to keep an international presence, taking a key role at a new institute fostering relations between Australia and China.

The University of Technology, Sydney has offered Mr Carr a "leading role" at its new Australia China Relations Institute.

Discussions on the post are "ongoing but we expect to conclude [them] shortly", a spokesman for UTS told Fairfax Media.

"As former premier of NSW and former Australian minister for foreign affairs, Mr Carr would contribute a wealth of experience to the new institute which will foster productive bilateral relationships and multidisciplinary collaboration between Australian and Chinese researchers," UTS said.

"Engagement with China was a hallmark of Bob Carr’s term as minister for foreign affairs, including his role in securing agreements for an annual leadership dialogue with Chinese government leaders."

Mr Carr said in a recent interview that he was "keenly interested" in Sino-Australian ties.

"To have an institute devoted to that - not to China in general, not to Australian foreign policy in general, not just to national security concerns – but specifically to the Australian-China relationship, that’s significant, that’s new."

However, the former foreign minister may not get much support from his successor in the wake of his diary revelations.

Julie Bishop on Wednesday said the book "carries a real risk of damaging Australia's standing among currently serving world leaders".

Mr Carr reproduces text messages between himself and Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, reports on private conversations with senior officials including former United States secretary of state Hillary Clinton and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and reveals briefing notes describing Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as "flirtatious".

Green leaning

Mr Carr also intends to remain active on domestic matters, accepting the role of patron for the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN), a grassroots environment group within the ALP.

A former NSW environment minister, Mr Carr said he had been in the "vanguard" shaping Labor as the party of the environment. The state’s national parks expanded by 1 million hectares under his decade as premier, he said.

"As long as I live, I will be lending my support to nature conservation," Mr Carr said.

As a patron of LEAN, Mr Carr said he intended to remind Labor members and the public that the ALP was "the authentic green party" because of its track record in office.

He described it as "altogether bewildering" that the Coalition did not have a "keen interest" in preserving the natural world, and dismissed the Greens as largely "a leftist party".

While climate change gets little mention in his book, Mr Carr said it posed a "fundamental" threat to an already fast-degrading natural world.

"We are testing the tolerance of great natural systems that are groaning and straining."

- with Jonathan Swan

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