Politicians clash over the impact of climate change on CQ
CAPRICORNIA MP Michelle Landry warned the people of CQ not to read too much into climate change concerns raised by the Australia Institute and ANU representatives in Rockhampton yesterday.
She cited their lack of relevance in a region usually devoid of their attention.
"Central Queenslanders deserve better than to be lectured to by a bunch of blow-in latte sippers from Canberra,” Ms Landry said.
"These are two well-known left-wing think tanks whose primary objective is to spread fear and smear to make local workers feel responsible for global climate trends.
"By cherry-picking data, these people may have convinced themselves but Central Queenslanders are smart enough to know a straw man argument when they hear one.
"They know a local solution does not solve a global problem.”
Given Australia is responsible for roughly 1.3 percent of global emissions, Ms Landry said making changes locally was "rather ineffective in tackling the global trend”.
She quoted an exchange in a Senate Estimates hearing earlier this year where, Australia's Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel was asked by Senator Ian Macdonald, 'if we reduce the world's carbon emissions by 1.3 per cent, what impact would that have on the changing climate of the world?'
Dr Finkel replied, "Virtually nothing.”
Ms Landry said this was proof positive that the left's inane obsession with emissions was little more than virtue signalling.
"There are things that can be done and are being done to address climate change in this country but to pretend we can shut down our major industries and remain a viable, wealthy country is just nonsense,” she said.
"Each and every one of us should thank a coal miner next time we visit a hospital or public school in Queensland because it is their hard work and the royalties that follow that makes this country strong.
"Central Queenslanders need jobs, they need services, and they need to know the light will turn on when its dark and the aircon when it's hot.
"We do not need to be treated like criminals just because we know how these things are achieved; that's with coal.”
Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Mark Butler said Rockhampton and Queensland stand to bear the consequences of LNP's inability to deal with climate change in any meaningful way.
"It's clear that the LNP has completely embraced an anti-renewable ideology and Scott Morrison will continue to dismiss any action on climate change,” Mr Butler said.
"Since the LNP Federal Government came to power, carbon pollution has been rising and based on the government's own projections, will continue to rise all the way to 2030.
"Climate change is happening and burying our heads in the sand like Michelle Landry and the LNP are doing will simply mean Central Queensland will be left to deal with the economic and social impacts of climate change inaction.”
He said Federal Labor had a common sense pathway to a low pollution economy.
"We'll support cleaner power generation and the lower power prices and new jobs and industries that go with it - this will be good for jobs in Central Queensland, good for the economy and good for the environment,” Mr Butler said.
Ms Landry said it was disappointing to see Labor joining the anti-coal comments, especially given their local Capricornia candidate Russell Robertson has worked in coal mines for many years.
"Minister Butler's comments just further re-inforce just how out of touch the ALP is with Central Queensland,” Ms Landry said.
"One wonders whether their local candidate has the same anti-coal, anti-mining, anti-jobs outlook of his federal counterparts.
"Many people are wondering just what does this fellow stand for; if not mining, what?!”
She said regardless of the "guff and spin that might flow from Labor headquarters, she was focused on the job needs of her constituents”.
"I will keep working for the projects and the industries and the infrastructure that will deliver jobs and opportunities for us here in CQ,” she said.
In a statement on Monday, Australia'a new Environment Minister Melissa Price explained what the coalition intended to do towards addressing the issue of climate change.
"One of my responsibilities as the new Minister for Environment is to ensure Australia remains on track to meet our international commitments,” Ms Price said.
"To be clear on this, Australia will meet our Paris emissions target without compromising the economy.
"Our approach remains the best way to meet our 2030 target.”
She said no country in the world was relying on a single policy.
"This is the responsible approach to policy, as is reviewing your existing policies to ensure they are meeting your objectives,” she said
"The Emissions Reduction Fund - a $2.55 billion investment - is one of the tools we are using to reduce emissions.
"The ERF has contracted with farmers, landholders and Indigenous communities to deliver practical investment, helping our regional communities while reducing emissions.”
As well as helping meet Australia's international obligations, she said the ERF helps to re-vegetate degraded land, improve livestock management, reduce high-intensity wildfires in Northern Australia's savannas and provide a much needed secondary source of income in times of drought.
She mentioned the coalition's $1 billion investment in other Landcare initiatives to help farming communities, the Green Army program, and their $450 million Regional Land Partnership program which aims to improve land sustainability, find better ways to combat drought and boost future productivity of land into the future.
"Our investment will help farmers and agricultural industries improve soil, biodiversity and vegetation, to increase the capacity of our farms to adapt both to climate change and evolving market demands,” she said.
"We need to start seeing our environment as an asset. Managing it and maximising benefits on the ground and for our communities. Good environmental and economic outcomes are not mutually exclusive.”