Senate debates

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Questions without Notice

Climate Change

2:16 pm

Photo of Bridget McKenzieBridget McKenzie (Victoria, National Party, Minister for Agriculture) Share this | Hansard source

Well, I do apologise: I haven't been across the newspapers in the last couple of days. But I can answer the question. I believe in the science of climate change; I always have. I think the most important thing we need to focus on is ensuring that we take strong action on climate change. That is exactly what our government has been doing, with our Climate Solutions Fund and with a range of programs, across my own portfolio in agriculture and right across government, to assist lower emissions right across the economy so that we can meet our Paris targets and take strong action on climate change. That's what the Australian people voted for. That is what we as a government are taking very, very seriously.

But what I really struggle with, Senator Di Natale, at this point in time—and Senator Watt, I did have a chance to glance at Twitter over the last couple of days, and I saw you take Senator Di Natale to task on politicising the horrific bushfires that Queensland and New South Wales are going through right now, with volunteer firefighters, farmers, householders and business owners running for their livelihoods from the devastation these fires are wreaking—is that, rather than actually focusing on assisting that effort on the ground today, tomorrow and next week, you come in here day after day and waste your question on making cheap political points on whether our government takes climate change seriously. Well, we do. We signed up to the Paris Agreement. We have a whole suite of initiatives across every single portfolio to address it. (Time expired)

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