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Nationals don't know own climate change policy

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Getting the Nationals to explain their climate change policy is one of the greatest moral challenges of our times, says Independent MP Rob Oakeshott.

Nationals candidate for Lyne, David Gillespie, next to sitting member, Rob Oakeshott.


IT has now been one week since two-time National Party candidate for Lyne David Gillespie called for a referendum on carbon pricing without knowing his own party’s policy on Climate Change.

Independent Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott said he and other ABC Radio listeners were surprised to hear Mr Gillespie confess “I’ll have to go back to my notes” when asked about the National Party’s Climate Change plan.

“Fortunately for Mr Gillespie, the electronic political magazine Crikey has since found a copy of the National Party’s speaking notes and published them online,” Mr Oakeshott said.

The documents reveal:

  1. The National Party and the Labor Party agree on the science of climate change

  2. The National Party and the Labor Party agree on the need for a policy response to the science

  3. The National Party and the Labor Party agree on a 5 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020 as the core of the policy response.

  4. [See the Nationals climate change plan here in PDF]

    “What a rainbow alliance on climate change – the National Party and the Labor Party in agreement on science and policy principles,” Mr Oakeshott said.

    “This written and agreed policy position of the National Party is, however, at direct odds with its very public relationship with groups such as the Galileo Movement, the Australian Taxpayers Alliance, the Consumers and Taxpayers Association, and the many other anti-science and anti-government groups rallying around the ‘carbon-dioxide-is-plant-food’ cause.

    “I therefore again invite Mr Gillespie, and all National Party MPs, to explain the cost of their climate change policy to householders.

    “My position on this issue has been clear and consistent since 2008. It is National Party MPs, and now Mr Gillespie, who, for political reasons, are ducking and weaving on their very own climate change policies.

    “It is well and truly time for them to explain the detail, particularly when these same people are keen for a referendum on carbon,” Mr Oakeshott said.

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