This is an issue that has always divided the coalition. You only ever had to scratch the surface to see the deep divisions in the LNP on this issue, and it’s no wonder this has become an election issue once again.
This was all kicked off by Colin Boyce, the LNP candidate for Flynn, who gave an interview stating that the Government’s net-zero policy wasn’t set in stone and had wriggle room.
This was then backed in by Barnaby Joyce, the Deputy Prime Minister, agreeing that it was flexible. He was followed up by Matt Canavan, desperate to restart the coal culture war that he campaigned on in the 2019 election, saying that net-zero was dead.
When I started to write this article earlier in the week, it was just a National versus Liberal implosion. Now you have national party members attacking each other. You have Michelle Landry attacking Matt Canavan, saying he needs to pull his head in.
David Littleproud also attacked Canavan saying the world has moved past him.
On top of nationals attacking nationals, you also have Liberals like Josh Frydenberg, Jason Falinski and Trent Zimmerman attacking the claims that net-zero was flexible. Falinski said it “wasn’t true”, and Zimmerman said it was a “binding commitment”. Frydenberg went further, saying it was a non-negotiable policy commitment.
What is clear is that the Liberals and Nationals are trying to walk both sides of the road. Michael McCormack put this best, saying that Colin Boyce has to say what he needs to be elected. Australians have seen through this, and it’s why seats like Brisbane and Ryan are under threat in Brisbane by strong Labor campaigns highlighting the LNP’s Government’s failures on this issue.
Labor has been upfront with the Australian people. We have one plan, a detailed, comprehensive plan accompanied by detailed economic modelling. In fact, the most comprehensive economic modelling any opposition has done.
We have been upfront with the Australian people, we have outlined our vision for Australia and the jobs and opportunities this will create for Queensland and Australia. Labor is the only party that can look resource workers in the eye and tell them we are fighting for their pay and conditions, something that the culture war warriors in the LNP can’t.
But these attempts to walk both sides by the LNP is why traditionally blue-ribbon seats are under threat by independents, many of whom are running on net-zero by 2050 and other ambitious climate policies.
The Australian people know we need to move towards net-zero by 2050, they understand the opportunity for jobs and growth that comes from having a government focussed on the future.
They are sick of a government where divisions are more important than vision and a culture war rump dictates the policy for the entire nation.
Queensland Labor Senator Anthony Chisholm and his Liberal counterpart Senator James McGrath will bring an upper-house view to the election campaign every Thursday.
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