Press Release No 5 (6.10.14)

Candidate Criticises Radical Views on Climate Change

Independent Candidate in Gippsland East Peter Gardner lashed out at what he called “science denying radicals” running the conservative parties across the country.

He stated that: “The conservative parties in Australia and North America seem captured by science denying radicals. Where are the moderates of the Liberal and National parties on this matter? Where are the moderates of the Menzies and Hamer eras?

Malcolm Turnbull, when leader of the federal opposition, said: “Climate change is a global problem. The planet is warming because of the growing level of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. If this trend continues, truly catastrophic consequences are likely to ensue from rising sea levels, to reduced water availability, to more heat waves and fires”. In the meantime both the state of politics and the effects of climate change are getting worse.

“Coalition voters are rightly concerned when they hear things like the Shepparton farmer who bulldozed his 10,000 peach trees because weather patterns are now no longer right for growing peaches. This is in an area no longer suitable for peach growing, where there are now too many hot spells and frosts and damaging summer rains for peaches.*

Coalition voters are also rightly concerned when their farming land is threatened by Coal and Coal Seam Gas developments. By projects that threaten to industrialise the countryside from the Latrobe Valley to Orbost. Farmers have the most to gain from effective policies against climate change and the most to lose in the long term if these policies are ineffectual.

“Many sensible policies like the Renewable Energy Target, Energy Efficiency programs and the Feed in Tariff for rooftop solar are all under attack both state and federally. In Victoria the Napthine government has brought the wind industry to a standstill. Why is there not also a 2 kilometre exclusion zone for the far more harmful coal and coal seam gas projects proposed across Gippsland? The answer is that none of these projects would proceed under such restrictions.

“The Napthine government has also twice slashed the feed-in-tariff for solar energy from household rooftops to 8 cents, continued to subsidise and promote brown coal, dumped their emissions reduction target, scrapped solar hot water rebates and instructed public servants not to use the words ‘climate change’.

“Why is this problem based on sound science and so recently accepted by the Liberals and Nationals in a bipartisan fashion now so divisive? Is it because the anti-science faction owes the big multinational (and mostly foreign owned) electricity generators, coal and CSG companies a favor?

“Climate change affects us all. For many voters there now seems nowhere to go as the coalition has been taken over by radicals who are reversing most climate action and are intent on major fossil fuel developments. It is time for the major parties and all politicians at all levels of government to return to a bipartisan approach and to treat the problem with the seriousness it deserves.

“You can help send a direct message to Spring St and the major parties by firstly voting independent or minor party before casting your preference for the party of your choice.