BUSHFIRE CRISIS: Activists rally for climate action at Sydney Town Hall on January 10. Picture: Jenny Evans/Getty Images.
BUSHFIRE CRISIS: Activists rally for climate action at Sydney Town Hall on January 10. Picture: Jenny Evans/Getty Images.

Aus doing ‘too much’ to combat climate change: Christensen

MAVERICK Dawson MP George Christensen believes Australia is doing "too much" to address "so-called climate change".

Despite Federal Science Minister Karen Andrews' recent warning that climate change deniers were "wasting time", Mr Christensen demanded the data to prove that it was a factor in Australia's recent raging bushfires.

"The government is taking major action on climate change," he said.

"It's probably above and beyond what I even believe to be necessary."

But he shared a more direct opinion on his official Facebook page on Thursday, posting: "Are we doing enough about so-called climate change? In my view, too much."

Mr Christensen said ensuring appropriate fuel load management was his biggest concern about the bushfire crisis.

"If people are out there claiming that there's something different that has caused this event, then they need to show the data for that," he said.

Dawson MP George Christensen. Picture: Tony Martin
Dawson MP George Christensen. Picture: Tony Martin

"I've got to say that there would be no data because it's far too early in the piece to be doing that analysis.

"But there is no reason to believe that this event has different causes than any other event that's happened in recent history."

Mr Christensen said drought, caused by El Nino and the Indian Ocean Dipole, had contributed to a "warming of Australia".

But shutting down coal mines and industries would not stop extreme weather events from occurring in Australia, he said.

"We need to invest heavily in technological advances in research and development for renewable and low carbon emissions technology that is actually cost competitive," Mr Christensen said.

Mackay Conservation Group co-ordinator Peter McCallum hit back at the Dawson MP's claims.

Mackay Conservation Group co-ordinator Peter McCallum.
Mackay Conservation Group co-ordinator Peter McCallum.

"The experts in fire management are the firefighters, and they have done as best as they can to reduce the fuel loads last year," Mr McCallum said.

"Even with hazard reduction burning, fires have still gone through those forests and properties.

"It's not the fuel load that is the problem, it is the hot and dry conditions that have caused these massive fires, which are unprecedented in Australia."

Political expert Dr Chris Salisbury, from the University of Queensland, said Mr Christensen's climate change scepticism would not impact his support in the electorate.

"I don't think George has made any secret of the fact that he's a dissenter from that kind of consensus," Dr Salisbury said.

"I don't think people really judge him on that particular merit, so I don't think it's going to cost him, at least not in the short term."


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