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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Page: 6714


Dr LEIGH (Fraser) (13:34): It is difficult to recall a government with as poor an environmental record as the Abbott government. Last night the World Heritage Committee rebuked the Prime Minister's environmental measures and gave the government one year to improve its management of the Great Barrier Reef before reconsidering whether to have it listed as in danger. The Great Barrier Reef is an asset for all Australians, but it is being treated with abandon by this government—a government that is walking away from the hard science on climate change in favour of the lunatic fringe.

There are members of this government who do not believe that the planet is warming, who believe that climate change is a great hoax of the Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO and NASA. Members of the government share the view of this weathervane Prime Minister that climate change is, as he put it, 'absolute crap'. The Prime Minister has held many views on many issues. He has famously flipped his view on paid parental leave, once saying he would only support it over his dead body and now casting it as his signature move. He said there would be no cuts to the pension, health or education and has now backflipped on that. As the member for Wentworth has noted, he has held every possible position on climate change. The time for cheap talk on climate change must be over. We need hard science and good economics to guide decisions.