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Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Page: 34


Senator PRATT (Western Australia) (15:12): Senator Hume and Senator Seselja might try and do their best to paper over the enormous cracks in the coalition on climate change policy, but these cracks, which have been there all along, have really come to the fore, absolutely decimating any credibility the government has in this space. While Prime Minister Scott Morrison was out and about at the G7 in the UK last week, trying to spruik Australia's climate change credentials, Barnaby Joyce, who doesn't support the very target that the Prime Minister was spruiking, was returned as Australia's Deputy Prime Minister.

Senator Hume was asked about Sussan Ley's interview this morning on RN, in which she refused to guarantee that Mr Morrison's preference—which he had just put forward on the world stage in order to rehabilitate our credibility—would survive Barnaby Joyce's return as Deputy Prime Minister. Sussan Ley simply said, 'We will have discussions with the Nationals.' What does Barnaby say? Barnaby doesn't come out and forthrightly say, 'I don't believe in climate change targets.'

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Pratt, I remind you to refer to members in the other place by their correct titles.

Senator PRATT: Mr Joyce doesn't say, 'I'll just announce my new climate change target.' No. He says, 'I'll listen to the National Party.' Indeed, what do we know about what the National Party thinks? As we've heard, time and time again in this place, they don't support these targets. To be honest, this puts them completely out of step with their own constituency. It's little wonder to me that the National Party has no federal seats in Western Australia. WAFarmers president Rhys Turton said, on record:

We understand that climate change is real, that it's affecting farms in Western Australia and it needs a whole-world approach.

Australian agriculture has an equal and equitable obligation—

I'm sorry about this coughing; I can't—

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Okay. Thank you, Senator Pratt. We will move to Senator McDonald.