'Most rural Aussies in the middle' MP says as Nats agrees to 2050

'Most rural Aussies in the middle' MP says as Nats agrees to 2050

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IN THE MIDDLE: Nationals Gippsland MP Darren Chester said despite the extremes on both ends of the climate debate, most Australia were in the middle on the issue. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

IN THE MIDDLE: Nationals Gippsland MP Darren Chester said despite the extremes on both ends of the climate debate, most Australia were in the middle on the issue. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

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"There are extremities on the left and the right, but most Australians are somewhere about the sensible centre."

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THE Nationals have brought their climate views in line with the majority of regional communities after agreeing to a 2050 net-zero emissions target, a senior Nationals MP says.

The details of the plan are yet to be revealed, but it's understood there will be a large focus on cleaner fuels, electric vehicles, and more renewable energy.

Gippsland MP Darren Chester, who has been vocal in the need for stronger climate action, said when it came to climate, "most of Australia is somewhere about the middle on the issue".

"There are extremities on the left and the right, but most Australians are somewhere about the sensible centre," Mr Chester said.

"The world wants Australia to sign up to net zero by 2050 and I think our regional communities want that as well.

"Regional Australians are very mindful of the role they can play but they're also an optimistic and resilient bunch of people that want to get on with doing their part for the future."

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has so far refused to say what compensation regional Australia will receive in exchange for the party's support of the target.

The Nationals pushed for a "socio-economic safety valve", which would include regular reviews of the impacts of the emissions target on jobs and industries in rural and regional areas.

It's understood the climate package will include a new regional future fund and an extra cabinet position that is expected to go to the Resources Minister Keith Pitt, who was moved to the outer cabinet after Mr Joyce retook the Nationals leadership in June.

Further details of the plan will be announced in the coming days, before Prime Minister Scott Morrison flies to Glasgow for the United Nations Climate Change Conference on Thursday.

The National Farmers' Federation, who have publicly backed an economy-wide 2050 target, welcomed news of the deal.

"We look forward to hearing the detail on how the agreed plan will protect and grow new opportunities in our industry and our regions," an NFF spokesperson said.

Despite the majority of the Nationals party room agreeing to the plan, a handful remain vocally opposed. Queensland Senator Matt Canavan said he would continue to campaign against the net-zero target.

Agriculture Minister and deputy Nationals leader was asked if there was concern within the party room that supporting net zero would cost the Nationals seats at the upcoming election.

"Well, we're always worried - you don't anything for granted, but you've got to work in the practical realities of what you're dealt with," Mr Littleproud said.

"What we've got to do is understand the world has changed - we've got to keep pace with it, and we've got to make sure that we minimise the impacts of that."

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said a 2050 target was the bare minimum in the eyes of the international community, yet the Nationals still had to be dragged kicking and screaming to an agreement.

"Net zero by 2050 is basically the admission ticket to the conference in Glasgow for advanced countries like Australia," Mr Albanese said.

"But we've just seen this dragging out and out and out. And I just think Australians are entitled to shake their head at what deals have been done that they're not allowed to even know about."

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