Opposition leader Ted Baillieu’s weak leadership was on display again as he refused to take a position on climate change action – while one of his backbenchers cast doubt on whether man-made climate change was real, Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings, said today.
In hiding over conflict of interest allegations relating to his private shareholdings, Mr Baillieu’s weak leadership was on display, with his party “reserving its position” rather than backing the Brumby Labor Government’s landmark Climate Change Bill.
Unafraid of her weak leader’s timid support for an emissions trading scheme, Liberal backbencher Christine Fyffe claimed the science was not settled on the issue of man-made climate change.
In the Legislative Assembly, Ms Fyffe said: “Science has not reached a consensus. Climate change has become the new religion and if you dare to question, dare to doubt, you are treated like a heretic. Climate change fanatics shout down anyone with a different viewpoint.”
“Thousands of scientists around the world are in consensus about climate change, yet Mr Baillieu’s weak leadership means he cannot even convince his own party,” Mr Jennings said.
“Mr Baillieu has spent days in hiding over conflict of interest allegations related to his private shareholdings, when he should be showing leadership on the issue of climate change.
“Mr Baillieu wants Victorians to believe he has what it takes to run our State, but he is too weak to even convince his own backbenchers to take action on climate change. Mr Baillieu’s weakness threatens to undermine the best climate change legislation in Australia.”
Mr Jennings said Opposition MPs knew Mr Baillieu’s heart was not in the issue of climate change and he only said he believed in it because it was politically necessary to do so.
“Mr Baillieu has form on climate change. Last year he tried to tell Victorians he believes climate change is real – after claiming in 2006 that he did not believe in climate change,” he said.
“If Mr Baillieu really believes in climate change he must show some leadership and convince the flat-earthers in his party that climate change is real.”
Mr Jennings said the Brumby Labor Government wanted to ensure Victoria had a sustainable future with a healthy environment and strong economy.
“The Brumby Labor Government has put forward our plan to lead the nation and steer Victoria through the challenge of climate change. True to form, Mr Baillieu has been too weak to put forward any sort of plan on climate change. All we’ve had from Mr Baillieu on climate change is weak flip-flops,” Mr Jennings said.
“First Mr Baillieu says he doesn’t believe in climate change, then he says he does. First he says he supports renewable energy, but then he opposes new wind farms. Then he says he supports setting targets for emissions reduction, but he has failed to commit to any targets.”