MIL-OSI Australia: Transcript – TV interview – Sky News, Newsday with Kieran Gilbert

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Source: Australian Executive Government Ministers

KIERAN GILBERT [HOST]: Welcome back to the program. Let’s go live to the south coast of New South Wales. Joining me is the Regional Development Minister, Kristy McBain. Thanks for your time. On the politics of this latest stoush over climate, has support in the electorate diminished as the cost of living challenges have risen in recent times?

KRISTY MCBAIN [MINISTER]: I don’t think so. Across the south coast and across so many areas that have been impacted, particularly by the Black Summer bushfires, having a target to address climate change is still an absolute necessity for people. I don’t think that there is a person here that says get rid of a target. In fact, all the target is doing is highlighting that we need to address a problem. We’ve got to work towards it. Scrapping the 2030 target, or scrapping a net zero target by 2050, like Barnaby Joyce or Matt Canavan are suggesting, would be ludicrous to people that have lived through a number of natural disasters. More needs to be done in the mitigation and resilience space. We know that the Disaster Ready Fund, in particular in areas that have already been impacted, has been heralded as the thing that we should be moving towards. We should be putting more money into mitigation and resilience to protect communities and to protect livelihoods.

GILBERT: What do you say to Peter Dutton’s argument that, and it’s been articulated by many of his team over the last 24-48 hours, is that you’re not going to get to that 2030 target anyway?

MCBAIN: That’s a nonsense. Having a target or a quota actually identifies that there’s a problem you’re trying to address. By reaching 90 per cent of the target, you’ve done 90 per cent better than you would have if you didn’t have a target at all. In fact, I was in Eden this morning and a gentleman said to me, without having a target, what are you working towards? All the coalition wants to do is put this off into the back burner. We know that the climate wars are still raging within the opposition parties. Unfortunately for us, who are living in reality, we need to address the issue that we see in front of us. In a place like Eden-Monaro, where you’ve had 36 declared natural disasters in five years, they want us to address these issues. They want us to deal with mitigation and resilience matters. They want us to get on with protecting communities. That’s exactly what we’re doing, not only by having a target, but by also having things like the disaster ready fund. Working with councils to make sure that we’ve got more liveable and vibrant communities that can deal with these things, by investing dollars into our telecommunication systems so that they don’t go down during a natural disaster. All these things communities are asking for us to work on, we’re doing. If the coalition gets back in power, they’re basically saying to communities, you’re on your own.

GILBERT: You were one of the local Mayors in that period, and no doubt you would have been watching on the federal parliament as many of those battles ensued over climate policy. In 2024, do you think the electorate, do you think the politics have moved on from that?

MCBAIN: From where I stand, climate wars are at an end. People know that these things are happening. They can see it around them. Our farmers know that they’ve got to deal with droughts, with floods, with fires, and they want to be more resilient into the future. They’re asking for more money to go into research, so that they know the types of things they should be farming into the future. Communities who have been through natural disasters want us to get on with the job of making their communities more resilient and more safe from the next natural disaster. We’re not going to be able to stop natural disasters happening, but what we can do is help communities. By turning your back on that, and turning your back on climate change targets, is just leaving communities on their own without any assistance at all. We don’t want to go back to those days.

GILBERT: I know this is not your area, but the teal seats, what are the implications there, do you believe? Sophie Scamps was on this program yesterday. She says she thinks the coalition’s given up on those seats.

MCBAIN: They’ve one hundred percent given up on a whole range of what used to be blue ribbon Liberal seats. They’re walking away from climate change targets, they’re walking towards a nuclear pathway, and they’re walking towards division that the community largely rejected in the 2022 election. What people want to see is a bit of hope, a bit of a vision for the future, a plan for how Australia is going to get back on top. That’s what they’re seeing now. That Future Made in Australia policy was all about trying to set Australia up to be at the forefront of an energy transition that’s happening across the world. We don’t want to let these transitions happen and be at the end of them. We want to be at the start of the process. We want our country and our communities to be making dollars out of this process. We want to make sure that our communities can reap the benefits of a transition. A Future Made in Australia is all about positioning Australia on the global stage, as a global player.

GILBERT: Minister for Regional Development, Kristy McBain. We will stay in touch. Thanks for your time. Appreciate it.