Nationals MP wants sensible climate stance

·1-min read

Nationals MP Anne Webster wants her party to take a sensible approach to climate action amid fears the hardline stance of some of her colleagues will cost regional votes.

The Mallee MP representing Victoria's northwest has issued a rebuke to returned Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's pledge to have a "laser-like focus" on coal seats.

"We have no coal (in Mallee). And there are other electorates of my colleagues where we have no coal," Dr Webster told AAP.

"I am not in Hunter, I'm not in Queensland. These are the issues that they face and not the issues that are burning in my electorate."

Other Victorian Nationals including Damian Drum have voiced similar concerns.

Dr Webster said the Nationals needed a balanced, thoughtful and measured approach to climate change.

However, she does not support signing up to a target of net zero emissions by 2050, citing the lack of a plan about the risks involved for sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and mining.

Nationals frontbencher Bridget McKenzie, who represents another rural Victorian seat, is also against setting a net zero target.

Fellow Victorian Darren Chester last week said the party could wave goodbye to a generation of voters if it yielded to the "climate denial agenda" of hardline MPs and senators.

Mr Chester was stripped of his veterans' affairs portfolio and dumped from cabinet after Mr Joyce regained leadership of the Nationals.

Queensland MP Keith Pitt's resources portfolio was also dropped from cabinet.

Mr Joyce does not support Australia committing to a target of net zero emissions by 2050 without more information about the cost for regional areas.

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