Reef visit fuels emissions conversation

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The sun was shining for the first time in months when Anthony Albanese's ferry arrived at Fitzroy Island in far north Queensland.

The area has been battered by the torrential rain that is now hitting the state's south, causing flash flooding and putting residents on evacuation alert.

With the sparkling blue sea as a background, Mr Albanese announced Labor's pledge to conserve what is left of the Great Barrier Reef.

If elected, Labor has pledged work with the Queensland government, Indigenous communities, businesses and landowners to help save one of Australia's most iconic natural assets.

Yet despite his promise to do more to protect the reef Mr Albanese is not intending to be more ambitious in addressing its greatest threat: climate change.

Labor will have a climate change authority and will listen to the science if elected, Mr Albanese promised.

But experts have already warned Labor's 2030 target to reduce emissions by 43 per cent is not going to be enough to save the reef.

Mr Albanese said Labor's climate action plan was about installing mechanisms in the economy to drive change, including incentives for electric vehicle uptake, installing community batteries and supporting renewables.

"Our plan is a serious plan," he told reporters on Fitzroy Island.

"We will do what we have said in government. We believe it's a good policy, it's one that's been welcomed and one that will end the climate wars."

Asked how he could marry up a pledge to protect the Great Barrier Reef at the same time as he supports the coal and gas industries in Queensland, Mr Albanese said Australia needs to do both.

"You need to address climate change not just by domestic action but being a part of international action as well," he said.

"At the moment, Australia goes to international climate conferences and Scott Morrison gives an empty speech to an empty room.

"We can end the climate wars but to end the climate wars we need to end this government."

Fitzroy Island is in the seat of Leichhardt, held by Liberal-National MP Warren Entsch.

The opposition leader said while Mr Entsch advocates for action to save the reef, he is hostage to the deputy prime minister.

"The problem is that (Entsch is) part of a government whereby Barnaby Joyce constrains any action taking place.

"Barnaby Joyce is in charge of this government's climate policy," Mr Albanese said.

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