Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher as provided the Gladstone Multicultural Association with $10,000 in funding to host the annual Gladstone Multicultural Week and Festival Day during Multicultural Queensland Month.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher as provided the Gladstone Multicultural Association with $10,000 in funding to host the annual Gladstone Multicultural Week and Festival Day during Multicultural Queensland Month.

Qld MPs address climate policy after bushfires

NOW is not the time to politicise the climate change debate, according to Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher who says the country needs to focus on what's in front of us.

The state Labor member said right now is time to get people back into their homes, their farms and back to work.

"No doubt this debate will happen, but this is not the time," Mr Butcher said.

His comments come after Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared the government's climate change policies needed to "evolve" and will "beat" emissions targets.

But Queensland LNP MPs have baulked at the idea of boosting Australia's emissions reduction targets, with one labelling it "pure symbolism at the expense of the economy".

Mr Morrison acknowledged the nation was facing "a new normal", with more severe natural disasters on the way, revealing he will seek more powers to bring in the Australian Defence Force to respond more quickly.

A proposal for a royal commission into the fires, including climate policies, operational response and burn­offs, will be taken to Cabinet in coming weeks.

Mr Morrison conceded his government's climate policies needed to "evolve" and initially did not rule out increasing the emissions reduction targets.

But soon after he clarified that the climate policies would change within the scope of what he took to the election and would look to "meet and beat" the existing 26-28 per cent reduction target.

"What I'm saying is I'm not willing to put someone's job at risk, a region town's future at risk I won't put up electricity prices to do it or put a tax on them," he said.

Any move to increase Australia's emissions reduction targets would set him on a collision course with some of his conservative backbench.

Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd was not able to be contacted yesterday but he told the Courier Mail this week that Australia was already pulling its weight.


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