Gympie election candidates reveal whether or not they believe in climate change and what they would do about it. Picture: Robyne Cuerel
Gympie election candidates reveal whether or not they believe in climate change and what they would do about it. Picture: Robyne Cuerel

Some candidates deny climate change, others dodge question

NAILING the right environmental narrative in the lead-up to this Saturday’s state election has been elusive during the Queensland state election 2020 campaign.

WATCH HERE: Party leaders go head to head in People’s Forum

Queensland’s greenhouse emissions account for 32 per cent of Australia’s total and are trending upwards, according to the latest national data.

WATCH THE REPLAY: Gympie election candidates go head to head

So, where to the seven men and one woman who would be the Member for Gympie sit on this key issue?

REVEALED: The 40 most powerful and influential people in the Gympie region 2020

We asked each of them: Do you believe in climate change and that mankind has, and is, impacting it? What would you do to address the issue if elected?

This is their response:

NICHOLAS FAIRBAIRN IMOP

Whilst I do believe there is some impact from society I believe we have come a long way. I would work with the community, farmers and small business’s to come up with innovative and regenerative practices. I would take on suggestions from the community and do everything in my power to get them implemented.

Nicholas Fairbairn
Nicholas Fairbairn

TONY PERRETT LNP

As someone who is deeply connected with working on the land, I have regularly dealt with climate variability. Of course, the climate changes and common sense says you learn to adapt to all weather and seasonal conditions.

Deb Frecklington and Tony Perrett. Photo Patrick Woods / Gympie Times
Deb Frecklington and Tony Perrett. Photo Patrick Woods / Gympie Times

DONNA REARDON INDEPENDENT

Times are a changing. Have a look at the shorelines! Our Island Archipelagos have had land inundated by sea water and have asked for help. The water is rising and that is a fact. We must reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to help cool the planet. Since covid, the planet is breathing again and mountains visible again. There is alternative fuel sources now and the alternatives are getting smarter and cheaper. Renewables will be part of our future. Renewable energy is worth investing in for the future.

GEOFF WILLIAMS ALP

Yes I do believe in it and I do think we are contributing to it. I would try to transition to 100 per cent of electricity transmission being obtained from renewable energy as soon as practical.

Gympie ALP candidate Geoff Williams
Gympie ALP candidate Geoff Williams

LAUREN GRANGER-BROWN GREENS

The theory that CO2 produced by the burning of fossil fuels could alter the Earth’s climate was first proposed in 1896 by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius. Warming was observed in the North Atlantic in the 1930s, and increased government funding for research into this in the 1950s, particularly by military bodies concerned with how climatic conditions would impact on their Cold War activities, confirmed in 1960 that atmospheric CO2 was rising and warming the planet. Since that time, climate models, technology and methods have all improved, and the research, and even amateur observations, provides sufficient evidence of the fact that we are now experiencing a climate crisis, and that our continued denial and dithering on this issue presents an existential threat. History lesson aside, the climate crisis is not a matter of ‘belief’ or an article of faith; it is a measure, and we are feeling the effects first hand here in Queensland, where we generate some of the highest per capita rates of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GGE) in the world. The Greens intend to set a net zero or negative GGE target with a reduction across all sectors, including a variety of incentives, regulatory mechanisms and an equitable transition to 100% publicly-owned renewable energy by 2030. Over the next four years, our plan will create 23,000 jobs a year in the energy transition, and an additional 19,000 jobs a year through the manufacturing of components here in Queensland.

MICHAEL BLAXLAND ONE NATION

I believe that there is insufficient evidence from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel and that more research needs to be done to prove that mankind has negatively impacted our climate.

Geoff Williams, Tony Perrett, Michael Blaxland, Donna Reardon, Lauren Granger-Brown, Roland Maertens, Tim Jerome, Nicholas Fairbairn, candidates Gympie state election.
Geoff Williams, Tony Perrett, Michael Blaxland, Donna Reardon, Lauren Granger-Brown, Roland Maertens, Tim Jerome, Nicholas Fairbairn, candidates Gympie state election.

ROLAND MAERTENS INDEPENDENT

As a citizen who is not a scientist, I think most of us want and need a clean and sustainable environment. We can all make small changes to contribute to this aim. A third green waste council garbage bin would be a start.

TIM JEROME INDEPENDENT

Space will not allow me to express what I really think on this subject and because of this people may not really grasp what I believe and think. Please go to my website to see more. Our climate has been changing since the start of time. I am very much a person who believes in balance. I am not a doomsday climate activist, nor am I that stupid or ignorant to believe that humans are not impacting out weather cycles.

Independent Wide Bay candidate Tim Jerome with his family.
Independent Wide Bay candidate Tim Jerome with his family.

In other words where it now rains and does not rain because of industrialisation and land clearing. If we as humans removed all the trees and vegetation from a certain area in this region then the weather patterns will change and the reverse will happen as well. Widgee and Woolooga are good examples of this. Rain clouds are drawn to the ranges where there is high density tree and vegetation coverage and conversely big parts of Widgee and Woolooga miss out because of the massive land clearing that happened many years ago on the plains. Education and using practical means is key to this complex problem. We can use practical means to fix problems that we as humans may have created. Regenerative agriculture is one of those practical ways we can fix the problem that industrial farming has caused over the past years. Regenerative agriculture uses high density mulching and rotational grazing and other natural means to improves soil composition which helps plants take in more CO2 from the atmosphere and put it back into the ground where it is useful. Farmers being allowed to build bigger dams to drought proof their farms, will again allow for greener farms which will take in more CO2 and improve soil composition. I have more on this subject on my website that outline my policies on the subject