AUSTRALIAN Labor Party candidate Jess Jennings wants to know what the National Party plans to do to support farmers through climate change.
Mr Jennings said news of the above average temperatures in 2018 should have been enough to get members of the National Party of Australia talking about climate change.
He said they were instead still in a state of denial about what was happening and were therefore letting the region’s farmers down by not coming up with solutions.
“The National Party should be out there today going ‘There’s a crisis happening, this is affecting our farmers, we want to do something serious about it’ and [they’ve said] nothing,” he said.
Mr Jennings, who hopes to become the member for Calare after this year’s federal election, said he would be responding in a very different way.
He said the Nationals seemed “completely bereft of any idea of the science behind the predictions”, whereas he would be further building on his own extensive climate science knowledge.
“One, is to understand it, and then, two, to try and work out how we go about coming up with policy solutions that support farmers and transition the whole economy into a better state, so the farmers don’t experience what they’re predicting, which is 50 per cent more drought than we would otherwise have if we go above 1.5 or two degrees Celsius,” Mr Jennings said.
He said climate change was the number one issue for governments to prepare for, as it affects not only farmers, but all Australians.
“We’re very well blessed in Australia that we produce enough food for 60 million people, not just the 25 million people in Australia, but we may well see spikes in prices and a lack of availability of certain things,” Mr Jennings said, adding that a warming climate would also impact health and infrastructure.
He said that, moving forward, there needed to be an awareness campaign of climate change and farmers needed to be taught how to adapt their farming practices to a warming climate.