Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson
Resources Minister, Felix Ellis, may think he's God's gift to Parliament, but he is quickly gaining a reputation for arrogance and shameless science denials.
Not long ago, Mr Ellis was embarrassed by an ABC Fact Check rebuke of his anti-science claims. It appears that public shaming wasn't enough to make him think twice about again dismissing basic facts in GBE hearings today.
In response to questions about the critically endangered swift parrot, Forestry Tasmania CEO Steve Whiteley highlighted its unpredictable foraging and breeding habits. In doing so, he confirmed the findings of scientific studies, and demonstrated why they found native forest logging is a direct threat to the species' survival.
The Minister, however, provided a response that was shocking - even for him.
First, Minister Ellis rejected consistent scientific findings that native forest logging is a direct threat to the threatened parrot. Then he went a step further, claiming logging forest in areas zoned as Important Swift Parrot Habitat does not actually result in a loss of habitat.
Mr Ellis clearly thought he was being pretty clever, but smugly grinning and claiming logging habitat doesn't result in a loss in habitat is nonsensical. He followed up his anti-science swift parrot perfidy with outlandish claims that forestry operations were not carbon emitters.
It would be laughable if Mr Ellis wasn’t responsible for the biodiverse carbon bank forest estate the swift parrot - and Tasmanians - need protected.
Felix Ellis' ambition for higher office is obvious to anyone. If he wants to slide up the Liberal food chain, however, he might want to think more carefully about his public statements and the reputation he's already building.