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Does Peter Gutwein Believe Eric or the Experts?

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 27 January 2020

Tags: Climate Change, Fuel Reduction Burns, Bushfires

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

Senator Eric Abetz’s attempts to blame the Greens for this season’s bushfires is unsurprising given he has made a career out of deceitful, green-bashing politics.

Tasmanians have overwhelmingly rejected this nonsense. They know Abetz is lying, and instead they are listening to the experts – fire chiefs, climate scientists, Aboriginal people, bushfire victims – who tell us that it is climate change that’s having the biggest influence on bushfire threat.

So who does our new Premier believe? Eric Abetz, or the experts?

Premier Peter Gutwein has said climate is a priority for his government, appointed himself as Climate Change Minister, and admitted the changing nature of the fire season.

But we’ve also seen the Premier echoing PM Scott Morrison and Eric Abetz’s talking points about hazard reduction burns at a press conference last week.

If Premier Gutwein believes in climate action, and is listening to the experts and the community, he should publicly reject Eric Abetz’s lies, and instead accept we’re in a climate emergency that requires a scientific approach.

Experts say global heating is the most important factor in Australia’s increasing bushfire risk. Senator Abetz is the Tasmanian who is most single-handedly responsible for Australia's systemic climate denialism and inaction. 

So, who does Premier Gutwein believe?

If the Premier really wants to make climate change a priority for his government, he should follow the lead of the Tasmanian community and publicly reject the lies and scapegoating of this climate-denying dinosaur.