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Science and Evidence


Rosalie Woodruff MP

Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Tags: Fish Farms, Climate Emergency, Marine Farming Planning Review Panel

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Madam Speaker, since Dr Broad has spent seven minutes of parliament's time having a spray at Ms O'Connor and completely misunderstanding her comments about his qualifications -

Dr BROAD - Point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam SPEAKER - I do have a point of order and I believe he took umbrage.

Dr BROAD - Standing order 127. Personal explanation, it says 'that such matters shall not be debated'.

Madam SPEAKER - I am reluctantly advised that it is not a point of order. I understand your concerns. I would like it if we could play nice in this place.

Dr WOODRUFF - I will play really nice, Madam Speaker. The point is that Dr Broad utterly misunderstands the point that Ms O'Connor had made when she was talking about being perplexed about his qualifications. I am a doctor of Epidemiology and I won't spend parliamentary time talking about the detail of my qualifications or anything like that.

What I understand, as a doctor of science, is that when you do a PhD, you ought to, in my view, have an understanding about logic, about rationality and particularly an understanding about evidence. The way that Dr Broad votes and the comments he makes time and again in this place have first of all surprised and then shocked me that a man with a PhD in science so can so utterly reject the evidence and science in situations that we bring into this house.

Three examples come instantly to mind. First of all, Dr Broad voted against the best legislation in this country on voluntary assisted dying, the best. A conscience vote and he voted against it. All the evidence for it but he voted against it. He voted with ideology and with politics.

The second one, the marine farming review panel. How could a man of science possibly continue to defend to the hilt this Government's toxic marine farm review panel with only five out of nine members on it making an approval for Storm Bay, the largest expansion in the state ever, against all the science, against all the benchmarks of evidence with no one on the panel with any credibility?

Finally, a man of science, a doctor of philosophy, how could he possibly have cooked up an amendment to the Greens motion to call a state of climate emergency in Tasmania? The United Nations International Panel of Climate Change, a thousand scientists, the best in the world, peer reviewed, all in agreement that we must act on this as an issue of urgency, it is an emergency and he cooked up a politically motivated amendment to that.

Frankly, I am tired of it. Let's get on and talk about the evidence. Let's try to make change that is based on the reality of what we are working with and not going with ideology and cooking it up as science.