Science and Reef Policy Hijacked by LNP Right Wing

12 August 2019

Reports today that George Christensen is attempting to dictate what type of science should be used to judge the health of the Great Barrier Reef will sound the alarm bells for Australians concerned about its future.
The demand follows a motion recently passed at the Queensland LNP state conference calling for an Orwellian style science checking body that would second-guess scientific conclusions on the health of the Reef.
If Mr Christensen is in charge of determining which science should be ignored and which science should be accepted, you know we have a serious problem. A man who doesn’t believe in climate science or climate change, now wants to have a say on water quality and reef protection science.
Minister Sussan Ley must confirm whether she supports science or she supports Christensen and the LNP state conference, because she can’t do both.
Only two weeks ago the Prime Minister had to tell MPs in his party room to stop policy freelancing and show some internal discipline.
So is this George Christensen defying the PM’s call or is this a science second-guessing, reef-wrecking future government policy?
The LNP’s reef policy is in crisis with this latest splinter following the outrageous decision to hand $444 million dollars of public money to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, an organisation which at the time had annual revenue of about $10 million and was not equipped to handle the money. The Auditor General found the Government had failed to comply fully with rules designed to ensure transparency and value for money.
Christensen’s move comes after a range of Coalition MPs have defied Mr Morrison by freelancing on issues including winding back unfair dismissal protections, Australia’s relationship with China, the use of nuclear energy, including the family home in the assets test for the aged pension and attempting to undermine superannuation.
This Government has no agenda for the Reef and most of the important challenges Australia now confronts, so the hard right wing of the Coalition back bench is imposing them on Mr Morrison, who lacks the authority to shut them down.