Hinkler MP ejected over Debbie global warming spat

TAX SCRAPPED: Hinkler MP and assistant minister to the deputy prime minister, Keith Pitt.
TAX SCRAPPED: Hinkler MP and assistant minister to the deputy prime minister, Keith Pitt. Eliza Goetze

HINKLER MP Keith Pitt has argued he was "passionately defend(ing) the people of North Queensland" when he was ejected from Federal Parliament yesterday for arguing with Greens MP Adam Bandt, who linked Tropical Cyclone Debbie to human-induced global warming.

"My question is to the Prime Minister," Mr Bandt said in Question Time.

"You recently said keeping Australians safe is our highest priority, and that it's the first duty of my government, and indeed every government.

"We know burning more coal will make global warming worse. Scientists tell us it may mean fewer cyclones, but they will be more intense when they hit.

"But on the very day Queenslanders were preparing for Cyclone Debbie, your resources minister dropped a front page story spruiking a new coal-fired power station in that very state and you backed him in.

"Given the destruction that cyclones wreck upon our country, why do you push policies like burning more coal that will make cyclones more intense?

"Doesn't your duty to keep Australians safe include doing everything you can to stop cyclones becoming more violent?"

It was at this point Mr Pitt interjected and was promptly ordered to leave the House by the Speaker.

He provided a statement in response, describing Mr Bandt's comments on climate change as political point-scoring.

"For the Member for Melbourne, the Greens' Adam Bandt, to try and link what has been a devastating event for North Queensland to his political view is disgraceful," Mr Pitt said.

"As the member for an electorate which has been devastated by floods twice in the past six years and having personally experienced what the people of North Queensland are going through today, I find the Greens political grandstanding on this issue appalling.

"The focus of this parliament, as it rightly should be, is providing support to the people of Queensland which is desperately needed.

"Grandstanding by the Greens when people have potentially lost their homes, businesses and livelihoods is unacceptable.

"I will always stand up for the people I represent, particularly in the face of political point scoring when real people are actually suffering.

"As the Prime Minister said: 'Now is the time to pull together, as we all have. State and Federal, opposition and government and stand behind the people of North Queensland. Putting the men and women of the ADF, the volunteers, the emergency workers, to keep them safe. That's our commitment'.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the people of North Queensland who have been affected by Tropical Cyclone Debbie and the emergency service workers who are already out working on the recovery."

Topics:  adam bandt cyclone debbie federal parliament global warming keith pitt

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