That's our role: to question policy

19 June, 2023

I refer to an article by Chris Kenny in the Weekend Australian where he bemoans the toxicity of politics and the careless response from the press, to his despair—to mine, too. It's nothing we haven't seen before. It's to the point where, after a debate in the House on travel rorts, a member attempted to take his own life whilst I was a member here. It caused huge disruption and upset to both sides of the House, and including right across the political parties. The debate can come to such a point that someone is affected in such a manner. Politics is hard and difficult. It's rough. People make decisions about what they do and when they do it. Sometimes those decisions come back to bite. That was the case last week on both sides.

I've been in this House a long time, and I've heard a lot about renewable energy and how it's our saving grace, yet the technology we have today cannot take us to net zero by 2050 unless there are major breakthroughs. I hope that that would be the case. Kenny says: "We are constantly told by Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen … that renewable energy is the cheapest form of electricity that will provide reliable and affordable supplies into the future. Yet this deceit is not interrogated."

We're allowed to say these things, and no-one comes back to question. He mentions the vaccines here as well, and they weren't questioned by anybody. This is a lack, not only on our part as politicians, of questioning. That's our role: to question policy. You don't have to be on Sky News or anywhere else, but you do have to question. It's my farmers that have to deal with these increased costs of electricity, but it's gone on for me since the day I walked into the House. We need a break from toxicity.

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Russell Broadbent MP
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