Climate a 'hot' topic among farmers in the lead up to election

FREE EDUCATION: Dr Mehreen Faruqi and Michael Bayles making their announcement at the Multicultural Council Community Garden earlier this week. Picture: Annie Lewis
FREE EDUCATION: Dr Mehreen Faruqi and Michael Bayles making their announcement at the Multicultural Council Community Garden earlier this week. Picture: Annie Lewis

With the Federal election looming, climate change has become a divisive topic among Riverina residents.

Harden farmer, Peter Holding, said whichever party has the strongest policy to tackle global warming would be getting his vote.

"It's a huge anomaly that we have policies such as the Murray Darling Basin Plan that ignore what is happening," he said. "Something needs to be done. I am afraid I am over hoping for rain. If I was in Queensland, I would be worried about Adani as coal uses so much groundwater."

Mr Holding said politicians need to start creating a transition plan to renewable energy that is reliable and ensures workers in the coal industry are not left hanging.

"If we don't start sending a strong message then I am concerned for the future of regional Australia," he said.

Riverina farmer, Martin Honner, said he does not think climate change is the most important issue.

"In rural areas, there is a lack of real commitment to infrastructure," he said.

"I think the mismanagement of the Murray Darling Basin Plan is a much higher issue and so is all the multi-national companies that are not paying tax."

Mr Honner said politicians were neglecting rural and regional areas.

A Junee farmer who did not wish to be named said he is concerned about climate change, but that he understands why the country sticks to coal.

"What we are putting up into the atmosphere is having an effect," he said.

"I think we should look into using uranium."

The farmer said although he understands people are disillusioned with politics, he would encourage them to look to the major parties as a way to ensure whoever wins the election can fulfill their promises.

Greens candidate for the Riverina Michael Bayles said there is a emergency.

"Unlike the two major parties we do not accept donations from the fossil fuel industry and neither do we provide subsidies to that industry," he said.

"Stopping the Adani coal mine is central to our plans. The full support of the Liberal and National coalition for Adani and the equivocation of Labor is symptomatic of the major parties' addiction to coal."

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