Politics with Michelle Grattan

Minister David Littleproud on bushfires, drought, and the Nationals

November 13, 2019

Bushfires continue to burn across NSW and Queensland, the death toll has risen, and the damage to properties, wildlife and the environment is devastating. With conditions predicted to worsen over the summer, climate change has inevitably come into the frame.

The Prime Minister and Opposition leader have said policy arguments should be avoided until the immediate crisis has passed, but many - including former emergency chiefs and some victims - disagree. And Greens and Nationals have had vitriolic exchanges.

The Nationals David Littleproud has ministerial responsibility for water, drought, and natural disaster and emergency management. In this podcast, he says while “the man on the street” can link climate change and the bushfires, but “as elected officials, we’ve got a responsibility” to wait for the right time to have such discussions.

After announcing the government’s drought package last week, Littleproud criticises the states for not stepping up their efforts, and says they have done “three-fifths of bugger all”.

Additional audio: 

A List of Ways to Die, Lee Rosevere, from Free Music Archive

Image: 

AAP/Dan Peled