MEDIA STATEMENT: Adam Bandt using Cyclone Debbie for political gain

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt was ejected from Parliament today (under standing order 94a) after he passionately defended the people of North Queensland after Greens MP Adam Bandt asked the following at Question Time:

“My question is to the Prime Minister. 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?”

Below is a statement from Keith Pitt MP provided to the media in response to Mr Bandt’s question:

“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.

“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.”

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