PARIS CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY(Leader of the Opposition)(14:19:55): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question about the Paris climate change conference.

Leave granted.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Yesterday in this chamber, the minister tabled a copy of South Australia's Climate Change Strategy 2015-2050. I did have a quick look through it, and it identifies agriculture as one of our biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, although there is no recognition of the great work that minimum tillage and Roundup and a whole range of other new technologies have done to reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture, but that is not the question I am asking. The minister is travelling, I think; we are informed he will be absent tomorrow and all of the next optional sitting week attending the conference in Paris, along with the Premier. My questions to the minister are:

1.Can the minister inform the house how many people will be travelling with the Premier and the minister to attend the climate change conference in Paris? The opposition has heard, and it has been quoted around the traps, that it may be as many as 15 people on that particular delegation, or entourage, or trip.

2.Can the minister inform the house how the carbon emissions from this travel will be offset?

3.Is it correct that he and the Premier are taking a camera crew as part of this entourage?

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER(Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change)(14:21:36): I thank the honourable member for his most important question. I cannot for the life of me understand how these Neanderthals from Tony Abbott throwback days still have not got the message from the federal Liberal Party and the government. They still have not got the memo from Malcolm Turnbull that things have changed and that, in fact, we have a new policy—slightly nuanced, of course. Nothing has changed in terms of the actual application of the policy, but the language has changed.

In fact, his own Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, I think has just been in Paris himself. So, it is quite remarkable that the outlying bastions over here in the Adelaide Club that the Liberal Party are tied to, spend their mornings and afternoons in, have not yet got the memo from the Prime Minister: things have changed. It will happen eventually. I am sure they will even allow them to download—

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: —the latest memo from Liberal Party headquarters at some stage.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Allow the minister to complete his answer. Minister, sit down for a second. You have asked the question. We all sat there in absolute silence while you asked it, so at least give the honourable minister a chance in silence to answer the question. Minister.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Thank you, Mr President, for your protection; I need it desperately. In relation to the question about the party travelling with me, and that is all I am responsible for and all I can speak to, I am taking my chief of staff with me.

The Hon. G.E. Gago interjecting:

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: I know, that is outrageous. I understand our flights have been offset with the Qantas program, which they usually are. I just have to say again: this lot over here on the other side have not got with the program. They have not heard what is coming from the community and what is coming from the business sector.

I have scads of things I can read into the record about how the world has changed, but the Liberal Party in South Australia? Not one jot. They still hark back to the days where we don't like wind farms—they are ugly. They still hark back to the days where climate change is crap, according to the former Prime Minister. They still hark back to the days where coal was good for humanity.

That is the mindset of the Liberal Party opposite. It is not the mindset of Australia; it is not the mindset of Australians, who, in every survey—just last week in the Sunday Mail, what was it, 67 or 65 per cent of South Australians—want further action on renewables and climate change. If they look at the Liberal Party, they are not going to get it over there.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY(Leader of the Opposition)(14:24:35): A supplementary, sir. My unanswered question is: is the Premier taking a camera crew? Is there a camera crew going with him on this trip?

The Hon. G.E. Gago interjecting:

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: I am asking this minister. I know you've only got a couple of days left and you're begging—you want more questions—but the question is to this minister: are you taking a camera crew, and will your chief of staff, as always, be flying up the front of the plane in business class with you?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER(Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change)(14:24:58): The honourable member knows perfectly well he needs to address those questions to the Premier in the other place, and when he wants to do that, he can do it.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY(Leader of the Opposition)(14:25:06): A supplementary question: is the minister telling us he has no idea who is travelling on the taxpayers' purse to Paris tomorrow with the delegation of himself and the Premier? Are you telling us you have no idea?

The PRESIDENT: I think the minister has answered the question.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER(Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change)(14:25:19): Mr President, I have answered the questions related to myself and my portfolio, and that's what I will always do.

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