Nats Net-Zero Division: Darren Chester walks away from ‘dysfunctional’ party hall | North Queensland Registry

NATIONALS are sharply divided over 2,050 net zero emissions, with a senior MP taking “some time” away from the village hall.

Gippsland MP Darren Chester expressed frustration with the leadership and leadership of the party, announcing that he had “decided to take a break from organized meetings, events and activities” in the Nationals village hall .

Mr Chester, who was removed from his post when Barnaby Joyce took over the party leadership in October, said he would reassess his position when Parliament returned in October.

“To be clear, I continue to support the coalition government, but I wish to step away from the Federal Nationals parliamentary party room to reflect on a number of important issues,” Mr. Chester said.

“The party hall and the way it operates right now is pretty dysfunctional. Regional Australia needs a strong voice but a sane voice.”

The question of a net zero goal in 2050 reaches a climax within the Nationals and divides the party, as the liberals push their coalition partner to agree a plan before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November.

Whether the nationals agree will depend on what the Liberals can offer in return for regional Australia, including funding for the agriculture, resources and transport industries.

Mr Joyce has resisted calls for a net zero plan, but recently indicated he would agree to a firm target for 2050 until regions are worse off.

The Deputy Prime Minister is under increasing pressure to negotiate a deal and convince his domestic colleagues, as Australia could face international trade tariffs if its climate policy remains stagnant.

Mr Joyce is also being pressed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is urged by the US and UK to increase Australia’s climate commitments, and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who has warned that there would have an economic cost to pay if the nation did not match the commitments of other major countries.

Mr Joyce has promised the net-zero decision will be put to a ballot in the village hall, but his goal of winning the village hall will be made more difficult by the absence of Mr Chester, who is strongly in favor net-zero.

The Queensland Nationals, especially Sen. Matt Canavan and outgoing MPs Ken O’Dowd and George Christensen, have vigorously opposed any move towards net-zero.

Senator Canavan said he was “standing still against net zero emissions”.

Former Nationals Leader and Wagga MP Michael McCormack, who opposed net zero as party leader, urged colleagues to reach a deal because without a net zero target, many lucrative trade deals could become obsolete, depriving farmers of critical market access. .

“If all the other countries that are our allies in trade and stuff say we should be net zero, then Australia will really have to think about where it stands,” McCormack said.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the Morrison government had no credibility on climate policy and therefore Australia was a “pariah among our major trading partners”.

“If Darren Chester does not trust the Coalition, in which he was Cabinet Minister just a few months ago, the Australian people should not have either,” Mr Albanese said.

Hunter Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon, who recently announced he will retire in the next election, said the government was at war with itself over future climate policy.

“A former minister has already left the village hall, and I am sure many on the right of the debate are threatening to do otherwise,” Fitzgibbon said.

The Nats net-zero Divide story: MP walks away from the ‘dysfunctional’ party room first appeared on Farm Online.

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