Environment Minister questions human impact on climate
Queensland's new Environment Minister is the latest politician to voice scepticism about man-made climate change.
Andrew Powell says he is yet to be convinced of the degree to which humans are responsible, but he does support efforts to reduce carbon pollution.
"I believe the climate is changing, I am still to be convinced of the degree to which we are influencing that," Mr Powell said.
"But having said that, are we polluting the environment? Certainly. Are we using a non-renewable source of energy? Certainly. Do we need to address both of those factors? Most definitely."
But his comments have alarmed conservation groups.
Toby Hutcheon, from the Queensland Conservation Council, says his comments are inconsistent with the State Government's official position.
"I hope that Andrew is simply talking as an individual, and not as the responsible minister for Queensland," Mr Hutcheon said.
"Because that would certainly suggest a change of position by the Government that has long held the view that climate change is a serious threat to Queensland and is being caused predominantly by human activity."
New South Wales' deputy premier Andrew Stoner recently voiced his concerns about climate science when he attacked the Climate Commission's report, The Critical Decade, which predicted a rise in heatwave events and flash flooding.
"This is alarmist, we've heard predictions of all our dams drying up in the past, we've heard predictions of the Central Coast and other coastal parts of the state going underwater, the polar ice caps melting," he said.
"None of this has happened so unless he's got some new evidence, I think the average person would be a little sceptical."
Meanwhile, back in Queensland, the new State Government is dismantling various carbon reduction schemes.
Mr Powell says there is no need for them because of the introduction of the Federal Government's carbon tax next month.
It will save millions of dollars, but jobs will be lost.
"In my Department it's around 30-40, but obviously voluntary redundancies are being offered and that's what's been reported today," he said.
"Ideally if people are looking to stay in government there will be jobs found for them and we'd be looking to re-deploy them in first instance."