Alex McConachie, 02 December 2015

Member for Riverina Michael McCormack has defended his role in lobbying to have Australia back away from signing a communique at the Paris climate summit that would have backed ending fossil fuel subsidies.

Mr McCormack, along with other Nationals MPs, expressed concern signing the communique could spell disaster for the diesel fuel rebate scheme – a policy he described as a “sacred cow”.

The policy allows some industries, including agriculture, to claim a rebate on diesel excise costs incurred, but there was some concern it may be viewed as a subsidy under the communique.

Despite the tough stance on the communique, Mr McCormack said he viewed it important to ensure emissions were reduced “wherever possible”, so long as a “pragmatic and practical” approach were taken.

“We are playing our part and you will get the Greens who will always say we can do more, and in one sense we are doing a lot and we can always strive to do better,” Mr McCormack said.

Extracted in full from The Daily Advertiser.