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Will the Nats see the writing on the wall?

Crikey readers go in on the National Party's disappointing response to the bush fire crisis, and question the party's future amid growing concern for climate change.

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Nationals Leader Michael McCormack.

On The National party

Mark E Smith writes: It’s a funny thing with rural folk. Lots have long been unhappy with one or more major National Party policy directions, but they keep voting for them regardless. It’s not surprising. Lots of country towns are dominated by a few families, as are their surrounding landholdings, and have been so for generations. All the locals are well aware of this in a direct way you don’t get in cities. They see it as just the normal way of things. Voting ALP is unthinkable and independents can be represented as troublemakers or NP gripers unless they can cut through to get a purely personal following not based on policy. After all, what are the alternatives? Collectivisation, state farms? Co-ops maybe, but they’ve been broken up and flogged off for a short term, one-off gain years ago.

Steven Westbrook writes: Perhaps it is caught between too many interests. The water crisis has distant resemblance to the 19th century struggle between squatter and selectors, with big scale irrigators akin to the squatters. On top of this is the desire to appease the mining industry, which runs against emissions reduction.

David Thompson writes: They do not exist to benefit “agricultural communities”; they exist to benefit “agribusiness”. Some of the farmers I spoke to on the weekend were among those who “protested” the Nats devotion to agribusiness recently, including by launching an effigy of Littleproud off a bridge into the Murray. Littleproud is emblematic of why the Nats are so “on the nose in the bush”. He’s a former NAB and Suncorp “agribusiness banker”, who owns an equipment rental franchise with his wife.

Robert Smith writes: If anyone has a stake in preventing climate change it must be the farmers. I can just turn on the air con. Ranting about the greenies is just an attempt at deflecting the question — same as a certain PM who goes on about the “Canberra bubble” or refusing to answer about “gossip”. Anything but addressing the issue. That other group of deniers, Hanson, is trying to make a move into Nats territory.

Rodney Deakin writes: I have this dream about the National Party MPs all standing together and saying (on national TV) that they agree with the scientists and Global Warming is real and is caused by burning fossil fuels and coal in particular. If this did happen, I wonder how they would go about explaining what they’ve been (not) doing for the last twenty years?

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2 years ago

It is time that those who can do better to get out there and show their skills. Stop hiding behind a false name or under a bush. Get out the front and show that you can do better then those who are out there now.

2 years ago

The problem i see, living in a Western Qld town 5 1/2 hours from Brisbane is the people in the town. They do not accept the reality of climate change, they blame the greenies for the bush fires, the Nats as a party are never held to account.
I would think that holds true in many similar towns up and down regional Queensland. You only have to look at the recent federal election to see how the the electorate were quick to accept the rantings of Palmer, the racism of One Nation, and the lies from the LNP.
This is of course supported by a blatantly one sided media, which dominates the political discourse.
The National party can still rely on a whole heap of safe seats, simply because they can get away with their blatant self interest. Not that much has changed from the days of Joe Bjelke-Petersen.
It is still a party which looks after its mates first, which is those with the biggest pockets.