Hinkler candidate says it's time for Australia to leave UN
HINKLER'S One Nation candidate wants Australia to leave the United Nations and the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Damian Huxham last week criticised the decision to appoint Iran to the UN's Women's Rights Committee, just days after Iranian human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes.
Mr Huxham said Australia should not continue to support the UN.
He also protested against Australia's pledge to reduce emissions.
"The Paris Agreement is really an agreement that every nation failed to agree,” he said.
"Australia is one of the few countries destroying its industry in a vain attempt to cut CO2 output while the major producers of CO2 China, India, Russia are continuing to increase CO2 output and the US is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.”
Mr Huxham said Japan and major European nations were building coal-fired power plants while Australia was "committing industrial suicide”.
"Paris is being bypassed and we need to withdraw,” he said.
Senior lecturer Shannon Brincat from the University of the Sunshine Coast said Australia would be giving up its voice in the international community if it left the UN.
He said the international organisation was engaged in dealing with in any number of crises and it was vital Australia had a seat at the table.
"Many of the problems humanity is facing are global,” Mr Brincat said.
"No state, including us, can deal with them on their own.”
Mr Brincat said while the organisation was imperfect, without the UN the world would see a lot more conflict than it currently did.
"We have a strong and powerful voice in the UN,” he said.
As for the Paris climate change agreement, Mr Brincat said Australia had a vested interest in being part of it and leading the way to a greener future.
He said studies had shown climate change would hit Australia harder than almost anywhere in the world.
Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien and Hinkler MP Keith Pitt disagreed with Mr Huxham's stance, saying Australia should remain in the UN and the climate change agreement.
Mr O'Brien said he had spoken at the UN regarding reducing road fatalities and it was a vital forum to discuss international issues.
He also confirmed his commitment to the Paris agreement.
"The Australian Government is committed to meeting its international obligations and we are on the way to achieving the emission reduction targets agreed at Paris,” he said.
"Climate change is a global issue requiring global action and we need to ensure our response doesn't risk Australian jobs and heavy industries.
"My focus continues to be on Wide Bay, building better infrastructure, creating jobs and improving services.”
Mr Pitt accused Mr Huxham of being indecisive on the issues.
"You can't believe anything the One Nation candidate for Hinkler says: first he was against the Cashless Debit Card and now he is supportive of it,” he said.
"Maybe he'll change his mind about this too.
"My focus is on reducing the cost of living for constituents and that includes putting pressure on the Palaszczuk Government to do reduce power prices now for families, seniors and businesses in this region who are struggling.”