Regional Queensland will be lost to the coalition at the forthcoming federal election if the LNP commits to reducing emissions to net zero by 2050, according to Bob Katter.
The Kennedy MP has weighed in with his thoughts as Prime Minister Scott Morrison negotiates with the Nationals on 2050 targets, and as the National Farmers Federation calls for compensation for landholders caught up in changes to land-clearing laws following the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
Mr Katter said if the Liberal and National parties didn't find a way out of a commitment on net zero emissions by 2050 they would suffer huge electoral pain, saying five coal mining seats were up for grabs in North Queensland.
He claimed areas around Cairns, the Atherton Tableland, Ingham and the Burdekin as coal areas, given the prevalence of fly-in, fly-out mining.
"Capricornia is super marginal, Leichhardt is super marginal, the sitting member is retiring in Flynn, and as for Dawson no-one knows what will happen there and even what George Christensen will do," he said.
"If there's a hung parliament, who knows what I will do.
"I could back Liberal, or I could back Labor.
"I'll back whoever gives North Queenslanders the best deal.
"There is nowhere else in Australia where there are five seats up for grabs and it all comes down to how the major parties vote on net zero by 2050."
Mr Katter said he personally believed adopting a 2050 net zero policy would be criminally insane as coal was one of only three industries of significance in Queensland.
"We produce nothing in Queensland except the three C's: coal, cane and cattle," he said.
"Now the 2050 plan means the shutdown of those three industries.
"And if you want to stretch it to aluminium and copper they will be gone too. Coal and iron ore are worth $100b each to the Australian economy.
"Close those down and Australia will be bankrupt."
Mr Katter said a net zero policy would not only cost the coalition seats in North Queensland but also in western New South Wales where the Shooters Fishers Farmers Party had formed a stronghold at a state level.
"The Nationals have lost North Queensland and western New South Wales, and if they keep going, they'll have nothing left," he said. "There will be no National Party soon."
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has made it clear the Nationals are open to a 2050 net zero emissions target, provided the regions were handsomely rewarded, and the requests are already piling up.
The NFF and AgForce sought to meet with the Nationals party room on Monday, urging them to heal the "festering sore created by the statutory theft" of more 400 million tonnes of excess carbon sequestration delivered through changes to land-clearing legislation, without compensation.
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