The Shadow Assistant Minister For Climate Change Says It’s A “Luxury Issue” For Voters

Hollie Hughes claimed Australia “could shut everything down tomorrow and all go live in trees” and it wouldn't make much of a difference.

hollie hughes

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Shadow Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Hollie Hughes has asserted that climate change (see: the thing she’s meant to care about) is a “luxury issue” for voters.

Hughes was given the role as part of new Liberal leader Peter Dutton’s new shadow ministry last week and has somehow already managed to shit on her own portfolio in what certainly has to be some sort of world record.

In an interview with ABC News Breakfast on Monday, Hughes acknowledged the fact that climate change was a key issue for voters in the 2022 Federal Election, but suggested those who turned on the Liberal Party won’t care so much about it when the cost of living continues to rise.

“I think climate change was something that a lot of voters were focused on,” said Hughes.

“But I think what’s gonna happen as you move forward, and people start to get inflationary pressures, start to see their mortgage rates increase, they start to see this increased spending by this new Labor government that’s gonna put pressure on our AAA credit rating, which does flow through the economy then, and when you look at increased power prices, some of those issues that were looked at as, sort of, you know — they’re almost like a luxury issue for some people.”

“Because people of Wentworth probably aren’t going to the petrol bowser and looking at those numbers tick over, whereas I can tell you that people out in Cabramatta are very much looking at those numbers tick over when they’re at the bowser. So, those cost-of-living pressures are going to have a very significant impact on voters’ intentions, I think, going forward.”

While teal independents largely rose to power in wealthier electorates like Goldstein and Kooyong, there was a strong upward trend in climate-focussed voting nationwide. The Australian Greens, for example, saw unprecedented support — particularly from voters under 30 across the country, thus proving that it’s not just people living in high socioeconomic areas that want climate action.

Hughes also confirmed that she’s “not personally in favour” of extending carbon emissions reduction targets, adding that Australia “could shut everything down tomorrow and all go live in trees” and it wouldn’t make much of a difference.

It goes without saying that this sort of defeatist attitude on carbon emissions is unhelpful and counterproductive given the current climate emergency we’re facing.

Hughes’ comments come after new Energy Minister Chris Bowen claimed last week that adopting a more ambitious climate plan would be a betrayal of the promises Labor took to the election.