PM Scott Morrison evades #climatechange link to #drought #auspol #qldpol #nswpol #StopAdani #NoNewCoal #QandA

Scott Morrison won’t say if human-induced climate change is associated with the drought in Queensland and NSW because it doesn’t help solve practical problems.

The new prime minister visited a drought-stricken Quilpie farm in rural Queensland in his first visit in the job, but refused to say if he thought climate change was affecting the drought.

“Climate is changing, everybody knows that,” he told reporters today.

“It’s not a debate I’ve participated a lot in in the past, because I’m practically interested in the policies that will address what is going on here right and now.

“I’m interested in getting people’s electricity prices down and I’m not terribly interested in engaging in those sorts of debates at this point.”

Mr Morrison said his passion for dealing with the drought came from a conversation with Nationals leader Michael McCormack in cabinet.

“Michael was really pushing that this really had to be put on our agenda and what our response was,” he said.

“That had a big impact on me, Michael, and, as you know, we went through a whole range of packages that went through the budget.”

Mr Morrison said dealing with the drought was not something that could be solved with one bit of relief.

“It goes on as long as the drought goes on.

We need the ideas to keep coming as long as the drought goes on and beyond,” he said.

The new prime minister’s visit came on the same day as a voter survey brought grim news for the government.

The poll, published in the Australian newspaper, shows popular support for the Coalition has crashed to its lowest levels in a decade.

In the Primary vote, the Coalition has slumped four points, to trail Labor 33 to 41 – while the Opposition has enjoyed a 6 percent hike.

On a two-party preferred basis, the Coalition trails Labor 44 to 56.

Labor attacked Mr Morrison for making Barnaby Joyce a special drought envoy, calling the decision a slap in the face for farmers.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison greets Quilpie State College students and staff during his visit to South West Queensland. (AP/AAP)

Opposition agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said the position would allow the former Nationals leader to campaign across Australia at public expense.

“The appointment of climate change denier Barnaby Joyce as his drought envoy is a joke and a slap in the face for all in the sector who want meaningful drought policy reform,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

But Mr Morrison said the role made good use of the former deputy prime minister’s skills.

“I got a great text from Barnaby last night just on day one, as you expect, he has given me quite a list of things that he reckons,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr McCormack said the government would contribute more money on top of the already announced $1.8 billion worth of measures to tackle the drought.

Mr Fitzgibbon said Mr Morrison had made a bad start, accusing the prime minister of using drought as a plaything to improve his image.

Rainfall has brought only temporary relief for farmers in NSW and Queensland. (9NEWS)

Press link for more: 9News

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