A fair debate is evidence-based

Chris Hartcher: "In a democratic society everybody’s got a voice, and that’s what we want.  We are not going to go down the way of North Korea or some communist country, so yeah, we respect the right of everybody to have a view.  What we want though is the final decision made by and for the community to be evidence-based, that’s where debates can sometimes go off the rails, because part of the debate, not all of the debate, but part of the debate in my opinion – and I can only speak for myself here – is irrational and ill-founded and ignores the scientist and simply works upon an emotional concern, but based often upon our data data.  We want to develop the data, we want to develop the science, so that when a final decision is made the community can accept it and say yes, that is the appropriate decision based upon all the appropriate information and scientific data.  Will that work?  I think it can.  It’s not always easy because often sections of the community who are opposed to evidence-based scientific assessment speak very loudly and very assertively and very confidently and take certain snippets of information, embellish them, magnify them and throw them out there as universal fact, which they’re not.  We’ve got a problem with some practices in mining and gas extraction, which are now outdated and gone, but which people still believe are being practiced by the industry and refuse to believe that the industry no longer does that.  Science is improving all the time, our knowledge is improving all the time and our argument is, if the evidence is there, we want it developed and presented to the public so the public can say yes, the government is looking after its water and our land and our environment but the government is also looking after our energy needs."

Categories: Coal in Australia, Energy Concerns, Environment, Global Markets, Government, Resources & Economy
Author: Chris Hartcher MP
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