Joyce says farming policy does tackle climate change
DEPUTY Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has rejected concerns his agriculture white paper did not properly address climate change.
In a wide-ranging interview yesterday, Mr Joyce told ABC TV's Insiders the plan included spending on a raft of areas related to climate change.
Despite criticism from the Greens about the policy's aims to help farmers adjust to climate change, Mr Joyce said the government was intent on finding "tactile ways" to address the global issue.
"If I'm storing more water, that is to do with climate change; if we are investing in the Bureau of Meteorology to do weather monitoring, that is climate change," he said.
Mr Joyce on Saturday released the white paper, which included an expanded $500 million water infrastructure program as well as funds to address competition problems in the sector.
The long-awaited package also expanded rural research and development programs and drought concessional loans, despite few farmers able to claim the payments due to bureaucratic problems with state government-run definitions of drought.
Mr Joyce said the $11 million new Agriculture Commissioner, to be part of the competition watchdog, was an effort to get someone who understood the "nuances of agriculture" inside the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
"What we need is someone with that specialist expertise, so they can come into a space, such as the Primo deal. We've got to make sure we stand behind fairness for agriculture," he said.
He was also asked about the importance of Asia, saying Australia should see itself economically as a part of the wider region.
But when asked about conservative Asian nations' view of marriage equality, Mr Joyce said he believed people in Asian culture would see it as "decadent".
"I want to stand with the current definition of marriage. I think it has been trialled by time, over thousands of years, across multiple culture, multiple faiths," he said.
"I think it doesn't solve problems (and) it can create problems."