Visiting British climate change commentator Christopher Monckton has attacked the Federal Government’s emissions trading scheme (ETS), arguing part of it is unconstitutional.
Lord Monckton is using a speaking tour of Australia to question the need for countries to cut carbon emissions.
He told a gathering in Canberra that a provision in the ETS that allows the state to expropriate land is against the constitution.
“If by some miss chance the ETS scheme proceeds any further and actually gets passed into law, the next thing that will happen is that the courts will call it in and it will be declared unconstitutional and that would bring the Government down,” Lord Monckton said.
Lord Monckton has also sympathised with the plight of Peter Spencer, the New South Wales farmer who went on a hunger strike in protest against similar laws that prevented him clearing vegetation from his farm.
He says Mr Spencer is one of thousands of farmers who are being restricted by laws aimed at tackling climate change.
“We are talking about the effective expropriation of land owned for generations by families of hard-working farmers that put the food on our tables, and without any thanks or warning or compensation on the part of the federal or state authority,” he said.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has agreed to meet Lord Monckton while he is in Canberra.
Mr Abbott has played down the significance of the meeting, saying he also plans to meet with the Wentworth Group of Scientists soon.
“It is the job of the Opposition, it’s the job of MPs generally to meet with everyone who has a significant argument and I’m not an intellectual snob, ‘ Mr Abbott said.
“I’m prepared to meet with people who agree with me [and] who disagree with me.”