Minister for the Environment mocks threat to ski fields

Minister for the Environment Josh Frydenberg ridiculed a politician concerned climate change could threaten the Snowy Mountains alpine areas in Parliament on Monday.

Mr Frydenberg was responding to comments made by the Member for Fenner, Labor MP Andrew Leigh, who said on a radio program that “we could well lose the ski season if climate change continues unchecked.”

“The Member for Fenner said, if we can’t tackle climate change, we may lose the ski season!” Mr Frydenberg said while other members of the Liberal Party laughed.

“What else is the Member for Fenner concerned about? Is he worried about Christmas in July being a permanent fixture? Is the Member for Fenner concerned about the Boxing Day Test being on the first of August?” he continued.

The video of Mr Frydenberg’s derisive comments in Question Time has since been shared over 100 times on social media.

Member for Eden-Monaro, which includes Tumut, Colonel Mike Kelly, said the threat to the ski fields was “nothing to laugh about.”

“The Turnbull Government’s Minister for the Environment [was] joking about the threat to our local ski industry from climate change,” he said.

“This is an industry that is worth $2 billion a year and supports 18,000 local jobs – that is half the economy of the Monaro.

“CSIRO have calculated that 50 per cent of the snow cover will be gone by 2050 at the current rate of climate change. In my visit to the Snowy Hydro Scheme last week they confirmed this with their observations of the steady contraction of the snow season.”

As for the target of Mr Frydenburg’s comments, Andrew Leigh, he has since said, “unlike Josh Frydenberg, the 18,000 snow industry workers aren’t laughing at climate change job losses.”