Barnaby Joyce has hit out at Labor over their focus on climate change and stance on the Adani mine, branding it the reason they lost the federal election.
The former deputy prime minister retained his New England seat in the election, which the Coalition claimed unexpectedly over Labor.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Joyce claimed Labor valued tackling climate change over the “dignity” and livelihood of working Australians.
“You’ve got to understand what is at the forefront of people’s minds,” he said.
“You might have a climate change debate, and you might think that’s very important, but more important than that is the dignity in people’s lives.”
Labor’s failure to back either side of the Adani coal mine debate is likely the reason they lost two major seats in north Queensland.
Mr Joyce said people cared more about having access to electricity than they did about the environment, which is why he received 73 per cent of the vote for his seat.
He claimed increasingly expensive power bills were resulting in thousands of families being unable to pay for electricity.
“We cannot have kids coming home from school and not having so much as a toaster in the house because they don’t have power,” Mr Joyce said.
“They don’t have a fridge, they don’t have a television, they don’t have a washing machine, they don’t have an electric heater because they don’t have electricity.
“Because the wonderful spirits out there have said there is something more important than dignity in your life.”
In a fiery rant, Mr Joyce claimed Labor’s focus on renewable energy would “send people back to the time of candles” due to families being unable to keep up with the cost of rising bills.