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The Labor Party in South Australia is giving its preferences to a fringe group of independent climate change sceptics ahead of the Liberals. South Australian federal Liberal MP Jamie Briggs said he was amazed that Premier Mike Rann would sanction such a deal when his friend Kevin Rudd had declared that he viewed climate change as the greatest moral challenge of our time.

The sceptics’ lead candidate in its bid for a seat in the state Legislative Council, Nathan Ashby, says the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been shown to be untrustworthy and produced conclusions based on fraudulent science.

Mr Ashby wants Australia to set up its own team to review the science on climate change.

He said recently the IPCC had accepted information from groups such as WWF and Greenpeace.

Mr Briggs said he became aware of the deal when the South Australian Electoral Commission released preference arrangements at the weekend.

“It seems to be a very desperate move from the Premier to be preferencing the climate sceptics ahead of the Liberal Party when his very good friend the Prime Minister has stressed the danger Australia faces from climate change,” Mr Briggs said.

“You would have thought that if Mike Rann were really concerned about this issue he would have put them last. I couldn’t believe they’ve done that given all the hype we’ve heard from the PM on this issue. It seems extraordinary.”

The Australian, 18 March 2010