Nationals Senate Leader Barnaby Joyce has again placed his party on a collision course with his Liberal Coalition colleagues, by speaking out against the usefulness of an emissions trading scheme and slamming green groups which demand ideological conformity from society.
Although stating the Nationals had not yet taken a stance on how it would vote on the government's ETS legislation in the Senate, his comments are highly critical of the policy which have the backing of Liberal Leader Malcolm Turnbull.
"My concern is that in the near future no-one is going to be put out of their house because of global warming but in the near future the emission trading scheme will put people out of their house," Senator Joyce said on radio this morning.
"It will put people out of their job.
"The reason that they, how their lives will be turned upside down is because of the effect of a new tax, which the emission trading scheme is."
Sen Joyce said The Nationals voting position would be guided by a Senate inquiry into the legislation.
Sen Joyce also hit out at green ideologues for branding those who question climate policy as "climate change deniers".
"The idea that this scheme can go forward and no-one is allowed to question it because there is a sort of new form of sort of eco-totalitarianism that demands blind obedience; I think that is wrong and that whole concept and process needs to be questioned," he said.
Sen Joyce said he believes in climate change, but said "the extent that humans are affecting it is a debate that I believe is going to go on".
He compared being branded a "climate change denier" to the debate which led to the phrase "holocaust denier".
"This is the sort of emotive language that has become stitched up in this ETS issue," he said.
"One is not allowed to question anymore and one is not allowed to call to question?
"One has to sort of fall into sort of a lock step goose step and parade around the office, you know, ranting and raving that we are all as one?
"No. In a democracy you are allowed to question.
"In a democracy you are allowed to hold people to account.
"These issues are going to be questioned and because that's the role of the Senate."
Agriculture Minister Tony Burke says Liberal Leader Malcolm Turnbull should refute Sen Joyce's linkage of the green movement with Nazism.
"If you're talking about rural Australians generally, there is no section of the Australian economy which has more to risk through dangerous climate change than the agriculture sector," Mr Burke said.
"People who are working the land and living the climate have more at stake than anyone else in making sure that we get this right.
"Barnaby Joyce has gone to new levels of extremes in the debate, invoking those sorts of Nazi speeches.
"And while Malcolm Turnbull appears quite comfortable to put up with climate change sceptics and put up with arguments saying that we should do nothing about this, I'd be amazed if even Malcolm Turnbull is willing to put up with those sorts of analogies being drawn by Barnaby Joyce."