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Climate change propaganda brainwashing kids, says Senator Cory Bernardi

By Mark Kenny, Political Editor, Canberra

LIBERAL Senator Cory Bernardi has accused Climate Change Minister Penny Wong of pushing "extreme propaganda" on the nation's schoolchildren.

Senator Bernardi, who does not disguise his view that man-made climate change is a myth, has attacked a new climate change awareness competition for schoolchildren launched by Senator Wong yesterday.

The competition "Think Climate, Think Change," asks students in years 3 to 9 to use short stories, poems and art work to answer the question "what does climate change mean to me?"

First prize is a trip for two to Canberra (the winner and a parent), a Nintendo Wii console, sports kit and Wii Fit pack, and books for the winner's school.

Senator Bernardi slammed the competition.

"Encouraging children to look after the environment is laudable aim but this seems to have more in common with the ministry of propaganda than the balanced education of our children," he told AdelaideNow.

"One can only guess that the only children eligible to win this competition will be those who conform to the Rudd Government and Minister Wong's extreme political propaganda about climate change.

"I doubt the competition materials will include any discussion of how the Rudd Government ETS (emissions trading scheme) will export Australian industry overseas and result in hundreds of thousands of job losses for Australian workers."

Ms Wong said the competition came about because children are naturally concerned about the environment and their future.

"Schoolchildren from all over Australia have written to me asking about climate change and sharing their ideas," she said.

"Young Australians are very well informed when it comes to the issue of climate change - they understand that we need to take action now."

The national competition will open on Tuesday April 24 and close two months later on June 24.

Senator Wong said the winner would be invited to pass on their ideas to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and other senior ministers when they are flown to Canberra.