On Saturday last week, Ballarat federal representative Catherine King spent part of her evening at loggerheads with the Liberal MP Craig Kelly on BBC radio.
In a short segment on the broadcaster's flagship Today program [1hr 49 minutes in], they discussed the fires that have devastated so much of Australia in the past few months - and the link to climate change.
For Ms King, opinions like those held by Mr Kelly - who does not believe climate change has played a part in this year's catastrophic fire conditions - have had a hugely frustrating influence on Parliament.
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"The problem we've got is there is a small group of people within our parliament who have very extreme views on climate change," she told The Courier.
"They don't believe that it exists at all. They have basically meant over the course of the last 20 years ...our parliament has been incapable of taking this issue forward."
Countering such fringe views was part of the reason she gave up part of her evening.
"It has been really unedifying to see [those views] writ large on the international stage," she said. "Frankly, it's been very frustrating."
Like others, she hopes the hellish fire season experienced by huge parts of Australia - with the most dangerous part of the year still to come for the Ballarat region - will prove pivotal.
While she believes things will change in the approach to fire-fighting, she is notably less upbeat on the prospects of any meaningful reform on climate change under the current administration.
"I certainly think they will ramp up efforts in terms of firefighting and fire mitigation. We will get a little way, but I think it's going to be difficult in terms of some of the climate issues."
She mentions aerial firefighting as a particularly key area - and one in which Ballarat could potentially play a greater part.
The airport's potential as a firefighting hub for large aerial tankers is the reason she has backed the City of Ballarat's recent application for funding to make the runway longer - a first step in increasing its capacity and allowing tankers to use it as a base.
"[For the tankers] to be permanently stationed much closer in and across the state so they can get to fires more quickly, I think is going to be very important... the time they take to get to a fire is pretty critical."
One other fire-fighting measures, she believes has been hijacked for political ends.
"Some of the people on the fringe... are using the issue around hazard reduction as a way of deflecting from the climate issue and I think it is quite a deliberate tactic."
She acknowledged that hazard reduction was "incredibly important" for fire services to manage - but highlighted the reducing window to do burnoffs as the fire seasons get longer.
On the wider issue of climate change, Ms King said she would welcome a bipartisan approach to climate change.
"It shouldn't be about politics, it's actually got to be about what needs to be done, what we as a parliament need to do and we have to be guided by the experts on that."
During the course of the interview, however, she made some pointed remarks about both the Greens and the Liberal Party - particularly the failure of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme under Kevin Rudd to get through Parliament back in 2009.
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"Had we got [the] scheme through parliament, we would now have had an economic mechanism in place for over a decade to deal with this issue.
"We wouldn't be talking in the same way we are now.
"And the result of that is that we have had no proper and coherent climate change policy and we have had no proper and coherent energy policy over a long period of time."
It is a recurring theme for Ms King - that the absolutist ends of the political spectrum that "have spent a whole lot of time just yelling at each other" - are stymieing progress.
One of the failures of the Bill Shorten campaign was, she said: "We tried to talk both sides of the fence."
"Really what we need to do is leave the two ends who are shouting at each other to their own devices."
With climate change now front and centre in the discussion over fires, has that not increased the tensions in the Labor policy towards coal?
"I don't think so," she said.
"We do need to transition from coal-fired generation of our electricity. There's absolutely no doubt about that. Also [we need to] do that in a way that respects jobs in Queensland."
The exporting of coal is an area Labor leader Anthony Albanese has been notably less equivocal about than his predecessor. On a recent trip to Queensland, he defended its exporting, saying that if it didn't come from Australia, it would be sourced elsewhere.
In a similar vein, Ms King said: "Until you can find a way of producing steel [and] the components in all of the technology we have, without coal, it is always going to be used in some way, shape or form.
"What we want to try and do is move away from it being used to generate the bulk of our energy."
Whether the Labor party is able to make inroads in its renewable energy policy from opposition - even with the unprecedented fire catastrophe unfolding this season - she is dubious.
But Ms King is determined this fire season should mark the start of serious change.
"If we don't learn from this, and if we try and pretend it's business as usual, I think we're in trouble."
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