Environment Minister Greg Hunt says Wikipedia provides evidence the unseasonal bushfires plaguing NSW are not linked to climate change.
His surprise hypothesis came as international experts pile into the Abbott government for denying any correlation between rising temperatures and bushfire.
In an interview with the BBC World Service, Mr Hunt said: “I looked up what Wikipedia said just to see what the rest of the world thought.
“It opened up with the fact that bushfires in Australia are frequently occurring events during the hotter months of the year due to Australia’s mostly hot, dry climate.”
Mr Hunt has found himself at the centre of a storm over climate change since Prime Minister Tony Abbott accused the head of the United Nations’ climate change negotiations, Christiana Figueres, of “talking through her hat” on the issue.
Ms Figueres released another statement in which she pointed out the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had already found a link between climate change and bushfire.