A Sustainable Climate
I have been involved in climate change and sustainability for many years. Labor's values on the common good demand action from us on this issue. Government must lead, engage with robust science, and set evidence-based targets. Businesses and communities are already responding. If we are sincere about our obligations to future generations, it's time to act. Australia should lead the world in renewable energy technology, which holds so much opportunity for future-focused jobs.
One of the iconic images of Australia's bushfires is a firefighter sharing a water bottle with a scared and singed koala. That picture was shared around the world and, in part, that's because the koala is so intrinsically and recognisably Australian.
Yesterday, along with Senator Pratt I lodged a Motion for debate in the Senate, declaring that Australia has a climate emergency and the Government must act. Now, that motion reflects the motion lodged by my colleague Mark Butler over in the House of Representative and it reflects our very serious concern about the Government’s complete failure to deal in any serious way with the great challenge of climate change.
Overnight David Attenborough has addressed hundreds of delegates at the UN’s conference on climate change in Poland and this is what he had to say: He said “Right now we are facing a manmade disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change”. And in making those remarks - and they were very powerful remarks - David Attenborough named the challenge and he is on the same page as the tens of thousands of school children who marched on this issue just a few days ago.
On a very lovely winter afternoon back in July this year, while the sun went down, I stood in Bangalow next to a stand of eucalypts and tallowwoods. I listened to Linda Sparrow as she explained the challenges she faced in her work as president of Bangalow Koalas.
There is a devastating drought that is gripping many parts of Australia. We've seen media coverage of this recently, and it includes heart-rending imagery of people on the land managing their properties, managing their stock, managing the economic impacts on their families and managing and responding to the economic impacts in their towns.