Tuesday, 22 October 2019
by leave—I rise to present a historic petition signed by 404,538 fellow Australians, who are calling on their parliament to take urgent action on climate change. In doing so, I note the petition has been approved by the Standing Committee on Petitions.
The petition read as follows—
The overwhelming majority of climate scientists around the world have concluded that the climate is changing at unprecedented rates due to anthropogenic causes. The result of these changes will be catastrophic for future generations, and so we must act now to minimise both human and environmental destruction.
We therefore ask the House to immediately act and declare a climate emergency in Australia. And introduce legislation that will with immediacy and haste reduce the causes of anthropogenic climate change.
from 404,538 citizens (Petition No. EN1041)
This is a demonstration of grassroots action. It was initiated by Mr Noah Bell, a resident of Sydney, who joins us today. In Noah's own words, this petition is about 'a plurality of voices demanding that the government accept the science and act accordingly'. The request in this petition is straightforward. It calls on this House and my fellow MPs to immediately act and declare a climate emergency in Australia, and introduce legislation that will, with immediacy and haste, reduce the causes of anthropogenic climate change. The petition took on a life on its own, eventually gaining hundreds of thousands of names from all over Australia in four weeks. I urge my fellow members to contemplate on that. Each of those names is an individual with a story, a voice, a network and a vote. We, as the 46th Parliament, have a duty to the Australian people that goes beyond partisan allegiances. It is time for all of us to be accountable. Let's listen to the people and take meaningful action on climate change. I commend the petition to the House— (Time expired)