House debates

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Constituency Statements

Climate Change

10:24 am

Photo of Matt ThistlethwaiteMatt Thistlethwaite (Kingsford Smith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury) Share this | | Hansard source

Climate change is real. Australians know that it's real. Age is no barrier to this reality. From young to old and everyone in between, the people of Australia, indeed the citizens of the world, accept the reality of human-induced climate change. At 92, Sir David Attenborough isn't urging action on climate change out of self-interest. Representing the world's people at the United Nations conference on climate change in Poland, his message was clear: 'If we don't take action on climate change, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.' Sir David's focus is on future generations. He's calling on the leaders of the world to lead on this issue.

It's the same message that we have heard from the youth of our nation—the tens of thousands of school children who know that climate change is real; our young Australians who left classes to march and demand real leadership from this government on the issue. What did they get from the coalition of the unwilling to act on climate change? The minister for resources rose to the occasion with this low response:

The best thing you'll learn about going to a protest is how to join the dole queue.

Who is in charge of the Liberal and National parties when it comes to climate change? It's the extremists. It's those who don't believe in human-induced climate change who are fracturing this coalition and who continue to deny the reality of climate change. Australians know that climate change is a reality and they want leaders to lead. The government's latest data shows that carbon emissions are now at their highest levels since 2011 and will continue to rise all the way to 2030. That deliberate inaction from this government is risking our natural wonders, like the Great Barrier Reef. The UN Emissions Gap Report says that Australia's emissions are projected to be well above its targeted reduction of emission levels by 2030.

Is it any wonder that moderate Liberals are now finding a voice? The Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations had this character assessment of the Liberal Party: 'They're homophobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers.' That's from one of their own. The only way our nation will get real action on climate change is with a change of government. Labor will meet a target of 45 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. Only Labor will provide $10 billion in extra capital for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation over five years from 2019-20. Labor's action will support large-scale generation and storage projects, including solar and wind farms. A household battery program will provide concessional loans to buy solar and battery systems. Labor will provide $5 billion in capital to futureproof our energy network. Only Labor will lead on climate change and energy.