House debates

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Statements by Members

Climate Change

1:41 pm

Photo of Andrew WilkieAndrew Wilkie (Denison, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

Tasmania is burning and North Queensland is dealing with devastating floods. Properties have been destroyed, family livelihoods have been trashed and our natural environment, including World Heritage areas, has been irrevocably devastated and yet we still have a federal government doing nothing to combat climate change. Indeed, Australia has gone from a world leader in tackling climate change to being a laggard. No wonder, with the Liberal and National parties dismantling anything that even looks like it would deal with climate change. The carbon price has been dumped. The clean energy target was kicked around and then stopped in its tracks. The National Energy Guarantee was dropped. The Renewable Energy Target has been dismantled.

It's a disgrace that Australia has no climate change policy, especially when climate change is the No. 1 threat to life as we know it—though you wouldn't know it from the way that this government behaves. To all the naysayers who say, 'It's too hard,' or, 'It doesn't matter what Australia does,' I say, 'That's nonsense.' Of course we need to achieve zero net carbon emissions and put Australia on a pathway to 100 per cent reliance on renewable energy. We need to act now otherwise severe weather events, like we're seeing in Tasmania and Queensland, are only going to become more frequent and more extreme. To ignore this is grossly irresponsible.