House debates

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Statements by Members

Endangered Species, Environment

1:50 pm

Photo of Julie OwensJulie Owens (Parramatta, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The great people from Aussie Ark brought in some of our endangered species today, so I've just been out in one of our courtyards patting a koala. While I was patting a koala and holding a small devil, I had one of those moments that I think many people in my community feel now. I'm now bordering on despair, because there is so much to be done to protect Australia's environment from climate change and from species extinction, and we have a government in its third term that is essentially irrelevant to the debate. There are many people in my community who are so far ahead of this government, in terms of what they want for their local community and this country, and we have a government that unfortunately—we have to be honest about it—simply will not do what it needs to do.

I'm putting the call out to my community to go around this government. That's all we can do. We can get ready so, when we do have a government that's prepared to act, we have the small businesses and social enterprises ready and we have the knowledge, the relationships, the skills and the beginning of things to rapidly expand in the way we need to. We already have people in my community in Birds in Backyards and in Habitat Stepping Stones, and we also have WSROC's heat remediation strategy and a whole range of people in Bushcare groups. However, we also have a whole range of others who want to do the small things we need to do in recycling and biodiversity and renewables, but who don't know where to start. I'm saying to you: if this is what you care about, contact my office. I'll keep this list separate; you won't be spammed with political stuff. This is an action group, and let's get together in October and November and accelerate some of the ideas we have in our community to make a difference.