House debates

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Constituency Statements

Climate Change

12:47 pm

Photo of Justine ElliotJustine Elliot (Richmond, Australian Labor Party, Assistant Minister for Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I rise to speak on the Albanese Labor government's decisive action on climate change. Our country needs desperate action, and finally we have a government that's acting. The climate wars are over. The decade of inaction is over. Our country needs this, both environmentally and economically, to drive the jobs of the future, to bring down power prices and to make our country a renewable energy superpower.

The risk of climate change is real, the science of climate change is real and the impact of climate change is real. My community on the New South Wales North Coast understands this, because we have been living it with the devastating floods that hit our region. The floods destroyed lives, livelihoods and homes. Local economies were devastated and communities heartbroken. So many people are still very traumatised following these horrific floods. We understand how real the need to take action is, because we are living it. We are living it in terms of the climate emergency. The Prime Minister made it very clear yesterday that, after a decade of inaction, the climate wars are over. Of course, the Labor government's climate bill has just passed the lower house today.

To the people of Richmond: you elected me to be your strong voice in a majority Labor government and deliver action on climate change, and we are delivering on that mandate with a plan that will reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030; reduce power prices and get us to net zero by 2050; and create 600,000 new jobs, with half a million of those in the regions. This is a plan supported by both business groups and environmental groups. This plan gives us the economic certainty that our economy needs. I'd like to acknowledge all those groups in my region that have worked so hard on this issue for so many years.

We've had a wasted decade of denial and inaction. At the last election, people in my electorate voted overwhelmingly for this to end. They voted for a strong government with a focus on a better future for all. They voted for a government that takes climate change seriously. They rejected all of those years of inaction by the Liberals and Nationals, who had 22 plans that didn't actually do anything. And what has been their response now? They're just pushing nuclear power. Yet again, they are pushing nuclear power, with the Leader of the Opposition announcing a review into looking at nuclear power. The fact is that nuclear power plants can be dangerous and expensive, and, of course, they use too much water and need to be located near water. I always stand with my community in firm opposition to nuclear power, and I will keep fighting this. We need investment in renewables, not nuclear. Only a Labor majority government could deliver on this vital economic and environmental reform, which our country needs—acting on climate change and ending the climate wars.