Senate debates

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Matters of Urgency

Climate Change

6:34 pm

Photo of Larissa WatersLarissa Waters (Queensland, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I will take the interjection from Senator McGrath, who happens to be one of the strongest climate dinosaurs on that side of the chamber and who could do well to look at the history of bushfires in Queensland. We just had to create a new category for bushfires, 'catastrophic'. It got used last November. It's now being used again.

Laugh if you will. I can see the Liberal and Labor parties exchanging some hand signals and some giggles between each other. Well, the joke's on you, folks, because the community understand the need for climate action and they don't think it's fair that you both take dirty money from the polluters while their homes are burning. We've had 80 homes damaged now, with 17 completely lost, in areas where we have not seen burning before. We are now at these historic catastrophic levels, and still you take the money. Five million dollars over the last four years is all that it's taken to buy your complicity and your shoddy climate policy. Give the money back. Listen to the scientists rather than defunding them. Create those almost 50,000 renewable energy jobs that, in Queensland alone, could be created with a transition to 100 per cent renewables. Rather than criminalising protesters, demonising them and threatening to go back to the Joh era as my home state of Queensland's Labor administration is now doing, why don't you actually listen to them, address the problem and stop being so cosy with Adani that you're just falling over yourselves to give them free water, a royalty holiday, free money for their railway infrastructure and, of course, tax cuts to boot? Why don't you take a stand and start representing the people rather than your big coal industry donors? It is absolutely disgusting, and history will judge you all very poorly.

I particularly want to take issue with this one hour of parliamentary time being described as a stunt. Folks, we are here to do a job for the community. If you think that parliament is a stunt, why don't you just leave and go and work for the mining companies like all of your predecessors have? You'd do a far better job there than here.

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