Senate debates

Monday, 7 December 2020

Matters of Urgency

Climate Change

5:16 pm

Photo of Katy GallagherKaty Gallagher (ACT, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

The Paris commitment from Mr Abbott and the Prime Minister is for a 26 per cent emissions cut by 2030, and the government are nowhere near being on track to meet that. Their own projections show that, on current policy settings, we'll reduce our emissions by only four per cent over the course of the decade. We are becoming increasingly isolated on the world stage, with over 70 per cent of our trading partners committing to net zero emissions by the middle of the century. We've had all the peak groups—whether they be the National Farmers Federation, the Australian Industry Group or the Business Council—all of the peak community organisations and the ACTU commit to net zero emissions by 2050, but we haven't had that commitment from our government. Part of the reason we haven't is that people remain so divided on the right thing to do, and that problem is partly because those on our side continue to bicker. Why wouldn't those who believe in climate change and want to see greater action on it come together and work out what we're after, instead of coming in here and trying to blame each other? The Greens point at us and tell us how it's all Labor's fault. There is no commitment to working together.

Look at what happened in the ACT when those on the progressive side of politics worked together. The ACT is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy. Why is that? Because the progressive side of politics put aside their differences and worked out a way to deliver a good public policy outcome. I know, because I sat in that room, that it wasn't because the Greens political party forced our hand but because we both wanted the right outcome for our community.

(Quorum formed) I think those little procedural stunts just amplify the argument that I'm making, which is that the Greens are not interested in actually delivering the outcome here. What they are interested in is getting their social media video out, pointing the finger at the major parties and making themselves out as those who are without fault. The minute someone draws attention to their tactics and the way they're operating, and the fact that we are going nowhere with placing pressure on this government about its woeful record on climate change—this is part of the problem. You didn't come in here seeking to resolve it. You don't seek to compromise, you don't seek to collaborate, you don't seek to—


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