Senate debates

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Matters of Urgency

Climate Change: Water

5:04 pm

Photo of Sarah Hanson-YoungSarah Hanson-Young (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I rise to contribute to this important debate today. Last week the Productivity Commission released an interim report into the National Water Reform. This is a damming assessment of the state of Australia's water supply and water security. But, of course, the Productivity Commission, being the economically conservative body that it is, has taken a very rational approach to what is a looming crisis right here in Australia. The Productivity Commission has nailed the issue: climate change—a warming climate, more extreme weather events and the destruction of our environment—is putting our water at risk within our rivers, our treatments, our water catchments and the water supply for our towns and our cities.

When the Productivity Commission raises such important issues, you have to turn and wonder who is in charge. We know who is in charge of Australia's federal water policy. It's the National Party. That's because, of course, the deal that was done to form the Morrison government was to ensure that the water portfolio was given to a member of the National Party. Think about this: the party who doesn't accept the climate science and doesn't even believe that we need to do what the science is requiring—to reduce pollution to tackle climate change—is in charge of the very important portfolio that is impacted most by the drying climate. The National Party with their head buried in the sand on climate change—

Senator McKenzie interjecting—

is putting Australia's water supply at risk.


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