Senate debates

Wednesday, 20 October 2021


Climate Change

9:37 am

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

I can indicate that the opposition will support the suspension motion today, even though we weren't given the heads-up that this was occurring. We do believe that this is a matter of utmost importance that the nation is dealing with, particularly in the lead-up to COP26 and the Glasgow meeting, and that this is worthy of the Senate's time for debate. I would also indicate that the motion as it stands, which we also didn't see until it was circulated in the chamber this morning—which goes to some of the questions about the Greens' motives here—isn't something that we would agree to every word of. I'm just reading it on my feet, though; so, again, I would like that on the record.

There is some frustration from the Labor opposition about the way the Greens are conducting this. If you were genuinely interested in reaching a consensus or having a debate, I think there would be other ways you would be managing this other than pulling this stunt at the beginning of every sitting morning—particularly talking to us, at least, about what you were planning on doing. I would further submit that it appears to me there's no interest in bringing a consensus position to this chamber about action on climate change. It's not in your political interest to reach consensus. The Greens' political interest is to continue the fight, to continue to stoke division, even with those of us who would share similar views—not exactly the same—but who would want to see effective action on climate change. I would submit that it's not in your interests to see that happen and that we will see the Greens continue to do this and do what they did in 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and stoke division. It's in your political interest to do that, as opposed to actually dealing with the issue of climate change and reaching a national consensus that will move this country forward, protect the environment and grow the economy. That's not in your political interest. You want to fight with us, you want to fight with the government, and that's displayed by the tactic here this morning. I would submit, if you want real action on climate change: change the government. Don't do it this way—by trying to have a fight with Labor and have a fight with the government. It didn't work in 2010, it didn't work in 2013, it didn't work in 2016, and it's not working now.


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