Thursday, 14 September 2017
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 509 standing in my name for today relating to climate science.
I move the motion as amended:
That the Senate—
(i) that accurate climate and meteorological forecasting prior to, and during, the recent Atlantic hurricanes allowed for evacuations and emergency management that saved lives,
(ii) a recent article in The Economist which stated that while the number of extreme climate and weather-related emergencies have increased due to climate change, the fall in the number of fatalities is partly attributable to improved climate and weather forecasting,
(iii) that the Trump Administration has proposed cuts to agencies responsible for climate and meteorological forecasting, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and
(iv) that Australia has a world-class climate science and meteorological community;
(b) nevertheless, notes that the Australian Academy of Science's 2017 Climate Science Capability Review found that climate science and meteorological efforts are under-resourced, poorly coordinated and subject to short-term funding cycles;
(c) further notes that various climate agencies in Australia, including the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, have faced ongoing funding pressure;
(d) commends the work of Australia's climate agencies and researchers; and
(e) notes the recommendations of Australian Academy of Science's 2017 Climate Science Capability Review, particularly funding an additional 77 climate science researchers, and ensuring continued capability in the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre.
The coalition government is committed to ensuring that our investment in climate science is appropriate and well targeted. We are investing strongly in our institutions and fundamental research infrastructure, including $24 million for the Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub and $49.8 million to provide continued year-round support for priority science and long-term monitoring on Macquarie Island. CSIRO will invest $37 million over 10 years to create a decadal climate forecasting capability within the new CSIRO Climate Science Centre. The government has also established the independent National Climate Science Advisory Committee to inform the future direction of Australia's climate science capability and research priorities.
I cannot believe that you sat there and laughed throughout that statement about climate change and the importance of climate science. This motion before the Australian Senate recognises the importance—
Honourable senators interjecting—
Madam Deputy President, I raise a point of order. The President just recently made it very, very clear that statements given by leave for one minute at this time of day were to state the party or the person's own position but were certainly not to debate it or enter into argument, which this clearly is. He made that ruling just a couple of days ago.
Senator Whish-Wilson, resume your seat. I ask that all senators listen to the debate in respectful silence. I remind senators of the President's ruling in relation to one-minute statements. You have 31 seconds, Senator Whish-Wilson.
Could I ask, as a point of order, Deputy President, considering I have been continually interrupted, deliberately interrupted—this government will go to any lengths not to talk about climate science—can I have my time again, please?
There is no point of order. You have time to finish your remarks. I believe we started on 31 seconds. I would ask once again for senators to listen in respectful silence.
Senator Bernardi interjecting—
Thank you, Senator Bernardi.
I raise a point of order, Madam Deputy President. Senator Whish-Wilson is now abusing the privileges and courtesies extended to him when the Senate gave him leave to make a brief statement. He is not making a brief statement; he is giving a spray.
Just a moment, Minister; I can't hear. Please resume your seat. Order on my left!
Senator O'Sullivan interjecting—
Thank you, Senator O'Sullivan. I ask that you respect that people have the right to be heard in silence.
Senator O'Sullivan interjecting—
Senator O'Sullivan, are you dissenting from my request that you listen in respectful silence? Minister.
Point of order, Madam Deputy President: Senator Whish-Wilson is now defying your ruling. He is acting in breach of the courtesies that have been extended to him by the Senate giving him leave for a brief statement. He is continuing and persisting in his spray, and that is not consistent with the President's ruling. I ask you to draw Senator Whish-Wilson's attention to how he has to conduct himself in making a brief statement.
As I said in relation to your previous point of order, Minister, I have drawn Senator Whish-Wilson's attention to the President's statement. Senator Whish-Wilson had just restarted before you rose to object, so I really don't know where he was intending to go. Senator Bernardi?
Madam Deputy President, I ask you to ask Senator Whish-Wilson to withdraw the bad language he chose, which is unparliamentary, because we have children in the gallery and it sets a very poor example for them in their own lives.
The President has made statements in relation to being given leave to speak, and that is that they should be statements and not debates. However, the President has not sat people down for making other than a statement, and, further to that, leave was granted to Senator Whish-Wilson to make a statement for one minute. Before Senator Whish-Wilson resumes his one minute, I would ask that people listen in respectful silence. Senator Bernardi?
After eight spurious points of order, what I was going to say is: I am putting this motion here today for these children here in the gallery, for future generations of Australians, and to recognise our climate scientists and the good work they do and the need to keep funding them. They save lives; they are a big part of my Tasmanian community, and it is about time they were recognised.