Tuesday, 3 December 2019
Great Barrier Reef
(a) notes that:
(i) on 1 December 2019, the Federal Government submitted the State Party Report on the state of conservation report of the Great Barrier Reef (the Reef) World Heritage Area,
(ii) the State Party Report responds to the World Heritage Committee Decision in 2015, requesting the Government to outline how the Reef's Outstanding Universal Value is being protected to avert a World Heritage In Danger listing,
(iii) the State Party Report recognises that mass coral bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, tropical cyclones, flooding, and crown-of-thorns starfish have impacted the Outstanding Universal Value of the Reef since 2015,
(iv) the Great Barrier Reef outlook report 2019 found that the long-term outlook for the Reef 's ecosystem has deteriorated from poor to very poor, and climate change and land-based run-off remain the key threats,
(v) the State Party Report states that the Government is 'actively managing the pressures over which we have direct control through investment and regulation based on the best available science',
(vi) United Nations scientific reports have confirmed that if global temperature rises by 1.5°C, 90% of coral in the Reef will be lost and 100% of coral will be lost at 2.0°C,
(vii) the Government has established a Senate inquiry questioning the water science informing regulation of land-based run-off into the Reef,
(viii) Government representatives have advocated for the removal of climate change threats as a consideration for World Heritage In Danger listing decisions, and
(ix) fossil fuel companies have donated nearly $5 million to the Liberals, Nationals and Labor parties over the past four years; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to:
(i) implement a climate policy to limit global warming to 1.5°C to protect the Great Barrier Reef,
(ii) manage the key pressures over which it has control by revoking all federal approvals for the Adani Carmichael mine and not approve any new coal in Australia, and
(iii) ban corporate donations to political parties from the fossil fuel industry, an industry which financially benefits from this Federal Government's lack of action on climate change.
The government is taking real and practical action with our climate solutions package. The most recent data shows that Australia's annual emissions have come down and are lower than when we came to office in 2013. The government is opposed to the Greens' policies to destroy jobs and the economy and to increase cost-of-living pressures. The government supports the Adani Carmichael mine project, which will create around 1,500 direct jobs and almost 7,000 supporting jobs, and which already has 800 people working across operations and projects in Queensland.
Whilst Labor supports elements of this motion, we won't be supporting it today. I think this motion goes to all of the issues we raised yesterday about the Greens continuing to behave as they behaved 10 years ago in seeking to drive wedges between progressive politicians who should be working together to deliver an outcome. Instead, they seek to move motions that try to divide the chamber. Their antics on this during the campaign may have got Senator Waters elected but they also returned a Morrison government, which I don't think the planet or anyone else in progressive politics in Australia thanks them for. As such, we will not be supporting this motion.