Wednesday, 4 December 2019
Climate Change: Public Health
That the Senate—
(a) acknowledges that the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australian College of Emergency Medicine and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, representing more than 50,000 Australian doctors, have all declared climate change a public health emergency;
(b) recognises that these highly-respected health and medical organisations have stated that climate change now poses an unprecedented and deadly threat to human lives, and have urgently called on all governments to address the climate emergency by:
(i) expediting the transition from fossil fuels to zero emission renewable energy across all economic sectors, with support to affected communities,
(ii) developing and implementing a national climate change and health strategy based on the framework developed by the health sector, and
(iii) advancing comprehensive heat hazard reduction strategies to minimise heat exposure and sensitivity across Australia, paying particular attention to the needs of vulnerable populations;
(c) further acknowledges that, through the Climate and Health Alliance, more than 50 health, social welfare and conservation groups have joined together in an open letter to the Parliament, to highlight the unprecedented and profound threat of climate change on the health of people and the health system; and
(d) calls on the Federal Government to listen to the experts, and act now to follow the 965 jurisdictions in 18 countries that have already declared a climate emergency, and take the urgent actions required to protect human and environmental health.
The government is taking real and practical action with our Climate Solutions Package. The most recent data shows Australia's annual emissions are coming 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 increase cost-of-living pressures.
We cannot support this motion because One Nation bases its conclusions on empirical data within a logical structure that proves causation. Appeals to name do not trump facts. We note sadly a recent court finding that the devastating 2011 Brisbane floods were due to mismanagement of dams. If the Premier of the day, Anna Bligh, had acted on empirical data, rather than on the unfounded scares of so-called experts like mammalian palaeontologist Tim Flannery, who convinced the nation that droughts were the new norm due to human-caused climate change, rather than what they really are—natural cyclical events—this disaster would never have happened.
I note that it is 93 days since we challenged Senator Di Natale to provide his empirical evidence proving human cause and that he continues to refuse to do so. It is nine years and two months since I first challenged Senator Larissa Waters to provide the same, and she fails to do so.