Senate debates

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Statements by Senators

Youth Voice in Parliament Week

1:34 pm

Photo of Peter Whish-WilsonPeter Whish-Wilson (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

[by video link] Today in the Australian Senate I speak the voice of Cooper Meikle, a young Tasmanian. This is part of Raise Our Voice Australia, lifting the voices of diverse young Australians in parliaments, politics, domestic and foreign policy. Cooper says: 'In 2041, Australia can be in one of two places—a global pariah and climate outcast, blazing with bushfires, washed away by floods and having lost thousands of unique species, or we can be a success story, a country that chose to turn around the path of inevitable demise, ushering in a new green future. My vision for Australia is for our country to be a world leader in renewables, social standards and green manufacturing, a nation at the forefront of research and development to tackle the challenges that lay ahead. "Our land abounds in nature's gifts" is a line from our anthem, and in this decade it has never been more true. Our country is brimming with sunshine, rivers, raw materials and skilled workers. In 20 years, I want to see Australia be the leader of a new green industrial revolution. In 20 years, Australia's strengths can be practically silent, with only the hum of electric cars to disturb you. Getting your electricity bill can be a pleasant surprise when you see the money earned from selling your excess solar power. My vision is that our cities will be filled with urban farms, parks and wildlife instead of being littered with the current waste. In this vision for our future, we need not worry about the impending doom of a climate emergency and environmental catastrophe. Instead we can live life to its fullest, creating a beautiful world for all.'

Cooper is one of many young Australians adding their voice to the Raise our Voice Australia campaign. Coincidentally, I heard Cooper speak today at the climate strike in Launceston, where young Launcestonians and Tasmanians are coming together to demand, in this time of code red, real action for their future, to make that sure we in Canberra, the decision-makers, understand our responsibility to future generations. (Time expired)