Wednesday, 7 September 2022
Consideration Of Legislation
That if the second reading debate for the Climate Change Bill 2022 and a related bill has not concluded by 7.20 pm on Wednesday, 7 September 2022:
(a) the hours of meeting be 9.30 am till adjournment;
(b) the routine of business from 7.20 pm be consideration of the Climate Change Bill 2022 and a related bill—second reading speeches only;
(c) the Senate adjourn without debate at the conclusion of the second reading debate or on the motion of a minister, whichever is the earlier; and
(d) if a division is called for after 7.20 pm, the matter before the Senate be adjourned until the next day of sitting at a time fixed by the Senate.
While the opposition is not against additional sitting hours, we don't accept that this proposal is appropriate. Firstly, we note these extra hours are being brought on just one day after the bill was introduced into the Senate and there has been no attempt to even use the normal hours of the Senate. Secondly, the bill changes nothing, as the targets it legislates have already been adopted by the government and committed to under the international agreement, so there is no urgency in this bill that actually changes nothing. Thirdly, the government has been making a big deal about a more family friendly parliament and sitting hours yet here we are in a greatly hypocritical move with the government proposing an open-ended debate that could see people sitting here well beyond midnight for a bill that changes nothing. We oppose the motion.
The Greens will be supporting this motion. We believe and understand that taking climate action is an urgent priority. It should be an urgent priority for all of us. While this bill is largely symbolic, it now binds the government to a promise that they will get on with it, so we want the bill dealt with. We have worked to strengthen it, so get it done and then get on with the real work.