"We need to create a sustainable future for future generations"
As we face extremes in weather, more prolonged droughts, erratic rainfall, high temperatures, and changes to the timing of seasons, farm families and workers are most vulnerable to weather variations. The Mallee workplace is often in the outside environment.
Rural communities have a deep interest in ensuring that the biosphere is healthy. A sustainable environment is vital for the people, regional districts, the animals, for biodiversity, and profit.
Australia’s agriculture industry relies on stable climatic conditions, rain, and healthy rivers and that is not what we are currently experiencing. Our tourism industry relies on natural attractions such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Tasmanian wilderness. The fishing industry is at risk from ocean acidification. Country towns face growing threats from fires and crippling droughts which are caused by unnecessary carbon emissions. For these reasons and more we need action to reduce carbon emissions now.
Twenty-eight years ago the first international report called on the government to act to reduce carbon in the atmosphere as a known threat to the environment. Since then, global emissions have risen more than 60 per cent. We are currently emitting about 42 billion tonnes of CO2 per year, and the global temperature has increased by 1.0-degree. To maintain a habitable planet we need to keep the emissions of CO2 below a further 0.5-degree rise.
The current Liberal-National Coalition Government is resisting change and trying to prop up losers. We’re missing the leadership and strategic planning on regional infrastructure, drought preparedness, adapting to the extreme weather, renewable power supply and water distribution. Ten years of “climate wars” have prevented us from taking meaningful action to address climate change. Political short-termism has prevented meaningful long-term reform leaving us at the back of the international pack in implementing policies that address Australia's share of global warming.
The coalition continues to put the interests of the coal and fossil fuel industry ahead of every other sector and source of employment in Australia. We must act on Climate change, and with our abundant natural resources and strategic geographic position, climate change is an opportunity for Australia. We can have the power we want when we want by investing in renewable energy, storage and transmission. If we had a government that understood the threat of climate change and embraced the opportunities it presents, Australia could be on the right path. A warming planet cannot be left for future generations to rectify.
An Independent member for Mallee, unencumbered by the corporate dollar, can give voice to the concerns of people in the regions and contribute to a carbon-neutral future. I understand the challenges and the work of creating economic solutions. Australia has an abundance of sources of renewable energy, and we can implement the opportunity new technology and new solutions provide. We need to stop opening new coal mines, like Adani, and accelerate the construction of renewable energy facilities so we can, in a sensible and planned way, close down our old unreliable coal-fired power stations and ensure we have a power system that is safe, secure and more affordable for everyone. Last week’s landmark Rocky Hill court ruling paves the way for Australian society to choose climate over coal.
We do need to create a sustainable future for our children and their children.