The Gladstone Commitment on Climate
As delivered at Gladstone Hub, 6 April 2019
The evidence of dangerous climate change is well-established and beyond doubt. Climate change is a real and present threat to the safety and security of the people and places we care about — as well as to the national economy.
Extreme weather events, loss of native species, landscape changes, and sea-level rise are already driving increased mitigation and adaptation costs for government and business, a loss of investment opportunity, lack of economic certainty, and damaging our future standard of living and health of our country.
The solutions to climate change are key to our nation’s, and planet’s, future prosperity.
Private investment depends on policy certainty. Government Industry Policy is at its best when promoting new job markets, not protecting declining ones, and supporting just transitions. The farm sector benefits from better soil and water, invasive species management, and biodiversity stewardship.
If elected at the upcoming federal poll I will work with other like-minded parliamentarians, to:
1. Support policies and bills that prioritise climate change as progressive industry policy that supports investment and set rules on the economy that benefit Australians and their environment. This includes investment in clean energy, clean transport, healthier and biodiverse land carbon sinks and jobs.
2. Vote against any legislative or regulatory attempts to commit public money to new or existing coal or other fossil fuel operations, including any government underwriting of coal or gas power plants. This also includes enforcing transparent decision-making on all environmental approvals, particularly water and habitats vital for wildlife and people.
3. Embed climate change into industry, economic, health and environment policy and law so that action to support Australians cut pollution and adapt to climate change that’s already happening becomes a central objective of government.
4. Maximise opportunities to increase funding and good policy that protects threatened and native species and habitat as part of an overall climate strategy, and work with farmers and others to reduce invasive species, as well as prioritise the climate change and biodiversity benefits of structured soil, land, forest, and water management.
5. Call out where and how dirty money and dirty lobbying is trying to weaken climate action, and support policies that reduce their ability to buy influence and increase the transparency of political donations and participation in Australian democracy.
If I become a member of parliament I will play a role in advancing the cause of responsible climate change action. I commit to working to:
Establish an advisory panel of Australia’s leading climate scientists, including drawing on the research of the CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Academy of Science, to provide evidenced-based advice to aid the formation of climate policy.
Work with other parliamentary colleagues to use all available parliamentary processes to take all action in our power to have climate change embedded into all aspects of modern government.
Invite the Prime Minister to provide bi-annual progress reports to parliament on the implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies across all ministerial portfolios.
Work in partnership with all parliamentary colleagues, lower and upper house, to use committee processes, including estimates, to ensure climate change is being addressed by government.
Dedicate at least one matter of public importance each parliamentary session to climate change, the opportunities for solutions, and the attitudes of local constituents on the issue.
Assist, wherever possible, concerned community members and scientists visiting our electorates or parliament so they can represent strong climate action, and engage with all Australians on sensible science.
Supporting a strong democracy and the rights of community organisations to peacefully advocate to government and business for good climate and environment action.
I recognise this is not an exhaustive list of actions I could commit to take if elected, but it represents a starting point towards a very important end: making the Australian Parliament a greater force for responsible and effective climate action.