The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, addressed the Tasmanian rally for the Day of Climate Action. Mr Wilkie outlined ten reasons why we must take strong action on climate change and do what we can to try and stop the Federal Government repealing the price on carbon:
1. We have a fundamental responsibility to clean up the environment because we are a major contributor to the cause of climate change, and also because we have the money, knowledge and wherewithal to do something about it.
2. We should do everything in our power to minimize the inter-generational injustice of climate change. Our actions ripple far into the future and we owe it our children to clean up the environment now and put in place the mechanisms to help keep it clean in the future.
3. Extreme weather events are already hurting people. It’s not just about the future because climate change is a present threat and not just one that will impact on our kids. From bushfires to wild weather there can, quite simply, be no doubt that we are all either directly affected by climate change or greatly concerned for those who are.
4. We were a global leader on climate change until the Abbott Government proposed undoing all the good work of the last parliament. As a nation and per capita, Australia is a big part of the problem and we can and should be a big part of the solution.
5. Climate change is a genuine security and humanitarian problem. Extreme weather leads to global and regional instability, not least because of the damaging effects of wild weather, rising sea levels and the mass movement of environmental refugees. Action is required now to prevent even greater problems, problems that will not be contained by national borders.
6. A price on carbon also helps prepare Australia for the future global economy. As nations wake up to the importance of climate action they will, and in fact already are, adapting their economies to suit and if Australia falls behind, we will be left behind.
7. Dealing with climate change will boost the Tasmanian economy because a prospering renewable energy industry creates jobs and fosters economic development. Already Hydro Tasmania is enjoying an increase of some $70m in revenue annually on account of the current carbon pricing regime.
8. There will also be greater business certainty by leaving current climate change policies as they are. No wonder so many business leaders urged the Coalition Opposition to not make any significant changes to carbon pricing in the event the Coalition won the 2013 election.
9. Climate change is a matter of principle, and we must take a principled stand. Yes, economic arguments have merit. But above all this debate is about accepting climate science, admitting fault and taking responsibility.
10. This is about being people of our word. John Howard once argued for a price on carbon, as did Malcolm Turnbull and Greg Hunt. So if the Liberal Party is to stand for something then it really should put its political self-interest aside and back the price on carbon. For my part I went to the 2010 election arguing for a price on carbon and backed the relevant bills when they came before the Parliament. I then went to the 2013 election promising to try and keep the price on carbon and that is what I will continue to do.
November 09 2013
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, discussed the announcement by Greens Leader, Nick McKim, that the Labor/Greens Government is progressing the light rail project in Hobart and Glenorchy.
“I’m pleased there has been movement by the Government on this important issue. Light rail would link communities, reduce traffic congestion, save money and help clean up the environment.
“However the proposal is still half baked with the plan to stop at MONA and not extend to at least Claremont, Austins Ferry and Granton. A serious light rail proposal would need to include at least these areas with the system ideally extending as far as Brighton. It should also accommodate North Hobart.
“The limited scope of the project, tailored to a bid for federal funding, is a cop out. While I will of course do my best to secure federal funding, it’s way beyond time for Tasmania to stand on its own two feet and find the money for such projects from its own resources.
“The light rail project must be done right. I hope that this is a promise that will be delivered, unlike the Labor/Greens promise on light rail before the 2010 State Election which had come to nothing until the lead up to the 2014 State Election.
“The Liberal Party must also commit to this project if it is to be anything more than just electioneering theatre. To that end I’ve spoken to Will Hodgman personally about his party getting behind it.”
October 31 2013
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, discussed the latest revelation of cruelty in Australia’s live animal export trade, this time the live sheep trade to Jordan.
“I’m beyond asking how many more episodes of animal cruelty are needed before the Australian Government shuts down the live export trade,” Mr Wilkie said.
“The Government simply doesn’t care about the trade being systemically cruel, not being in Australia’s economic self-interest and lacking popular support.
“The latest episode in Jordan shows again the cruelty routinely metered out to Australian livestock sent overseas. It joins a very long list of exposés by Animal Australia and others in countries as diverse as Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Pakistan and of course repeatedly in Indonesia.
“In this case the Government must identify the Australian exporter and come down on it like a ton of bricks.
“To allow the trade to continue in the full knowledge that it is systemically cruel makes the Australian Government every bit as guilty as any individual found guilty in Australia of cruelty to animals.
“I remain committed to progress a Private Member’s Bill in the new Parliament to wind up the trade.”
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