SPEECH - CLIMATE PETITION RECOGNISED IN PARLIAMENT

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I'd like to take this opportunity to place on record a change.org petition on climate change that was started by a constituent of mine, renewable energy expert Dr Richard Finlay-Jones.

The petition notes a very successful legal action that the people of the Netherlands took against their government for failing to act sufficiently on climate change and really lays bare the frustration that so many Australian people have with the inability, and perhaps the unwillingness, of this government to take any real action on climate change, leaving us as a nation in a diabolical mess, with no plan to deal with this massive global issue.

If the Morrison government continues to dismiss climate change as some fringe issue driven by the so-called usual suspects, as it is often reported by government, then they are in for a very big shock.

It's very clear from the more than 65,000 signatories to this petition that Australians are deeply frustrated with the Morrison government's diabolical lack of action on the climate emergency facing our planet.

I share this frustration. It is unforgiveable that the Liberals have continually refused to act on the warnings of scientists about the dire impacts of climate change, especially in the face of this summer's unprecedented and catastrophic fire season. It won't surprise you to learn that Australia, under the Liberals, scored zero out of 100 for climate policy in the global 2020 Climate Change Performance Index, making us the worst performing nation.

Action on climate change isn't a sideline policy issue for many Australians anymore. It's the main game, and so it should be. Climate change is real. Australians can see it, they can smell it, and they feel it. And it's time for this government to take heed.

To this end, I will be writing to the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, on behalf of the 65,000 Australians who signed this petition, to convey their profound dismay at his handling of this existential climate emergency. I will alert him to the petition and ask him to provide a written response to me that responds to the grave and urgent issues raised in the petition. I will forward any update to the signatories to the petition when I receive the Prime Minister's response.

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle