Clear skies for timely release of climate data

22 Jul 2020

Posted October 22, 2018

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has today introduced a Private Member’s Bill to force the timely release of climate change data so the Government cannot hide unwelcome emissions information.

“In the past, the Government has sat on its quarterly climate change data and quietly released it on the eve of major news events such as the AFL Grand Final weekend and even Christmas Eve,” Rebekha said.

“The Australian public deserves better and obviously the Senate agrees because last week, the day after I lodged my intention to present my Private Member’s Bill, Senators took action to make sure the spirit of my legislation takes effect.

“The Senate used its powers to order the production of certain documents to pass a motion requiring the Government to table their Greenhouse Gas Inventory figures 15 days after the Minister receives the report in each House of Parliament, or to provide an explanation for any delay.

“This is an almost identical outcome to that described in my Bill – so someone was obviously paying attention!

“I commend the Senate for taking note of my Bill and running with it.”

Besides also asking for a 15-day reporting window, Rebekha’s National Greenhouse and Energy reporting Amendment (Timely Publication of Emissions) Bill 2018 would have gone further to require a sector-by-sector breakdown of emissions.

“I would have liked to see the Government also required to provide the sector-by-sector emissions data they collect to give greater clarity to the Australian public, but the Senate’s motion for transparency around quarterly emissions is a very important first step,” Rebekha said.

The Bill further requires that the report must be prepared in accordance with international guidelines as agreed at the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Warsaw 2013 (including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (2006)).

The Senate motion, passed by 33 votes to 27 last week, will effectively end the erratic release of climate data since the Coalition won government in September 2013.

The Morrison government was recently criticised for releasing its March 2018 quarterly pollution figures late on September 28, the eve of the national football grand finals on a day dominated by an interim banking royal commission report.

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