Full house for first meeting of Friends for Climate Action

22 Jul 2020

Posted February 18, 2019

It was a full house for today’s inaugural meeting of the Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action group co-chaired by the Centre Alliance Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie and the Independent Member for Wentworth Dr Kerryn Phelps.

Photograph: Attending the inaugural event for the Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action were Co-Chair Dr Kerryn Phelps, the Independent Member for Wentworth, left; Tweed Valley farmer Robert Quick; Australian Farmers for Climate Action Chief Executive Officer Verity Morgan-Schmidt; NSW farmer Charlie Prell; Narrandera farmer Graham Strong; and Co-Chair Rebekha Sharkie, the Federal Member for Mayo.

Members of Parliament and advisers from across the political spectrum turned up to hear speakers from Farmers for Climate Action discuss innovations in the agricultural sector to tackle climate change.

“We had a fantastic turnout and we hope this will be the start of many events to come,” Rebekha said.

“I’d like to thank my parliamentary colleagues for their support for our first event, including the Opposition Spokesperson for Agriculture Joel Fitzgibbon and South Australian Senator Tim Storer.

“The Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action is about taking the partisan politics out of this issue so we can build consensus and share important knowledge about climate science in this Parliament.”

Dr Phelps said Australia needed to address climate change holistically and include the energy sector, transport and agriculture.

"It is noteworthy that we have representatives from agriculture at today’s meeting because they care about future generations," Dr Phelps said

"Farmers want to know what they can do to help mitigate the effects of climate change and information from their perspective was greatly appreciated.

"The agriculture sector plays a crucial role and rural and regional areas must not miss out on the benefits of the transition to renewable energy.“

“The longer we wait the more expensive and difficult the transition becomes.

"Australia needs an evidence-based climate policy led by our national government. We can and we must all assume responsibility for supporting and embracing change for our children, for our land and for our planet.”

The guest speakers at the inaugural event - Robert Quirk, Graham Strong and Charlie Prell – are all farmers.

They spoke on various topics, including the link between drought and climate change, the need for a national strategy on climate action and the leading role farmers are playing in land management and carbon sequestration.

Currently, there are more than 60 parliamentary friendship groups in the 45th parliament. These ‘multipartisan’ groups aim to bring MPs and Senators from all sides of politics together for a common cause.

Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action has 33 members from different parties and across the political spectrum.

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