Mayo MP backs climate action Private Member's Bill

9 Nov 2020
Zali Climate presser 9 11 2020

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie today supported her Crossbench colleague Zali Steggall as the Independent MP introduced her Private Member's Bill to tackle climate change in the Parliament.

"It was a privilege to second the Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020 and I commend the Member for Warringah for the extraordinary body of work she has done on this legislation and her campaign Climate Act Now," Rebekha said today.

"We need a new approach to break the climate policy deadlock in Australia. This Bill seeks to set in place a long-term framework to overcome the climate wars and provide long-overdue guidance on our transition to a low carbon economy.

"It is my hope that Zali's Bill will break through the partisan politics and move beyond the climate wars to create a framework for good governance and effective, science-based policy direction.

"I call on the Government to allow debate on the Bill and a conscience-vote for their Members."

Key features of the legislation include:

  • A comprehensive framework for co-ordinating adaptation of all sectors to warming climates. The framework sets statutory targets, assigns clear duties and responsibilities and provides clarity about the long-term direction.
  • Climate Change Risk Assessment for all sectors such as health, agriculture, energy and transport.
  • A National Adaptation Program to ensure Australia has a plan to meet increasing challenges.
  • The establishment of a Climate Change Commission, to provide expert advice on climate policy and long-term objectives and assesses the effectiveness of Government policy proposals for adaptation and mitigation.
  • The bill is supported by Professor Ross Garnaut, a renowned Australian economist who released the 2008 Garnaut Climate Change Review which examined the scientific evidence around the impacts of climate change on Australia and its economy.
  • He predicted that without adequate action, the nation would face a more frequent and intense fire season by 2020.

The Bill is supported by the Australian Business Council, Atlassian, the Climate Council, Australian Energy Council and WWF Australia, among others. It has also been endorsed by prominent leaders including Christiana Figuerres, former UN climate chief who oversaw
the Paris Agreement, Economist Professor Ross Garnaut and US Climate Scientist Dr Michael Mann.

"Climate change will have severe impacts upon Australia's national security, upon our economic security and our food security, upon public health and upon our natural environment," Rebekha said.

"Rural and regional Australia will face the brunt of climate change. In Mayo, the consequences are also burnt into our psyche.

"The Black Summer bushfires claimed the lives of three people in my community, destroyed hundreds of homes and outbuildings and thousands of hectares of farmland and precious native habitat.

"The recent Royal Commission carries a sombre warning that such bushfires are only going to become more frequent and more intense."

You can read Rebekha's speech here.

Zali also introduced a related Private Member's Bill, the Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2020, which was seconded by the Independent Member for Indi Helen Haines. This Bill seeks to deal with the consequential matters arising from the enactment of the Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Act 2020.

Photo: Rebekha joined her Crossbench colleagues in a show of support for the Member for Warringah Zali Steggall and her climate action legislation.

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