Fighting for climate action
Ms WELLS (Lilley) (16:03): The Prime Minister and his climate-denying dinosaurs in the coalition are trying to take my constituents for fools. They're waving around a marketing pamphlet that does little more than sweep dust off a few old policies and kick actual climate action as a can down the road. Northsiders are sick to death of being lectured to by this Prime Minister about how grateful they should be that he's in charge and how good he is in power, even as he delegates that power to the Deputy Prime Minister, the member for New England. There's not a morsel of responsibility that he will not shirk.
But that daggy dad from the Shire has really missed the mood on this one. He has misread the mood in my suburbs, that's for sure. At every mobile office I hold, people come to me and ask me to raise this issue in this place and to demand action in this place. That's because every suburb and every town in Australia is affected by climate change—every one. Australians in the regions are not the only people concerned about the effects of climate change, just as Australians in the suburbs and the cities are not the only people concerned about the cost of inaction.
My constituents want to protect the Bowen Basin and Moranbah just as much as we want to protect the Brighton foreshore or the Boondall wetlands, and they know that good climate policy is also good jobs policy, that climate action will not cost jobs; climate action will create jobs. The cost of refusing to act, to protect our environment from the harshening climate, is a cost that no Australian should be forced to bear because of the pig-headedness of this lot loitering on the government benches after nine years.
We know that climate change is no longer a theoretical threat. Our nation has been devastated by droughts, by fires, by floods and by crop failures in recent years. We also know that acting on climate change isn't just a moral imperative to protect our environment for future generations, it is an economic one. Because of Lilley's coastal location and because of Cabbage Tree Creek and because of Kedron Brook and because of our longitude and latitude on the globe, we are particularly vulnerable to some of the more destructive consequences of climate change. Approximately one-third of Lilley is vulnerable to sea-level rise and two-fifths of our electorate would be vulnerable to flooding events due to projected increases in the rainfall intensity. Cyclone paths are moving in a southerly direction, dramatically increasing the likelihood of cyclones in South-East Queensland. We had a tornado at the Brisbane Airport last week. The number of days above 35 degrees in Lilley is predicted to rise above 25 annually by 2070.
Putting all of these climate projections together, the cost of home insurance is expected to skyrocket, putting immense pressure on household budgets. Further, almost 5,000 homes in Lilley are expected to become uninsurable by 2050. So as the cost of living continues to rise for most northsiders, acting to mitigate climate change and investing in renewable energy opportunities is one way we can ease the burden on household budgets, by cutting electricity costs and by keeping home insurance rates in check.
If the Morrison government are fair dinkum about achieving net zero by 2050—the people who came and legislated pins in strawberries, may I remind you—they will come into the House right now and table their modelling. They will come in and legislate for net zero by 2050. Without legislation, stronger medium-term targets and science backed modelling the Morrison government's plan for net zero is not worth the glossy pamphlet paper it has been freshly printed on.
The Morrison government are only okay setting up a 2050 target because none of us in this place will be here in 2050 to be held responsible. By 2050 the Prime Minister will be retired in Hawaii, and the Deputy Prime Minister will be back standing in a paddock yelling at a cloud about the government interfering with his pension. It will be the next generation, our children and grandchildren, who will be cleaning up the mess left by this Morrison government.
To finish off, let's play a few rounds of my favourite game: 'The Betoota Advocate headline or real Morrison government policy', the climate change edition. First off: 'Windfarms and solar panels do not work at night.' Was that Morrison government or Betoota?
An opposition member: Morrison!
Ms WELLS: It was the Morrison government proclamation. That was from the newly reappointed cabinet Minister for Resources and Water this week. Next one: 'Government that spent nine years gutting CSIRO funding now relying on yet-to-be-invented technology to deliver net zero'. That was Betoota. 'Net zero by 2050 is job-destroying policy.' Another government lie. (Time expired)