MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
TUESDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2020
SUBJECTS: Labor’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050; Scott Morrison’s hysteria.
MICHELLE ROWLAND, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: We’re here in 2020, and this is the year in which I will clock up 10 years in Parliament. During that entire time, Australia has been plagued by the climate wars. The message from Australians is clear: they want these climate wars to come to an end, they want action on climate change, and – as is completely understandable – there is uncertainty about what the future brings.
That’s why at this time we need consensus in this place. Labor is the party of consensus when it comes to climate change. We’ve listened to the science, we’ve listened to experts, we’ve listened to business, and we’ve listened to the Australian people. That is why our commitment that has been announced by Anthony Albanese makes sense for the Australian people and makes sense for this Parliament. The only outlier in this is Scott Morrison. It was very clear from his approach in the Parliament yesterday that he intends to continue being an outlier, an outlier also in respect of his own party, including conservative State leaders who support action on climate change.
So, we know what happens next in this movie – we’ve seen it before. There’ll be a scare campaign, there will be untruths, there will be Liberal propaganda sent out on every medium trying to convince Australians to be scared. Well, the reality is that this is not a time to be making Australians who already have uncertainty about everything from stagnant wages to the economy of our country, and the global economy. It’s not a time for scare campaigns. It’s a time to listen to the experts, it’s a time to take action because the cost of inaction cannot be borne.
We know from research done by the University of Melbourne, by the CSIRO, we know that the benefits outweigh the costs on a 20:1 scale. And what is the cost of inaction? The cost of inaction is not only the economic cost that will be greater than the Great Depression but will also mean the cost of continuing to have an Australian populace who does not have trust in their politicians, who continue to see these climate wars perpetuate, who continue to see inaction and being frustrated with our Parliament.
Yesterday, Scott Morrison’s hysteria demonstrated the path that he has chosen to take. Labor takes a very different path, and that’s what we will offer to the Australian people at the next election.