Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3391 ..


In the face of a climate emergency, the ACT’s climate change response is urgent, ambitious and, most importantly, collaborative, equitable and informed by an understanding that we all have a responsibility to act. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (5.10): As the Canberra Liberals shadow minister for emissions reduction, I welcome this opportunity to speak to Ms Clay’s motion on COP26. The Canberra Liberals do not oppose this motion. The Canberra Liberals are ambitious for our environment and are fed up with climate change being a political issue.

We saw that recently with the arrogant remarks by the Greens leader, Shane Rattenbury, that he hoped the Canberra Liberals leader, Elizabeth Lee, took a large notebook to the COP26 conference. Ms Lee’s participation at the Glasgow conference reflects the Canberra Liberals’ commitment to broad-based action on climate change. I would like to put on the record comments by Ms Lee on the matter. She said that “action on protecting our environment, valuing and respecting our environment”, are inherently Liberal values. In the Canberra Times of 2 November, Ms Lee is quoted as saying:

… it’s also important to note that action on climate change, action to conserve our environment, should not be a political issue … It is something that is of great importance to many people across all political spectrums. It’s important that leaders show that.

Unfortunately, this motion today does not demonstrate that leadership. It is a missed opportunity. Young activist Greta Thunberg has captured the world’s attention with her dismissal of token statements without demonstrating real outcomes as, “Blah, blah, blah.” So why can’t we, together, as an Assembly, show our young Canberra environmentalists that we are not “blah, blah, blah”; that we not only have tripartisan support for ambitious emissions reduction targets, but a tripartisan agreed plan on how we will get there?

The Greens talk about doing politics differently, and here in the ACT they speak about building a better normal. Let the Greens turn those words into action and take up my offer to come together and work this out.

Canberrans enjoy a high standard of living because our parents and previous generations worked hard to create it. If society is a compact between generations, it is our job as legislators to hand on to the next generation a better quality of life, which is why action on climate change is sorely needed. That is why the Canberra Liberals support ambitious goals to reduce our emissions. It is why the Canberra Liberals want to see accountability and transparency, with clearly defined measures to achieve our targets, and it is why the Canberra Liberals seek a tripartisan approach to these challenges.

The way I see it, most people are practical environmentalists. They support meetings of world leaders like COP26, but they also demand real, sensible action. Practical


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video