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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3397 ..


Recently, the ACT Health Care Consumers Association made a submission to the ACT government advocating for a health-based response to climate change in the budget consultation. Their submission said:

HCCA recognises the overwhelming evidence that climate change will have adverse impacts on human health, and these effects are projected to worsen if action is not taken. There are significant environmental and financial costs of health care that need to be addressed. The health care sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, waste products and natural resource consumption. This threatens our present and future health.

Looking at the intersections of climate change and other areas of significant public policy is one of the next significant areas that the ACT government can lead on.

I am proud to be a member of a political party which, even when it is not popular, will always fight back against challenges to our climate and our environment. More than just agreeing to targets, agreements or strategies, we have historically in this place had the courage to have the difficult conversations with the community about what change in our community, our society and our economy will mean to protect us against climate change.

The Canberra Liberals have recently had a passionate about-face on a range of climate change policies, without the courage to have a difficult conversation with the Canberra community about the things that we will need to do to get there—like ending our reliance on gas and transitioning away from what is yet another dirty fossil fuel.

We have seen advocacy from Greens in this place laughed at when we have spoken about the need for car-free days or car-free areas in our city. We have seen the accusation that that would ruin the Australian way of life or the Canberra way of life.

It is an important challenge in this policy area for everybody in this place to make sure that, if they are going to go blah, blah, blah, they can properly articulate and challenge the steps we need to take to get to a net zero economy and a net zero society. You actually have to articulate the b, c, d and e as we step through that.

I look forward to more conversations in this place where all three political parties are prepared to authentically and honestly articulate their full vision for a city that continues to tackle the climate crisis, and all the different policy areas they will need to reflect on, and perhaps reform, if they are to be taken seriously in the debate.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (5.35): Madam Speaker, let me begin speaking in support of Ms Clay’s motion by thanking her for bringing to this place today the most important issue facing our planet.

Climate change will bring more natural disasters, such as bushfires, heatwaves, drought and summer storms. It will also disrupt economic activity and displace


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