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Climate Change - new fossil fuel projects and environmental law reform

Climate Change - new fossil fuel projects and environmental law reform

Ms SPENDER (Wentworth) (15:33):

My question is to the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister, Europe is burning, and Australians remember our own Black Summer with fear for the future. The UN Secretary-General has said we have entered a period of 'global boiling'. Do you agree with his assessment, and, if so, why does your government continue to approve new coalmines and continue to delay crucial reform to environmental laws, and why has it still not delivered a national risk assessment?

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler—Prime Minister) (15:33): I thank the minister for Wentworth for her question. I certainly agree that climate change is real, that the science has been settled and that we need to respond, as a globe, to climate change. It would appear to be the case that July is likely to be the hottest month experienced on record, and here in Australia as well. For people who have experienced a July that is unusually dry and hot compared with what has occurred in the past, we know that it is having an impact here. And we know that the warnings of scientists—that extreme weather events are more intense and more frequent—are, tragically, proving to be correct. 

Last week I was with the member for Gilmore down at Ulladulla, meeting with people engaged with Landcare but also meeting people who lost their homes in the bushfires of 2019-20. I did that in part to talk publicly about the need for preparation for the upcoming season. People need to take precautions very early on, much earlier on then they would have anticipated because of what we went through with the massive fires in 2019-20, where we indeed saw some rainforests burn for the first time since scientists could ascertain how long they had been in existence for. We saw unprecedented activities. This was not business as usual.

That's why people on the ground are certainly responding, and governments need to respond with them. They need to respond through mitigation and through those measures that are important to preparedness, but we also need to prepare with a policy response. That's why my government has enshrined in legislation net zero by 2050 and a 43 per cent reduction by 2030 while we're working with our Pacific neighbours but also working globally through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to have a comprehensive plan of being a part of the world solution, encouraging our neighbours to move as well.

It is important at the same time that we bring the community with us as well. These things take time. You've had a decade of denial. You can't just flick the switch. You need to make sure that people continue to have access to reliable energy, and we are doing so whilst we transition in a way that is in the interests of Australia but indeed (Time expired

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