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Question without Notice: Climate Emergency

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Sam Hibbins MP
Member for Prahran
17 October 2019

Mr HIBBINS : My question is to the Premier. Premier, this week the federal Labor opposition supported a Greens motion to declare a climate emergency. They also proposed their
own motion to declare a climate emergency because, and I quote the shadow minister:

… future generations deserve nothing less.

Premier, will the state Labor government now declare a climate emergency in Victoria?

Mr ANDREWS: I thank the member for Prahran for his question. I have never thought it advisable to vote for Greens motions. There are exceptions every now and then, but I would not have supported that motion, nor would I have moved that motion. No such motion has been moved in this Parliament, and that may be a point of difference between our government and the opposition in Canberra. You can draw your own conclusions on that. What we are about is not motions and words but actions.

Members interjecting.

Mr ANDREWS: Some can laugh. They would have abolished the very renewable energy target that, as the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change has just detailed, is creating hundreds, indeed thousands, of jobs and thousands of megawatts of power, putting downward pressure on prices, cutting emissions and delivering presumably what the Greens political party want—better environmental outcomes. Unless of course you are less concerned about jobs and megawatts and more concerned with slogans, posturing and getting the political points, if you like, from the argument, not the outcome. It is the argument, you see, that is the most important thing. Heaven forbid we make the transition that some talk a lot about. That would be the worst thing that we could do, because then we would have nothing to campaign on. We would have nothing to score cheap political points on. Our reason to exist
would be gone. They would find another one pretty quickly, I reckon, and in that too they would be commentators first and participants last. Those who sit on the sidelines never get things done. It is governments elected with a positive plan and a will, a determination to deliver that plan, that make a difference to the planet, to our nation, to our state, to communities, to individual households through their bills and to individual workers through their jobs and their shared sense of security. The issues that the member raises are not unimportant. I beg to differ with him on how to go forward though. Action is always better than simple posturing. Actual wind turbines generating renewable energy are much more important than motions in the federal Parliament. I stopped a long time ago waiting for anything out of the federal Parliament that resembles a coherent energy policy. A long time ago I stopped waiting for that, because if you had held your breath waiting for that, well, we all know where we would be—we would be no better off. Motions will be moved in the Parliament. They will be voted for, voted against. You stick with that, and I will stick with creating the biggest renewable energy agenda this nation has ever seen.

Mr HIBBINS : On a supplementary question to the Premier, the Premier talks about actions. He talks about actions that are making a difference. Does the Premier accept that his
government’s actions of logging our native forests, exploring new areas for oil and gas drilling, funding new coal and hydrogen projects, extending coal-fired power stations and burning more coal in Victoria every year than the proposed Adani coalmine will produce are actually contributing to climate change, not preventing it?

Mr ANDREWS : The short answer is no. I do not accept that. Emissions are actually coming down, my honourable friend the minister for energy confirms for me, and minister for environment—a rare combination, those two portfolios together. Who did that, I wonder? Oh, that would be our government, wouldn’t it? I will leave the commentary to the commentators and the action to those who have got an agenda and a mandate to get on with it, and that would be every member of the government, not a reduced other political party who are at their
best when they are commentating. That is not leadership. Admiring problems is not leadership. Getting on and getting things done is leadership, and that is what our government offers, it is what our government has delivered and it is, I would submit, one of the reasons why the government was returned to continue this important work.

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Sam Hibbins MP
Member for Prahran
17 October 2019



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