Adjournment- Climate Change

6 Feb 2020

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My adjournment matter is for the Premier, and the action I seek is for the Premier to increase his government’s ambition on climate action here in Victoria in the wake of the devastating bushfires that have occurred across our state and across the country. There is no doubt about the link between climate change and the fires that have occurred. So many people are drawing the link—rightly so—between climate policy and these fires and demanding more climate action from their governments. A lot of credit does need to go to the newly elected federal Greens leader, Adam Bandt, who for many years has been raising the issue of climate policy—

Mr Pearson interjected.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Essendon is warned.

Mr HIBBINS: He has been raising the issue of climate policy whilst bushfires are occurring, often—in fact always—to the criticism of so many. Now the opposite is true: you cannot talk about these fires without talking about climate policy.

So much of the action needed on climate policy is under the control of state governments. This is what climate action does mean here in Victoria. It does mean a phasing out of coal-fired power, the biggest source of carbon emissions here in Victoria. In this government there is no plan to phase out coal-fired power or a plan for workers. Victoria is burning more coal here in Victoria than the proposed Adani coalmine would produce every year, and it is slated to keep burning for decades to come.

We cannot have any new fossil fuel projects. I cannot make this any clearer. Coal, gas, oil—it needs to stay in the ground. The moratorium on onshore gas needs to be made a permanent ban. The government needs to stop funding new fossil fuel projects.

We have got to stop logging our native forests. These precious carbon stores are actually getting carbon out of the air. They cannot be logged any longer. Despite the massive loss of habitat and animals, they are still being logged right now. The government needs to bring forward the end of native forest logging from 2030.

Finally, the government needs to take action to cut transport emissions. Around 20 per cent of Victoria’s carbon emissions comes from transport, and it is going north—it is increasing. There does need to be a planned and massive investment to actually shift people to sustainable transport and to zero-emissions vehicles. But there is no plan in this state to cut transport emissions.

We need to call it what it is: we are in a climate emergency. The government needs to act to increase its ambition on climate policy here in Victoria.

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