Environment and Climate Change

My commitment to act against climate change and protect our Northside environment

As your Federal representative, I’m working hard in Parliament and at home on the Northside to protect our environment. In my first speech to Parliament, I made a commitment to be a good ancestor and to fight to leave the world a better place for future generations. I strongly believe that climate change will be the issue that defines our generation, and any government that refuses to take real action will be remembered as being on the wrong side of history.

The cost of climate change

The moral cost of refusing to protect our flora, fauna and people from the harshening climate is one that we cannot and should not bear. Climate change is no longer a theoretical threat –our nation has been devastated by droughts, fires, floods, and crop failures in recent years. In 2019, the Bramble Cay mosaic-tailed rat, a tiny Australian island rodent, became the first mammal to become extinct due to climate change. In 2021, UNESCO downgraded the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage Status from “poor” to “very poor” due to dramatic coal decline caused by climate change.

Acting on climate change is not just a moral imperative – it’s also an economic one.  Because of Lilley’s coastal location and position on the globe, we are particularly vulnerable to some of the more destructive consequences of climate change. Approximately one-third of Lilley is vulnerable to sea level rise,[1] and two-fifths of the electorate will be vulnerable to flooding events due to projected increases in rainfall intensity.[2] Cyclone paths are moving in a southerly direction, dramatically increasing the likelihood of cyclones in SEQ.[3] The number of days above 35 degrees in Lilley is predicated to rise above at least 25 by 2070.[4] As a consequence of these climate projections, the cost of home insurance is expected to skyrocket, putting immense pressure on household budgets (see below table).[5] Further, almost 5,000 Lilley homes are expected to become uninsurable by 2050.[6]

As the cost of living continues to rise for most Northsiders, acting against climate change and investing in renewable energy is one way we can ease the burden on household budgets.

Work with local environment community groups

Lilley is home to a handful of fantastic community groups who are dedicated to preserving our beautiful corner of the world, including Keep Sandgate Beautiful Association, the Nudgee Beach Environmental Education Centre, the Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre, the Northern Catchments Network, and the Cabbage Tree Creek catchment coordinating network.

Clean Up Australia Day at Decker Park in Brighton.

Clean Up Australia Day at Decker Park in Brighton.

Linda and Neil from Keep Sandgate Beautiful Association.

Linda and Neil from Keep Sandgate Beautiful Association.

Local funding secured for Lilley environment projects

I’m proud to have helped secure local federal funding for local environmental initiatives, including:

  • $12,500 for Keep Sandgate Beautiful Association funded through the Community Environment Program to restore Dowse Lagoon.
  • $19,692 for Brisbane Catchments Network funded through the Community Environment Program to create a native forest at Nearra St Parklands, Degaon.
  • $15,000 for St Dympna’s Primary School funded through the Local Schools Community Fund to build an interactive garden.
  • $20,000 for Padua College funded through the Community Environment Program for waste management program.
  • $9,865 for Sandgate Hawks AFL Club funded through the Community Energy Efficient and Solar Grants Program.
  • $290,000 through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program to complete Stage 2 of the Nudgee Waterhole Reserve project.  This project will include enhancements to the playground and picnic area, extension of the northern carpark, and planting of extra trees throughout the site to provide additional shade
    for park users and buffer noise from the Gateway Motorway. 
Padua College's new waste management program.

Padua College's new waste management program.

BCN's native forest at Nearra St Parklands in Degaon.

BCN's native forest at Nearra St Parklands in Degaon.

Labor’s plan to harness the power of renewable energy

As our global allies commit to net zero by 2050 to tackle climate change, the Morrison Government continues to drag their feet, failing to offer real solutions to tackle climate change and protect our environment.  We cannot stand by and allow our economy and our workers to be unprepared for the global shift in energy supply. We need a just transition and investment in the renewable energy sector.

Australia has the opportunity to emerge as a winner in a low pollution global economy. We can become a renewable energy superpower – but only with the right leadership. Labor will harness the power of renewables to power our manufacturing, develop our hydrogen industry, and create a generation of secure, well paid jobs.

An Albanese Labor Government will:

  1. Join with the rest of the world and adopt a target of net zero emissions by 2050 – creating jobs, cutting electricity bills and lowering pollution.
  2. Labor will unleash the power of our solar, hydro and wind power stations by rewiring the nation, building new transmission lines to connect renewables to industry. 
  3. We will give power back to the people by building community batteries for household solar – and with our Electric Car Discount, we will cut taxes on electric vehicles, making them cheaper for families to buy.
  4. We will invest $100 million to support 10,000 New Energy Apprenticeships and $10 million in a New Energy Skills Program
  5. Labor set up the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The Liberals have spent 7 years undermining them. We’ll support them in government.

Labor’s plan to protect our local bushland

An Albanese Labor Government will ensure the Commonwealth has the institutional capacity to provide effective and transparent environmental management systems, which are essential for sound decision-making, monitoring, assessment and reporting of environmental performance and outcomes.

That will include an Environment Protection Agency: a strong cop on the beat that is genuinely independent of the government, will report to the Parliament, and will play a central role in restoring Australians trust in the Commonwealth’s capacity and willingness to protect our precious natural environment.

Recent advocacy for environmental protection and climate action in Parliament

Click the links below to see a few of my recent speeches fighting for environmental protection and climate action in Parliament.

Recent advocacy for environmental protection and climate action in the media.

Click the links below to see a few of my recent media appearances fighting for environmental protection and climate action.

[1] Brisbane City Council, 2015. Brisbane Inundation 2100.

[2] Brisbane City Council, 2020. Flood Awareness Map.

[3] Bruyère, C., Holland, G., Prein, A., Done, J., Buckley, B., Chan, P., Leplastrier, M., Dyer, A., 2019. Severe Weather in a Changing Climate.

[4] Ogge, M., Browne, B., Hughes, T., 2019. HeatWatch Queensland. The Australia Institute.

[5] Ting, I., Scott, N., Palmer, A., Slezak, M., 2019. How the spread of insurance red zones could trigger a property crunch [WWW Document]. ABC News. URL https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-23/the-suburbsfacing-rising-insurance-costs-from-climate-risk/11624108 (accessed 5.31.20).

[6] Ting, I., Scott, N., Palmer, A., Slezak, M., 2019. How the spread of insurance red zones could trigger a property crunch [WWW Document]. ABC News. URL https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-23/the-suburbsfacing-rising-insurance-costs-from-climate-risk/11624108 (accessed 5.31.20).