On this day of national shame—and that is the only way you can describe it when the government and the Labor Party have completely lost their moral compass—to retrospectively legalise the illegal, under the law as it stands, to send babies into offshore detention indefinitely, I rise here to say how proud I am that the Greens are a strong and rising political force here and around the world, a force for hope, resilience and change in an otherwise bleak political environment. That force for hope, resilience and change was on show here last night as well, as we stood up for addressing global warming, for renewable energy, for the conversion to the low-carbon economy and, instead, watched what I can only describe as the 'hollow men'. I will come back to that a bit later.
After a federal budget with no new funding for public transport, and a deal between Labor and the Coalition to increase the fuel excise without giving people the option of getting out of their car, Janet Rice puts the case for affirmative action to fund train, tram and bus infrastructure, as well as facilities for walkers and cyclists.
After the deal between Labor and the Abbott government to increase the petrol tax, Senator Rice argues it fails to cut pollution, fails to give people transport options and fails to compensate the least well off.
I rise to speak today about what is an enormous missed opportunity. A missed opportunity to get Australia on track when it comes to taking real action on climate change, a missed opportunity when it comes to missing the great inequality and unfairness that exists in this country - the growing gap between the haves and the have nots.