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Speech: Gas industry and climate criminals

I rise to speak on the matter of urgency. The contrast is becoming so clear. As the world moves away from digging up fossil fuels, it is Australia's absolute shame that the Liberals are propping up oil and gas by funnelling endless taxpayer dollars to this dying industry. No amount of actual science or the climate disasters that we have been witnessing in our own back yard—the fires, the floods and the heatwaves—seems to convince this government that digging up fossil fuels is dangerous in the extreme. It is killing us. It is destroying our livelihoods, our communities and our planet.

Just this morning, Mr Morrison spoke via video to the oil and gas lobby's annual conference after being isolated and shamed at the G7 summit. We know who your real mates are. I can never forget that this is the same guy who brought a lump of coal to parliament. The International Energy Agency has made it absolutely clear that, if we want a future free from the climate crisis, it means no new fossil fuel projects, starting now—starting today. This means no more new coal, oil, or gas. Yet this government single-mindedly continues down the path of the so-called gas-led recovery, promising hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new projects and exploration, and sadly the Labor Party is being led down the same garden path. This bipartisan refusal to take significant action against the climate crisis is leaving us behind.

Any new fossil fuel assets will become useless to us in the next decade or two. At the most, the Beetaloo Basin drilling, the Kurri Kurri gas-fired power station and the Woodside Scarborough gas project are all doomed to fail. But the government are only interested in spin. They are very focused on faking it—faking that they care about climate change and that they and their oil and gas lobby mates are taking action. Their hollow rhetoric about technological change and emissions reductions means nothing as they continue to bankroll dangerous fossil fuel projects with tonnes of carbon emissions.

But you know what? Time is running out for these climate criminals. Climate change has become a real problem for them because the community has risen up, because people are demanding change and they're demanding change right now. The Liberals will soon have to reckon with this, or, better still, they will soon be booted out, with the Greens holding the balance of power and pushing the next government to phase out coal and gas and transition to safe, sustainable jobs rolling out renewables.


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