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Speech: No daylight between Morrison and Trump

Speeches in Parliament
Mehreen Faruqi 16 Oct 2019

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his government are doing extraordinary damage to Australia and are threatening our future every single day. A year ago I said that it was more and more obvious that the Prime Minister was trying to reinvent himself as a mini-Trump. If there was any doubt then, it is now absolutely clear that Mr Morrison has completed the transformation. These days there's not a shred of space between Trump and Morrison on the issues that matter.

Mr Morrison departed from international consensus and betrayed the Palestinian people by trying to move the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. He has pledged to send Australian troops to join Trump's dangerous intervention in the Strait of Hormuz. He used a state visit to America to introduce Australian mining billionaires to Trump and gawk at the Maccas drive-through screen while other world leaders gathered to discuss the climate crisis. On his return, we saw Mr Morrison parroting Trump's antiglobalist rhetoric to distract from his criminal inaction on the climate crisis. In a speech to the Lowy Institute, the Prime Minister warned of the supposedly unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy that, along with negative globalism, must be avoided. This is language straight out of One Nation's conspiracy theory playbook. I can only imagine that it made Senator Roberts incredibly proud. Of course, the speech was a distraction intended to draw our attention and that of the media away from the UN Climate Summit and the student-led climate strikes that were sweeping the globe.

Like no other issue, the climate crisis lays bare the abject failure of the Morrison government and their wish to be the Southern Hemisphere's arm of the Trump administration. The arctic and the Amazon are burning, glaciers are melting, and a heatwave is ravaging Greenland. Globally, thousands of workers have already been killed by worsening global heatwaves. We know that millions more will meet the same terrible fate. At home we're experiencing increasing, frequent and intense natural disasters, watching the extinction of species and witnessing the death of our precious ecosystems and habitat.

At this time of the crisis of climate collapse and rampant capitalism, when we need to reimagine a society that isn't predicated on endless, unsustainable, planet-killing economic growth, where is Scott Morrison? He is misleading the Australian people about our emissions. In talking points the bumbling government accidentally sent to journalists just this week, Liberal and National MPs were instructed to repeat the lie that they are taking meaningful action to reduce global emissions. The truth is that emissions rose in four out of the past five years. Experts agree that Australia won't meet its Paris agreement targets, and what little action the government are taking is a pathetic excuse for the actions that we really need. None of this is surprising from a man who not only brought a hunk of coal into parliament; he brought the coal lobby right into his inner circle by appointing a former deputy CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia and Rio Tinto's lead lobbyist as his chief of staff.

What a victory for the fossil fuel lobby in their long-term project to stockpile profits while the planet burns. The likes of Exxon and Shell lied about the effects of carbon pollution in the eighties. The fossil fuel industry has waged a decades-long misinformation campaign to prevent climate action. Now the polluters have all the influence they need to prevent any meaningful action whatsoever. It is no wonder Mr Morrison and his mates are doing everything they can to protect the profits of the powerful over the interests of the community.

Make no mistake, millions of lives depend on our response to the climate crisis. We cannot begin to count the futures stolen by the climate crisis, the dreams crushed, decades before they could be dreamt, and the generations deprived of the opportunity to live a dignified life. Scott Morrison and co are perpetrating an intergenerational theft so enormous that it wouldn't be believable were we not witnessing it with our own eyes.

In recent months I've met with climate strikers, residents in coal communities and activists, and their message is simple. We will not be daunted by the Prime Minister and his climate-denying mates. We will not let you stand in the way of our futures. We will take the radical action needed to steer a course through the climate crisis and towards a future where we all have the opportunity and the means to live a dignified life.


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