Speeches

Morrison government all bluster but no action on tackling harmful waste

If you were a free marketeer and you looked at the circumstances worldwide and in Australia when it comes to waste and recycling, you’d run through all of your hankies, having a very bitter weep, because this is a profoundly broken market, where companies produce items according to a linear model, resources get used once, they get turned into things that are often disposed of after very brief use and then they get left in our environment, and the cost falls on all of us.

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Companies must bear oil & gas rig retirement cost

The next time that we hear anyone—someone in the current government or in the corporate world—banging on about the need to remove red tape at all costs, perhaps we should stop and think about why proper regulation is absolutely necessary and what happens when it doesn’t exist.

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Government must allow climate change debate

The bottom line is: under this third-term coalition government, Australia continues to suffer by having neither a national energy policy nor a national commitment to a framework for achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions necessary to protect Australia from the acutely harmful environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change.

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Protecting our oceans from plastic

The export ban on 1 July means that up to 75,000 tonnes of low-quality plastic waste will need to be dealt with in Australia. That’s where it should be dealt with. But in the absence of appropriate infrastructure and the absence of end market and end market for recycled material it’s hard to see how that plastic will not be stockpiled or landfilled. And unfortunately those two basic conditions are not met at the moment. We don’t have the infrastructural capacity for the reprocessing of low-quality mixed plastic waste and we certainly don’t have the end market pull-through.

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Bernard Collaery – Enough is enough!

This government has not explained any purpose or any good that is served by proceeding against a man who has shown incredible courage in staying the course of principled conduct. It has cost the taxpayer millions of dollars. Enough is enough. Now that there has been a judgement and sentence in the case against Witness K, it’s time to resolve the proceedings against Mr Collaery.

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Coalition shameless in face of environmental decline

The most important task when it comes to the EPBC Act is to fix it so that we get effective environmental and heritage protection. Why? Because quite clearly we don’t have that now. After eight years, three terms, of this government we have a failed environmental protection system which is leading to animal extinctions. It’s leading to coral bleaching. It’s leading to marine heatwaves. It’s leading to the destruction of ecosystems around this country.

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Nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation the only way to peace

As we mark this act of national courage from 30 years ago, we’d not be honouring that courage or according proper respect to that achievement by being passive and rosy-eyed about the present situation with respect to nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.

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Liberals are eroding public health system

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the foundational importance of good health and a strong health system, and it’s shown the sadly inbuilt incapacity of the Morrison government to grasp that essential point, to shoulder its basic responsibilities and to deliver even the ground-level standard of administrative competence that people should be able to expect.

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Environment in danger with Liberal government

Minister, in your speech to the Press Club, you accused your opponents, which presumably includes all Australians who rightly want to see proper protection of our environment, of being too focused on activism rather than outcomes. Isn’t it the outcomes that are the problem? Isn’t that why people are moved to activism? Minister, when are you, as the Minister for the Environment, going to exercise that responsibility rather than being an apologist for a government that has presided over serious and steepening environmental decline?

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Walliabup Cultural and Visitors Centre

There’s no doubt that Australia has a lot further to go and so much to gain from working with First Nations Australians on the path of reconciliation. That requires effort and energy on many fronts. It’s not a task that can be usefully separated into practical and cultural measures, because they’re logically intertwined.

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