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Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

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DOORSTOP INTERVIEW PARLIAMENT HOUSE: Bushfires, climate change

October 18, 2021

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
MONDAY, OCTOBER 18 2021
 

SUBJECTS: Bushfires, climate change.

SUSAN TEMPLEMAN, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR MACQUARIE: Morning, Susan Templeman Member for Macquarie. This time eight years ago, I stood owning one dress, one pair of shoes, and one set of underwear, and the dawning realisation that yes, my house had burned down the day before in the Winmalee bushfires. I was one of hundreds and hundreds of people who lost their homes when nearly 200 homes went that day, on the 17th of October, 2013. That's eight years ago, and we've all come a long way and my community is resilient. But in that time, we've seen more bushfires. Two years ago, this month, the lightning bolt that started the Gospers Mountain fire hit. And so two years ago, we saw a second massive fire, the biggest fire the world has ever seen from a single ignition point.

 

So here we are, a weekend of meetings that have resulted in the National Party, yet again, not having any idea how significant the need for climate action is. What really surprises me is that my community is a peri-urban and semi-agricultural community, yet they don't realise the price we are already paying for their failure - for the Morison government, the Turnbull Government and the Abbott government's failures - to take any tangible action on climate change. They've had eight years, I've had eight years, too. We know that climate action is so urgently needed. My community's already paying the price, not just in homes burning down. But in the price we pay for insurance, whether it's fires, or storms, or floods, we're already paying a price in what it costs us to build our homes. Because we know these natural disasters are going to happen more frequently. And we're paying the price in mental health. At the weekend, Doctors for the Environment said that a six-year-old today will have lived through three times as many natural disasters already as their grandparents. They're the costs of not acting on climate change. And to see the Nationals say, “oh, we need more time”, the penny has to drop for them, that they are hurting people. They're hurting my community every day that they delay action. For the Prime Minister to say that he's doing his best is an absolute joke. He is the one who has stirred up this whole idea when he brought a lump of coal into Parliament all those years ago. He has responsibility to bring his junior partner in line and make sure that Australia goes to Glasgow with serious action on climate change.

 

JOURNALIST: Susan, over the course of the last decade or so, we've seen [inaudible] from all sides of politics. Climate changes and its handling as an issue has not swung an election in the last eight years. What makes you think it will be different this time around?

 

TEMPEMAN: Well, I'm here as the most marginal seat in the country and one of the most affected by natural disasters. Every election since 2010 I have campaigned on the need for climate action. There is no doubt in my communities as they see the disasters happen. What we have seen is the typical ignoring of science. We've finally seen people now listening to science around COVID. It's time that the community was spared the mistruths that have been said about climate action. It's absolutely vital that every layer of government - not just the states, not just councils, both my councils are advocating for tangible action on climate change through mitigation, through increasing renewable energy. They're already doing it. The NSW Government, they're already doing it. It's just the Federal Government, the Federal Liberals and Nationals, who cannot seem to get their act together and don't seem to realise that, actually, we will have a stronger economy, a more secure community and a healthier community if we take serious action and join with the world when we get to Glasgow.