SPEECH

Dr HAINES (Indi) (10:33): I am proud to second this Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2020.

I am proud that the electorate of Indi is written into history in seconding this bill, and I am proud for the people of Warringah that their member has introduced this bill.

Climate change is a significant challenge and a great opportunity for regional Australia. This bill will help us to protect our way of life in the regions and to seize the opportunities that are before us. I say to any rural and regional MP in this House: look to this bill for your opportunity to conserve what you love about the regions and to seize the opportunities that are there for the people you represent.

In Indi, the CSIRO projects that runaway climate change, which is our current pathway, would see rainfall decline in north-east Victoria by up to 36 per cent—not in a bad year, in every year. Average temperatures in north-east Victoria have already increased by one degree and could go up by 2.4 degrees within 30 years. That would mean double the number of extreme heat days and a 44 per cent increase in extreme fire danger days.

Like everyone in north-east Victoria, I love our region and I want to conserve the things that we all love about it.

I want our dairy farmers to be able to rely on the spring rains and produce Australia’s best dairy products in the Kiewa valleys and the Upper Murray.

I want our grape growers in places like Rutherglen and King Valley to continue to make the best wines in the world and not be driven out by the danger of smoke taint.

I want our alpine villages of Mount Hotham, Mount Buller and Falls Creek to remain viable and to continue to have snowy winters far into the future. I want to see my grandchildren ski and toboggan.

I want our tourist towns, like Mansfield and Bright, to be able to rely on the summer trade and not have it periodically wiped out by catastrophic bushfires.

I never again want to see 30,000 people evacuate from my region in a catastrophic bushfire.

It is these things, the things that we love about our community, that are at risk if we fail to take proper action to stabilise our climate and if we fail to embrace the opportunity that the member for Warringah has given us today.

At the same time, if we want to create a better future for our regions, we should be moving now to seize the opportunities that create jobs in these emerging industries.

Instead of importing polluting petrol from Saudi Arabia, I want to see us exporting Australian made, zero-carbon hydrogen fuel.

Instead of importing carbon-intensive steel from China and the US, I want to see us exporting Australian made, zero-carbon steel.

A net zero economy means new manufacturing industries based in regional Australia, and it means massive investment in clean energy in regional Australia—the regions that I represent.

This bill sets out a framework to both conserve all that is precious about our communities and capture opportunities that are before us. I am a proud regional Australian and I am a proud advocate for the regions, and I am so proud to second this bill. I commend it to the House.

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