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Crossbench Calls on Parliament to Declare 'Climate Emergency'

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The Member for Mayo, Rebekah Sharkie, has joined fellow crossbenchers and former Liberal Party leader John Hewson AM in calling on the Parliament to declare a climate emergency.

The motion moved on Wednesday 11 September by Greens MP Adam Bandt, was seconded by the Independent Member for Warringah, Zali Steggall OAM, and supported by the Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, the Independent Member for Indi, Helen Haines, and Centre Alliance Member Rebekha Sharkie.  

The move follows a wave of similar declarations around the world in covering 990 national, state and local jurisdictions including the UK, France, and Canada and the city of New York.

“The science is in, climate change is real and we need urgent sustained and consistent action to address emissions," Ms Sharkie said.

"The last decade of policy uncertainty has been an exercise in absolute frustration.

"We are reaping what we have sown with our community – especially our young people – who are fed up with our inability to get on with the job.

"Climate action should be an issue that crosses the political divide. Even former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher recognised the threat posed by 'global warming' back in 1989 and called on the world to collaborate in response.

"The former conservative PM was also instrumental in bringing about world-wide agreements on the abolition of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons)."

Former Liberal Party leader John Hewson has joined the crossbench in their call for a climate emergency. 

"Climate was an emergency some thirty years ago. If this had been recognised at the time, we would already be well past the Paris targets and enjoying many thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars of investment, with much lower electricity and gas prices," Dr Hewson said.

"Moreover, we would be a world leader in the inevitable transition to a low carbon society, rather than an embarrassing laggard. MPs and Senators should have a conscience vote on the emergency declaration so that individual members of Parliament can be held personally accountable by their constituents, their children and their grandchildren, indeed by all future generations, for the stance they took on the greatest economic, social, political and moral challenge of this century." 

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