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Climate Emergency

22 May 2019

 

Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

You were just talking about the future of young Tasmanians. The science and the evidence of our own eyes confirms the planet is hurtling towards catastrophic climate change that threatens their future and the future of civilisation. As Premier of this island state you have been in a leadership position while climate-induced fires and floods have caused devastation and tragedy. As a leader in our community, a Tasmanian, an intelligent person and a father of three precious young Tasmanians, can you show the leadership necessary to confirm the truth, to agree we have a decade to avoid consigning our children and grandchildren to the bleakest of futures? Do you recognise the world is in a state of climate emergency and that Tasmania and its people are not immune?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Clark for her question and the opportunity to speak about what is a very important issue for Tasmanians, for global citizens, for our Government. We are addressing this matter with the priority it deserves. The Government believes in more action and less talk on this matter.

I want to outline to parliament the actions we are taking to address this issue, both locally and with global significance. We are leaders in this space. We should be proud of it. We should embrace all that we do to address this climate change challenge and demonstrate to all people who are concerned, young and old Tasmanians, the leadership position we are taking to deliver on climate change issues.

I want to point to a document that is substantive in its content and contains the actions the Government is taking. As I have said before, they are climate action plan deniers. This Government has not only advanced progress on reducing our emissions to the extent -

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker, standing order 45. I asked the Premier a very straightforward question: does he have the courage to confirm we are in a climate emergency?

Madam SPEAKER - Thank you. I will let that stand on Hansard. I will let the Premier proceed.

Mr HODGMAN - Madam Speaker, it should be a source of great pride to all Tasmanians that we are one of the first jurisdictions in the world to be zero net emissions as a state, to be within just a couple of years, 100 per cent renewable energy generated. To be self-sufficient in renewable energy technologies. These are demonstrative of our commitment and our progress to taking action and to delivering positive outcomes.

Some of the features of Climate Action 21, include additional funding to back it -

Ms O'Connor - So what happens after that?

Mr HODGMAN - We put $3 million more into new funding to deliver the action plan, a number of key targets and actions that will take us to those targets - establishing a long-term emission reduction target of zero net emissions by 2050. Having already achieved that, it remains a work in progress. We need to continue to deliver and support the roll-out of massive infrastructure investments into renewable energy, the electric vehicle charging infrastructure, ensuring we have more research into climate change and climate action, which we are -

Ms O'Connor - You do not have an adaptation plan yet.

Mr HODGMAN - world leaders in, a comprehensive and targeted fuel reduction burning program, energy efficiency loan scheme, and investing in our irrigation infrastructure to support our farmers so they can operate with greater assurity in a changing climate environment.

We have nationally accredited training related to climate change issues, we are supporting businesses and households to improve their energy efficiency -

Ms O'Connor - No, you are not, there is no money in it.

Mr HODGMAN - I can speak to you about a number of initiatives. We have the Power$mart home and business programs, for example, which provide financial support over two years to conduct energy audits for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Ms O'Connor - It is a shadow of the Labor-Greens government program, a pale shadow.

Mr HODGMAN - Madam Speaker, the member who asked the question should inform herself of the facts of the things that we are doing. We are always prepared to hear what we can do more of or better. I am always prepared to hear new ideas from opposition parties, but for those who suggest we are not taking action to address climate change, it is not true. For those who would like to frighten people or misinform them deliberately to progress their own political agenda, that does nothing.

It is under this plan and this Government's commitment that we have Tasmania in a strong and enviable position as one of Australia's great renewable energy states, a reducer of emissions and a government that I believe is taking very strong action to deal with what is a very, very serious matter to Tasmanians, and it is happening through our plan.