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Keeping Tasmanians Safe and Confident

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 26 August 2021

Tags: Climate Change, Mental Health

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Mr Speaker, I feel like I can speak for the Leader of the Greens, Ms O'Connor, and say that this week we have felt we are living in a grotesque Shakespearian tragedy. It is unbelievable that yesterday the Greens moved a motion to declare a climate emergency on the back of the IPCC's alarming report, which is a code red for humanity. The Premier and Minister for Climate Change demonised us, saying we were scaring Tasmanian children. Yesterday -

Mr SPEAKER - Dr Woodruff, you cannot reflect on a previous debate.

Dr WOODRUFF - I am not reflecting on the debate. I am reflecting on the circumstances around it. I am not here to talk about that. I am here to talk about Tasmania being safe and confident.

Mr SPEAKER - It is not what I have heard up until this point in time.

Dr WOODRUFF - Yesterday the member who moved this motion sat in the Chair today and had the casting vote. He chose to side with the Government against our motion to declare a climate emergency. Today that same member comes in here with a motion about Tasmania being safe and confident. I find that astonishing. I have never been more surprised of two circumstances together than this.

Mr FERGUSON - Point of order, Mr Speaker. This has to stop, reflecting on not just the vote but the Chair. I have seen it happen throughout the week. I have balanced carefully when to raise and make this point of order because the House's job is to protect the role of Speaker. I ask that the member cease reflecting on the Chair.

Mr SPEAKER - On the point of order, you did reflect on a member who was in the Chair. That is not allowed. You cannot reflect on the debate that happened yesterday. If you want to talk about other things as far as safety goes that is fine, but do not refer to the decision of yesterday or the debate of yesterday.

Dr WOODRUFF - Thank you very much, Liberals, for taking 50 seconds out of my time to speak.

Mr SPEAKER - If you knew the standing order you would not have gone there in the first place.

Dr WOODRUFF - Mr Speaker, I have not done anything other than to talk about the incongruity of yesterday the Government refusing to declare a climate emergency and today wanting to talk about how we can make Tasmanians safe and confident. It is revolting to see the lack of attention to the reality that we are confronted with. It is appalling to imagine that young Tasmanian people do not get it. They read on social media, they read what the Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said. They understand it is a crisis.

In order for them to be safe and confident we not only have to look at COVID-19 and not only have to look at protecting ourselves from COVID-19. We must declare a climate emergency. We must have a Minister for Science and Technology who does not sit looking uncomfortable at the Science Meets Parliament dinner when Jess Melbourne-Thomas, the Tasmanian Australian of the Year last year, gave an excellent speech about marine sociological systems and climate change. The Minister for Science and Technology has been challenging the climate science.

We have a problem in this Government when there are not just climate deniers but people who are using the new technique of the fossil fuel industry. It is what segregationists did in the United States. They did the slow walk to change, it is the mumble, they will even say the words 'climate change'. They know that is the minimum standard required. It is not enough. We must globally halve our emissions by 2030. Think about what we were doing only nine years, it is just a second ago.

We have something in Tasmania, young people know. We have been blessed with an incredible opportunity, an incredible circumstance that was gifted to us by conservationists demanding that we protect our forests, the signing of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement. We have a good emissions profile. The Commissioner for Young People's consultation with young people showed they want native forest logging banned. We must keep those emissions there. We cannot contribute to global emissions by continuing to harvest native forests. We cannot do that. The science tells us that, the young people tell us that and the Greens will keep talking about this because everyone over there actually knows that. But they do not understand that we do not have time to go slowly.

Incrementalism has gone. That opportunity was there in the 1970s, maybe the 1980s, but not now. Every single tonne of carbon we admit into the atmosphere is a tonne too much. We do not have the time, because we care about our children. I am really caring about these children. The Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing knows that, despite what he said this morning, we have to act and speak about this.