Independents work together to improve climate bill

The community Independents have engaged deeply on the Government model for a climate bill in the leadup to the 47th Parliament and have collaborated closely to improve the legislation.

Independent Member for Warringah Zali Steggall said, “The metro community independents or 'teals' are in broad consensus about the amendments required to strengthen the Government's climate change bill.

“To be clear, this is more of a targets bill than a comprehensive climate bill. The Government bill doesn't include many of the elements present in the Climate Change Bill I tabled last year, however the Government has indicated they want to address these elements separately. I have raised important elements for future climate action with Minister Bowen and look forward to further discussion about how these can be addressed.”

Kate Chaney, Independent Member for Curtin, said, “In recent weeks, I have collaborated with the other crossbenchers to ensure that between us, we are proposing a suite of compatible amendments, some of which are no doubt more likely to be accepted than others.

“Specifically I have worked on an amendment to ensure the Bill clearly states that its intention is to actually drive climate action and is linked to the science. This amendment to the Objects clause of the Bill will be relevant in future reviews of the Bill’s efficacy and in any interpretation of the Bill.

“The inclusion of an Objects clause that addresses targets, accountability, expert advice and the need for climate action in line with the science makes it clear that this is the beginning of a new era in Australia.’  Dr Monique Ryan, Independent Member for Kooyong, will move amendments on behalf of Kate Chaney who cannot make it to Parliament due to COVID.

Dr Ryan said, “Today, I focus on the urgency of our need to act. Today, I will support the government’s climate bill. But tomorrow, my work on behalf of the people of Kooyong to secure greater climate action will continue.” Community independents collaborating together and with Government on stronger legislation has proved to be a hallmark of the opening fortnight in Parliament.

Independent Member for Goldstein, Zoe Daniel said, “The Goldstein community made it abundantly clear that they wanted politics “done differently”, and with this legislation the government appears to have got the message. It is a good first step, but we must do more, and I will be tireless in my efforts to try to make sure we do.”

Kylea Tink, Independent Member for North Sydney, said of strengthening the legislation, "The amendments that I have fought for will help ensure Parliamentary responsibility and accountability over the Minister’s response to the scientific advice that comes forward from the Climate Change Authority.

This is how we will keep climate policy on track, regardless of which major party may be in government."

Allegra Spender, Independent Member for Wentworth spoke of the important signal this sends to business, "This is a promising start to the 47th Parliament: Wentworth finally has a seat at the table, and business can finally invest with confidence knowing Australia’s emissions reduction plans. There is more to do, but over the next few years I believe we can create laws that prepare Australia's economy and environment for a bright net zero future.”

Dr Sophie Scamps, Independent Member for Mackellar added, “Thanks to the work of the crossbench, the Climate Change Bill is now much stronger than the original that was presented to Parliament.

I will now use my voice in Parliament to hold the government to account on its climate policies and programs to ensure we take the ambitious and urgent action we must to begin tackling climate change.”

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