Among the long list of initiatives aimed at giving Australians a “fair go”, Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s much-awaited budget reply speech did not offer anything new on climate change, emissions or renewables. This is despite the urgent need to address global warming, a public health emergency whose impacts we are seeing daily through avoidable sickness and deaths from extreme weather events. Nonetheless while Labor could have dared to be bolder, raised the bar that much further on climate policies, these are a step in the right direction.
DEA therefore welcomes Shorten'’s restatement of Labor’s current targets to tackle climate change:
• 50% renewables by 2030
• 45% cut in emissions by 2030 and zero net pollution by 2050
As Shorten acknowledged, taking action on global warming is vital, especially for the next generation.
He also flagged the huge opportunities that combatting global warming will have on Australia. It will create new jobs, as well as increase renewable energy investment and clean technology.
Disappointingly, the “fair go” slogan made no mention of:
• The health effects of pollution and the need for a national EPA
• Land clearing laws to protect native forests to reduce the dire biodiversity loss, soil erosion as well as high
• Protecting the Great Barrier Reef
• Adani or other coal and gas initiatives, given fossil fuels pollute our air, land and water as well as being major
drivers of global warming
• Oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight
• Transport, EVs, high speed rail initiatives to improve air quality and cut atmospheric pollution
• Sustainable food which will benefit not only the planet but our health
A “fair go” for all Australians needs to include plans for all the above. Doing so might make us not only a fair country, but also a Lucky Country again.
You can find Bill Shorten's budget reply transcript here