Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- On Sunday, 17 November, along with tens of thousands of Australians in capital cities and many regional centres, I attended the National Day of Climate Action, calling on the Australian government to step up action to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. In September this year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its fifth assessment report, which states:
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Last Wednesday I joined a packed room at the Frankston civic centre for the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Frankston round table of the Western Port Biosphere region's webcast '24 hours of reality -- the cost of carbon'.
Yesterday the Climate Change Authority told the federal government that a 5% greenhouse gas reduction goal was "not a credible option'.
This group of environmental radicals, including Bernie Fraser and Heather Ridout, said that Australia's efforts were in the middle of the pack and other countries were gearing up for more aggressive action, even as Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt prepare to slam on the brakes. And to shut down that same Authority.
On the same day, Victoria's Auditor-General reported to this parliament that the state government has "no documented whole of government policy and plan for managing the risks of climate change." Thankfully his tenure is secure.
The Victorian Auditor-General has criticised the government's inability to plan for the impact of climate change and other critical statewide threats, in a report tabled in Victorian Parliament today.
"The government has no plan to shield Victoria from the economic risk of extreme weather events caused by climate change, let alone the risks to agriculture, health and the environment," said Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber
"The Auditor-General reminds us there are assets worth more than $7 billion at risk of inundation from a one-in-100-year flood, with the CSIRO warning of climate disruption, but the government doesn't have a climate change plan.
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has questioned the Planning Minister in Victorian parliament about the government's plan to help Port Fairy adapt to sea level rise.
"Moyne Shire has done the work and identified hundreds of properties at risk, so I asked the Minister what he was going to do about it and he just wouldn't take it seriously. He mocked Port Fairy, acted like all they face is a wet road and he indicated the government might roll right over any coastal strategy Moyne Shire might put in place to plan ahead," said Greg Barber MLC
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says that the climate crisis in western Victoria has become an animal welfare crisis.
"Climate change-induced drought combined with the milk price war have created this problem, which state government just wants to sweep under the carpet. They're in denial that drought is going to be the new normal climate in south western Victoria, but I can't believe the Premier, as the local member and a former veterinarian, is either unaware or indifferent," said Greg Barber MLC
"Photos and information I've received from a western Victorian vet* show that the climate crisis and the dairy farmers' income crisis have now turned into an animal welfare crisis"
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I thank Mr Ramsay for that introduction. He is like my warm-up man over here!
The budget we have just seen delivered of course represents the political philosophy of the Treasurer, Mr O'Brien, and the Premier, Dr Napthine. It is hard not to notice how radically anti-environment this budget is. It is almost like it was put together by a couple of high priests of some sort of fossil fuel burning cult. There is actually an environment section in the glossies that go with the budget. What it contains is quite literally a statement of how if it moves, they will shoot it, and if it does not, they will cut it down, along with a new set of incentives to start digging more stuff up.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, and I am requesting that he take action to have western Victoria declared to be drought affected, and to lobby for federal assistance for farmers in that area. Last week Queensland declared large parts of the state to be drought affected. Over the past couple of weeks I have been all over western Victoria and the picture is quite stark -- poor rainfall over the last six months, record lows in some areas, and a forecast for more of the same. It must be obvious to the Premier, given that this is part of his own electorate. He cannot have missed the fact that there is a lot of heat and drought affecting his electorate.
Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- This bill is entitled the Planning and Environment Amendment (Growth Areas Authority and Miscellaneous) Bill 2013, and whenever you see 'miscellaneous' you know you have to go looking, although in the last sitting week it was the 'other matters' section of a bill that seemed to take up most of our time.
We should thank the Moyne Shire Council for working out what the 'miscellaneous' was all about. While ministers have all the powers in planning schemes, what you can rely on is that your local council will take responsibility for the outcomes, because local government is the level of government closest to the people. I hope Mr O'Brien gets a bit closer to his local councils, because if he were to spend some time talking to the Moyne Shire Council, the Pyrenees Shire Council and a range of other councils in that area about the particular representations they have made, he would learn that. He would also learn that local councils are on a pretty short feedback loop from their communities. People in local government carry mobile phones and take calls at all hours of the day and night; there really is nowhere to hide. At least state MPs come up to Melbourne from time to time and conduct business in this chamber without either full awareness or full admission of the impact votes may have on those people to whom they have to deliver.
Speech in parliament by Colleen Hartland
In light of recent reports issued by the Climate Commission and beyondblue, I call on the government to create a climate change and health strategy for Victoria.
In recent weeks beyondblue released a book entitled A Road Less Travelled—A Guide to Children, Emotions and Disasters, which provides deeper insight into the long-lasting mental health impacts of disasters on children. Shortly after the Climate Commission released a report entitled The Critical Decade— Extreme Weather, which confirmed that climate change is already increasing the intensity and frequency of many extreme weather events, and that there is a high risk of disasters becoming even more intense over coming decades.