Emissions data needs to be released
Posted October 22, 2018
Cathy has seconded a motion from Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie calling on the government for a timely release of Australia's emissions data
Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (10:40): I am pleased to second the motion for the second reading of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment (Timely Publication of Emissions) Bill 2018, and I congratulate my colleague the member for Mayo on bringing the bill forward.
I would also like to acknowledge the guests in the House today. It's lovely to have you here. Thank you for making the effort. I look forward to being part of the apology when it's issued, at 11 o'clock, but in the meantime: welcome to the private members' sector of parliamentary business, when any member of parliament can bring a topic and present it to the parliament. As you can see, today we're bringing to the parliament to be debated private members' business that has come from the very active and very stable crossbench.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Rob Mitchell): It would be nice if you spoke on the motion.
Ms McGOWAN: Having said that, in seconding the motion can I say that one of the things that caused me to stand today was something that happened while I was watching with great interest the lead-up to the AFL grand final. I'm a Victorian member of parliament, and we had a holiday in Victoria the day before the grand final. It was a great day, and I was watching it because I was really interested in whether Collingwood would get up against Western Australia. I acknowledge the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, who is at the table. He also would have been interested. I was keeping a watchful eye on Twitter, as I do as a member of parliament because I get a lot of information on Twitter, and I saw that figures reporting greenhouse gas emissions and energy had been released. And I said: 'Whoa, what's happening? Why is this happening on a public holiday in Victoria?' It's a bit like the Melbourne Cup. I was so shocked. I thought: surely our government in Canberra knows that we've got a public holiday in Victoria and we're all watching this very important thing called footy? And then the Twitter reaction got underway, and people said: 'Yeah, yeah, it's a strategy to hide these really important statistics at the end of a Friday, on a public holiday, when we're very keen to find out the results of the football.' So when the member for Mayo brought this issue to my attention and said that she was bringing a private member's bill in, I was very happy to support it.
In my electorate of Indi, which is in north-east Victoria and includes the towns of Wodonga, Wangaratta and Benalla and the snowfields of Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Mt Buller and Lake Mountain, we watch climate change with great interest. We see the rain and snow falling. We see the drought we've got at the moment. And we farmers in rural communities really care about these statistics, because they give us the information we need. For government to hide that on a public holiday was very, very disappointing. In seconding this bill, I give a call-out to the government that we on the crossbench are looking for better governance. We're looking for more responsible reporting of the things that really matter to the people of north-east Victoria and, I know also, to the people of Wentworth.
In bringing these comments to a close, I call on the government to pay particular attention to this very, very important piece of legislation. The underlying message is: we're not fools; we can see what happens and we want our government to be better.