Wednesday 20 August 2014

Hansard of the Legislative Council


Mr Finch (Rosevears) - Mr President, I congratulate the member for Huon on his inaugural speech; no doubt he has been sitting there very patiently and probably at times with an element of frustration, waiting to join in the debates on the Floor of Parliament. Congratulations on your speech today. That is behind you as you continue your journey in parliament. I wish you well for the next six years.

I will not be referring to the member for Western Tiers' cows and the contribution they make to what we are experiencing but the debate goes on and members have made some really good points. If people are listening you would be swaying either way - good point, good point - so it was good to listen to the speakers. We hear from the world's scientists that we should be concerned and that is why, as the member for Rumney has suggested, we had that advice and that investigation and that work going on, even here with the fabulous scientists we have in Hobart.

We note, of course, our own observations of changing weather patterns and seemingly more severe weather occurrences. Maybe we are just covering it more in the news, but we get those graphic pictures that heighten the intensity of these events for us. I believe we should be concerned. Whether the argument is eventually proved or disproved, we should be doing something just in case, and we have been doing that with the council we established. I also understand the arguments of the Government, looking to be stringent in the way they are dealing with the Budget, and I understand that these operations have come under close scrutiny as to where those budget savings can be made.

Regardless of the global warming or carbon polluting argument, we, of course, are using far too much non-renewable energy and if we are to survive and our children, grandchildren and on ad infinitum, we must reduce our use of non-renewable energy.

This bill disbands the Tasmanian Climate Action Council as a cost-saving measure. I understand that, but let us look on the bright side. As we heard in the second reading speech, the Government will retain the remainder of the act which includes the state's greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 60 per cent below the 1990 levels by 2050. The Government will also retain the Climate Change Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulations 2012. At least we have something to rebuild on if the situation does become more serious or if we have a change of focus back to this situation of climate change and what Hobartians/Tasmanians can do towards thinking globally and acting locally.