Driving policies that benefits all Australians

Global Climate Change Local Environment Protection Emergency Response

ENVIRONMENT > Global Climate Change

Major Policies

  • Push for a government-wide acknowledgement of climate change risks for our future.
  • Mediation of non-partisan policies to meet the requirements of the Paris Climate Accord and the Glasgow Climate Pact. The policies should include a roadmap with actionable and measurable milestones to ensure we don't run out of time to meet these obligations.
  • Drive a program for updating natural disaster likelihood models.
  • Establish fleet emission targets for passenger vehicles to align with other global markets.

The government as a united body needs to acknowledge that climate change is a risk to our future. I strongly believe that we are in a period of human-caused climate change, but even if it is a natural phenomenon, we need to look at the data and acknowledge this is a risk to Australia.

The global community has publicly criticised Australian climate policy. We have been banned from talking at summits and have had leaders of OECD nations criticise our lack of action. We are the only nation to undo policies put in place to reduce carbon emissions.

Recently, the Liberal Party released their 'Australia's Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan'. This is a rushed document developed as the party finally realised they needed to change their policy on climate due to growing pressure from the Australian public. This document is full of generalisations with no actionable roadmap to achieving its goals. It primarily focuses on using the previous strategy to develop unspecified 'new technology that will save us. Around the globe, there is a strong history that cap and trade schemes work in the reduction of atmospheric pollution, something Australia previously implemented but repealed after a campaign of misinformation. I believe a trade and cap scheme should be investigated as a solution again. However, I would listen to experts on the subject, not just the lobbying from industries that may be impacted negatively.

Over the past 20 years, Australia has been subject to more extreme environmental disaster events on a much more regular basis. Using current models, it seems we experience once in a hundred year fires or floods at a rate that does not follow the current models. These models have been developed by looking at historical and geological records. Climate change is making these models no longer relevant. We must push for new models that include climate change models, which must be continually updated, policies developed to minimise the risk of these events, and response plans for dealing with them.

Australia should adjust its regulations on cars sold in Australia. We have some of the weakest emission regulations for cars sold in the OECD nations. Global executives have publicly stated that Australia is a great place to sell cars they can't get away with in other countries. It is actively delaying them from introducing electric models to our shores. Industry leaders have publicly said that fleet emission targets for a manufacturer have been one of the driving forces for creating lower emission and electric vehicles. If we introduce the same laws, Australia will see cleaner cars and more electric options, reducing prices.


ENVIRONMENT > Local Environment Protection

Major Policies

  • Overhaul of the Murray Darling Water Catchment Market, effectively a stock market on water allocation where companies can speculate on a fundamental human need to make profits.
  • Installation of an Inspector General for water usage in the Murray Darling Basin, including active prosecution for water theft.
  • A national framework on the practice of flood plain harvesting in the Murray Darling Basin.

South Australia is at the end of the line when using the valuable water resources present in the Murray Darling Basin. State policies further up the basin, and federal allowances negatively impact us downstream. This is a national resource that needs to be managed by the Federal Government. It also requires the government to create policies that protect users' needs along the entire catchment, not seen as a method for corporations to generate a profit for themselves.

ENVIRONMENT > Emergency Response

Major Policies

  • Creation of Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for national emergencies.
  • Increase the size of our national emergency aerial firefighting fleet and look into automated flame detectors in our national parks and reserves.
  • Securing availability of important strategic resources locally in case of emergency.
  • Where available, use funds designated for disaster relief by the government before requesting crowdsourcing of donations from the public.

As a follow up to updating our environmental disaster models, we need to generate Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for the potential scenarios we may face in the future. Our government's response to large bushfires and floods is disgraceful, as is currently being demonstrated. We have seen these situations before, and every time, the government is slow to react and always acts surprised when trying to determine who should be responsible or what the command structure should look like.

I have been an emergency response volunteer and have qualifications in Public Safety (firefighting) and worked under frameworks used by the CFS, SES, and private industry as a mine rescue volunteer. In industry, we have EAPs for any serious event we can imagine occurring; the state-based emergency services have something similar but not quite as thorough. These plans include required resources, logistics, command structure and post-incident recovery process. The federal government needs to support the individual states in developing these EAPs. They also need to have a playbook of EAPs ready for when a situation like the floods we are seeing today occurs that allows for a quick and controlled response to situations too large for a single state to respond to.

Having lived through bushfires as a child and then becoming a volunteer firefighter as an adult while living in the outback, I have tried to prevent devastation but have witnessed the result. The Australian bushfire season is getting longer and consistently overlaps with the fires in the Northern Hemisphere. This is a problem as part of our national defence is to hire resources from the Northern Hemisphere to come to Australia and be on standby if required. With the overlapping fire seasons, these resources are not always available when we want or need them. We should be investing in improving our national fleet. The investment cost for additional aerial appliances is very little compared to the money we find for aerial combat equipment or the property loss suffered by Australians during bushfires. I also believe we should look into flash detectors connected to a wireless system that can monitor and alert forestry workers to fires before they become an emergency.

At the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic, the public was exposed to how unprepared we are to support ourselves for key strategic items. We could not provide basic PPE to frontline workers, which required local businesses to step up and retool. We saw global shipping slow down and basic items increase in price. We also saw how inadequate we were to be self-reliant on providing Rapid Antigen Tests and producing vaccines. Unfortunately, we are in volatile times regarding global relations, and we have witnessed how trade to and from Australia can be impacted. We need to understand what industries and resources we need to ensure basic self-sufficiency should the need occur.



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