Group Letters

Below are the recent letters that the group sent to 226 federal politicians.

August Letter 2020

July Letter 2020

A DIFFERENT APPROACH COMMUNITY Pty Ltd

ADAC – Climate Action in Australia

P.O. Box 1906, Geelong, 3220, Victoria

Website: https://adacaust.com.au 28th July 2020

Senator M.F. Smith

Commonwealth Parliament Offices,

Suite 6, Level 13, 100 King William Street

Adelaide SA 5000

Dear Senator M.F. Smith,

Australians have appreciated collaborative state and federal government initiatives to halt the spread of Covid-19. Like many around the world, they are suffering from high levels of anxiety as they deal with the fragmentation of family and social networks, loss of freedoms and loss of travel dreams.

Many have felt the pain of isolation, and of financial and social distress. Breadwinners are doubting their ability to provide for their families into the future. Grandparents have been denied seeing their newborn grandchildren. Family members have had to die alone. Our children fear closeness. They are developing germ phobias and struggling with nightmares. There will be long-term effects of Covid-19 on the mental health of Australians.

The virus is the tip of the iceberg in terms of mental health. Australians, especially our young people, are already suffering a profound foreboding about the effects of climate change on their future. Some doubt they will reach old age and plan not to have children.

They are painfully aware of the rate at which plant and animal species are becoming extinct. The increased frequency of bushfires and other climate-driven disasters is obvious to them. They fear the long term international tensions that will result from shortages of food and water. Intense feelings will turn to anger if Australians see political vested interests blocking collaborative action to avert the worst effects of climate change. The Covid-19 catch cry ‘we are all in this together’ needs to permeate political thinking about the even deeper crisis that the world faces, climate change.

The nation’s capacity to prevent disasters, to nurture a healthy environment, to ease international tensions and to develop a strong economy based on sustainable technologies will diminish the longer we put off the bipartisan approach necessary. As the nation rebuilds from Covid-19, it is important that the advice of scientists and economists modifies oppositional politics and is treated with the same respect as it has been during the pandemic.

ADAC encourages you to support Zali Stegall’s https://climateactnow.com.au/

Helen Middleton (Psychologist – Telehealth) hfmiddleton@gmail.com

From all at ADAC Robert Patterson 0414328230 robpat@senet.com.au

June Letter 2020

A Different Approach Community Pty. Ltd.

ADAC – Climate Action in Australia

P.O. Box 1906, Geelong, 3220, Victoria

Website: https://adacaust.com.au 28th June 2020

Dear Local Member,

The myth about the frog in hot water is an appropriate metaphor for our time. The story goes that a frog placed in hot water will immediately jump out whereas if it is placed in tepid water that is gradually warmed, it fails to recognise the change until it is fatally too late.  

A sudden shock, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, has seen our state and federal governments jump into action. Climate change also poses an unprecedented global threat. However, because the degree of climate change is relatively insignificant within one electoral term, governments have so far been able to avoid taking decisive action on the burning of fossil fuels. 

Things may be changing. Alerts are no longer limited to the warnings of scientists. At least sixty central banks, including the Reserve Bank of Australia, have warned that global GDP could fall by as much as 25% in eighty years if the world does not act to reduce emissions. A change to a world based on renewables is inevitable because fossil fuels are unsustainable, and a destructive energy source. The faster the transition occurs, the smaller will be the costs economically, environmentally and in terms of international tensions.

It is imperative we have a climate action plan to enable people to tackle the future positively with an outlook of reducing emissions in an orderly manner. This means increasing jobs in sustainable and future industries while we are phasing out old industries before 2030, to be completed by 2050.

This is why ADAC is supporting moves like Zali Stegall’s Climate Change Bill 2020.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jun/26/reserve-bank-warns-of-25-gdp-loss-by-2100-unless-action-taken-on-climate-change

Mike Middleton mwmidd@gmail.com

From all at ADAC Robert Patterson 0414328230 robpat@senet.com.au

May Letter 2020

A Different Approach Community Pty. Ltd. 

ADAC – Climate Action needed in Australia

P.O. Box 1906, Geelong, 3220, Victoria

Website: https://adacaust.com.au 28th May 2020

Senator M.F. Smith

Commonwealth Parliament Offices,

Suite 6, Level 13, 100 King William Street

Adelaide SA 5000

Dear Senator M.F. Smith

Climate change is a uniquely long-term challenge spanning many decades. Westminster democratic processes have shown themselves to be effective in dealing with short and medium term issues where it is part of an opposition’s role to provide alternative policies and convince the electorate to support them. However, where there is a dimension requiring a long term and continuous approach, this to-and-fro version of democracy is counter-productive and potentially disastrous. This is why ADAC is supporting Zali Steggal’s Climate Change Bill (2020).

We believe that the bipartisanship implied by the Bill is vital to our nation’s future and Australia’s contribution to the well-being of humanity on the planet. The bipartisanship needs to apply not just in the Federal sphere, but also across the states and territories. The recent co-operative actions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic show that such collaboration is possible when the national interest overshadows vested interests. If politicians do not join in a bipartisan approach to climate change, they will be historically noted as politicians who put vested interests ahead of national and global wellbeing.

The pandemic presents opportunities to reset economic and environmental priorities. It is clear that fossil fuel resources are finite and cannot support the long-term viability of the patterns of civilization we have seen to date. A transition to renewable energy is therefore inevitable. The earlier and smoother the transition, the less costly it will be in terms of social disruption, international tension and environmental damage.

By recommending the establishment of an independent and expert Climate Change Commission, the Bill provides the opportunity for Australia to plan transparently the ways:

its different regions and economies can adapt to climate change

new technologies can be developed in each region (eg hydrogen in Tasmania)

employment transitions can be managed fairly

international carbon reduction agreements can be achieved

ADAC believes the passing of the Bill will result in the development of a clear roadmap that people understand and support as Australia navigates its way through the twenty first century. ADAC encourages members to support the Bill when it comes before Parliament.

Mike Middleton mwmidd@gmail.com

From all at ADAC Robert Patterson 0414328230 robpat@senet.com.au

April Letter 2020

A Different Approach Community Pty. Ltd.
ADAC – Climate Action in Australia

PO Box 1906, Geelong, 3220, Victoria
Website:  https://adacaust.com.au

Senator the Hon S. J. Birmingham
Minister for Trade
Tourism and Investment
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
107 Sir Donald Bradman Drive
Hilton SA 5033

30th April 2020

Dear Senator the Hon S. J. Birmingham

Re : Climate Change Action

As a group focussed on the need for action regarding climate change, we are disappointed that Zali Steggall’s Bill about bipartisanship on the issue has been postponed. However, we appreciate the extraordinary circumstances that exist and the huge demands on the government because of COVID-19. We have been impressed by the way parliamentarians from both sides of the house, and the crossbench, have supported urgent bills to ease the burden on Australians.

COVID-19 is a massive threat to human health, to our economy and our way of life. There are lessons all countries need to learn from the current situation. Too often, the policies of countries, and of large corporations such as Virgin, have been based on short term goals assuming that the future will be continuous with the present and that if unforeseen events occur, there will be time to react appropriately. It is now clear in retrospect that the warnings of scientists and people like Bill Gates about the near certainty of a pandemic, should have been heeded. Had they been heard, and preparatory action taken, the world would have been far better prepared for this catastrophe.

The Commission for the Human Future is warning us that the human induced risks of catastrophic events have increased dramatically since the mid twentieth century. Scientists have been warning us about the effects of climate change for decades. However, climate change is not an isolated issue. It is interconnected with population growth, food security and the availability of fresh water. It has the potential to increase international tensions dramatically.

The Australian government has handled the COVID-19 crisis well. It has had the advantage of being an island continent. However, in other scenarios, unless forward planning occurs, this isolation could become a disadvantage because of the nation’s weak manufacturing base and its consequent reliance on other countries for vital supplies and for fuel.

We are glad the government is working towards reducing carbon emissions. It has been interesting to read the outlines of current policies with respect to clean energy, especially the Snowy 2.0 Project and the electric vehicle strategy. These represent a positive approach.

Let us hope for a growing realisation that healthy economies depend ultimately on healthy humans and a healthy planetary environment. Only positive action and long term bipartisan planning will allow us to enjoy quality living on the planet. We must continue to learn from the experience, efforts and successes in dealing with COVID-19.

From all at ADAC

 

Robert Patterson

 

MARCH LETTER 2020

A Different Approach Community Pty. Ltd.

The ADAC Group
PO Box 1906, Geelong, 3220, Victoria
Website:   https://adacaust.com.au
Request to receive newsletter: info@adacaust.com.au
Please reply to robpat@senet.com.au

Date 15th March 2020

Senator the Hon S Henderson.
RE:  Following the ADAC February letter to you regarding climate change.

We are heartened by the growing number of federal parliamentarians who are acknowledging the extreme importance of addressing climate change and cutting greenhouse emissions. We as the ADAC group note your interest in this issue especially in the last few months with the summer fires.

Our ADAC group supports Zali Steggall’s Climate Change Bill, to be tabled on the 23rd March 2020.

Our group, and a very large section of the Australian community, want this bill to be tabled so that productive bipartisan discussions can take place and a Climate Change Commission established.  The commission will be able to draw on the knowledge of scientists, economists, and other experts in a way that is free of  vested interests. In this way, parliament can receive advice that spans electoral cycles and provides a road map to a sustainable future, a future that encourages investment and job creation in climate-friendly industries and lifestyles.

Using such a road map, ADAC believes Australians can feel empowered and prosper over the next 40 years working in a controlled manner, reducing greenhouse gases and opening up a new era of technological and industrial development. This approach will help meet our international obligations, will modernise our economy and help the nation adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. It may also reduce the debilitating effect that party politics might play on climate action. With a failure to address climate issues politicians are currently losing respect and credibility in the eyes of the public. This may be restored with the approach initiated by Zali Steggall’s Bill.   

We appreciate your growing interest in climate change. There has never been an issue with such serious ramifications for future generations and we hope the government allows members a conscience vote on this issue. ADAC is very keen to support any politician who is prepared to take a positive approach to pass the bill and start working towards a road map.

If that means crossing the floor to do so, we as Australians understand this requires considerable personal fortitude. We will thank you for starting the conversation with this bill.

The ADAC group strongly believe this bill must be tabled on the 23rd of March 2020 to allow for debate and the opportunity to reduce the ever-growing levels of stress, building up in people and in the larger community.

To reduce community stress and work towards a solution please give this issue your fullest support.

Yours faithfully

ADAC
Robert Patterson      

FEBRUARY LETTER 2020

28/2/2020

Dear Senator James    

FEBRUARY LETTER TO POLITICIANS

ADAC is a community of citizens unaligned to any political party. We understand that Zali Steggall is introducing a private members Bill to parliament for a “national climate change framework” that sets out a roadmap for Australia’s transition to a sustainable economy. As a group, we see it as paramount that the planning and implementation of policies, for a sustainable economy and a healthy environment, be beyond party politics.

For this reason, we strongly support the proposed Bill. We urge honourable members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to support a Bill that will set up a permanent and independent expert body to transcend changes in government over the next decades; only so  we can be assured of a consistent, wise and seamless management of our resources and economy. A non-partisan approach seems to be the only way forward.

Do you agree with a bipartisan approach to a sustainable economy and future climate management?

Yes or No                

Do you believe a conscience vote is appropriate in handling the bill proposed by Zali Steggall?

Yes or No                                

If there were a conscience vote, would you support the Bill?

Yes or No                              

Comment

Yours Faithfully                 

ADAC –  A Different Approach Community

JANUARY LETTER 2020

31/1/2020

Dear Mr James MP

JANUARY LETTER TO POLITICIANS – seeking advice and reassurance

Would you be prepared to join a non-partisan discussion group in your electorate to help plan possible local climate change projects?

Our community organization was initiated by a concerned group of citizens in the Anakie/Steiglitz area of Victoria, but is now attracting interest in Tasmania and other states. We believe the challenges humanity faces in terms of climate change and sustainability are unprecedented and that our traditional democratic processes are incapable of addressing the issues unless politicians, from all parties, tackle the challenge in a united way. Australia needs planning that spans decades, not just one or two electoral cycles. 

We can use events of the past month to illustrate our focus. Despite some contrary news coverage, there were promising signs. Members of the Crossbench, Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie and Independent MPs Dr Helen Haines and Zali Steggall  re-established the Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action in the 46th Parliament. However, such a promising initiative can only succeed if members of the major parties are prepared to participate. To date, the indications are disappointing.

Nevertheless, Federal science minister Karen Andrews acknowledged that the science of climate change is unequivocal and that ideological debates with climate change deniers are stealing valuable time from the actions that need to be taken to mitigate and adapt. Accordingly, she organised a meeting with leading scientists.

Brendan O’Connor welcomed the planned meeting with scientists and Labor encouraged the government to set up a business taskforce to provide a direct line of advice to government. This is the kind of positive interaction that needs to occur both ways. 

Despite these positives, some press interests and political media releases continued to seek political mileage. Labor’s media release that reported Ms Andrews calling the debate on climate change a waste of time was pure opportunism. It took her comments out of context. She believed it was a waste of time because it was robbing humanity of the time it needs to make the urgent responses to climate change. This release was disingenuous on the part of Labor’s media people.

Anthony Albanese’s comments that the approach to climate change ought to be based on moral and ethical issues rather than politics is fundamental to any real progress. However, there needs to be care taken that this statement is not construed by his media people or the press generally as accusing the government of acting politically on the issue.

When media releases from political parties are focussed on attacking the other parties, three dysfunctions occur. 

  1. The chances of united action are greatly reduced.
  2. Citizens at large lose faith in politicians and in parliament generally.
  3. In a social media world, there is danger of a great divide, where citizens communicate, as in a bubble, only with those whose views they support. The only way we believe this can be prevented is for politicians to begin to acknowledge the good will, and sometimes good judgement, of the members of other parties. The modelling is vital.

We therefore seek your views on how non-partisanship among politicians can be achieved. For example, Is it feasible to create joint consultative committees to advise the parliament?

Should there be a statutory advisory body set up, representative at least of scientists and economists to monitor new technologies and their capacity to ease the transition to sustainable patterns of living?

Again would you be prepared to join a non-partisan discussion group in your electorate to help plan possible local climate change projects?

Yours Faithfully                 

ADAC –  A Different Approach Community

December Letter 2019

Senator the Hon P. Wong
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
PO Box 6237, Halifax Street
Adelaide SA 5000

19/12/2019

Dear Senator the Hon P. Wong

The government is lacking the political will to act on climate change.
Community stress and frustration are increasing as a result of inaction.

We are writing to express our concern about the imminent threat of climate change, to our world, to Australia, our present population and generations to come.

Our government is lacking the political will to stop destructive fossil fuel practices. The immediate action required involves working with the vast possibilities of renewable energy towards solutions that do not threaten human health or the environment.

We are deeply concerned voters. We ask you to clearly state your policy and current action to address this climate change problem.

If not addressed, the emotional stress and  frustration of the voters will increase. At present the government has no climate plan or vision and no direction at a community level. The extreme community stress and concern will result in the government ending up on the wrong side of history.

Yours Faithfully

Robert Patterson                      Chris McKenzie                         Kylie Smith
Al Knox                                        Peter Sharp                              Tim Godbert   
Kate Patterson                           Jacki Staude
Adele Duffy                                Steve Duffy

The Anakie/Stieglitz Group
PO Box 1906
Geelong, 3220 Vic.
robpat@senet.com.au