28 May 2020 Letter

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 robpat@senet.com.au