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A call for no new coal and gas projects

26 June, 2024:

Well, with this new approval for another expansion of gas, I believe the government are abrogating their duty to future generations. It's an abrogation of their duty of care to future generations. This approval comes at the same time that the Senate just handed down its report on the duty of care to future generations. It is irresponsible in the extreme. We have had warnings; it couldn't be clearer. The science couldn't be clearer. It is utterly devastating that we are still yet to base our decisions on the science and what is happening, what we are facing ahead of us. We cannot ignore what we are facing. We all know what we are facing, and to say otherwise is just irresponsible.

We know the International Energy Agency, all the climate scientists, have said we must stop approving new coal and gas mining. We simply must stop if we want a future for our children and our grandchildren that is safe and secure. The minister talks about pragmatism; let me talk to you about pragmatism. What will we say to our children when they are facing recurrent extreme weather conditions, when they have no shelter, when Lismore floods again, when we have extreme droughts? Is that pragmatism to be again approving more gas mines? We here in this chamber all want the same thing: we want a safe and secure future for future generations of children. I believe we all stand for the same thing but we all know we have to abide by the science. It could not be clearer.

When the Safeguard Mechanism came in, it came in saying any new or expanded gas project had to be net zero from day one. That was a win, a good outcome, yet we saw it undermined with the government's sea dumping bill. Carbon capture and storage is an unproven technology, one that is not only unproven but probably we could say failed. It failed in Norway; it failed at the Gorgon gas mine. It is failed technology, so to approve new gas mines based on failed technology is utterly, utterly irresponsible for our future generations. This is locking in gas to 2080. We know we should not be approving any more now.