Peter Khalil: The people of Wills have been advocating for urgent action on climate change for decades. They’re dedicated, passionate and want only a better Australia, a better world for future generations. Yet how do the Liberals and Nationals respond to the voters I represent in the inner north of Melbourne? They dismiss them! The member for New England says we are ‘inner-city trendies’, ‘latte sippers’, while he’s on the side of ‘people from the real world’. It’s unclear what world the Liberals and the Nats are living in, but I’m here to stand up for the people of Wills, who do live in the real world. Unlike the Liberals and the Nats, we accept the science of climate change. We want to see Australia take urgent action; we, when faced with a global challenge, don’t shy away and say, ‘It’s all too hard.’ We say, ‘Let’s be leaders.’
The people of Wills can imagine a clean energy future with a safe climate for their kids. Why can’t the Liberals and Nats see that future? The PM says: ‘We can’t reach zero emissions by 2050. We can’t make a difference. It’s better to just adapt; it’s better to just give up.’ We in Wills refuse to accept this. We can reach zero emissions, invest massively in renewables, lead a just transition for workers and use this policy base to give us the moral standing to push the other big emitters to reduce their global emissions. We can, because we’ve done it before. Labor governments led international agreements to protect Antarctica and the ozone. We can do it again, and all we need to act is courage and leadership. That’s what the people of Wills will continue to call for, and that is what I and my colleagues will continue to fight for in 2020 and beyond.