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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Page: 6719


Ms OWENS (Parramatta) (13:52): The Prime Minister calls himself a conservationist, but last week in my office I met with some real ones: the young people from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition came to visit me to call for very strong action on climate change, including 100 per cent renewable energy within 10 years, moving Australia beyond coal and gas and reducing carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2020—an emissions reduction target in line with the most recent science. I would like to acknowledge them by name: Naomi Hastings, Meg D'Souza, Amelia Anthony, Alex, Lachsz, Amanda Windsor, Arun Krishnan and, in addition to that, Josephine Parsons, who represents my local University of Western Sydney action group. They are remarkable, genuine conservationists who care about the world now and about leaving it in good order for the future.

Contrast that to the government's action, where supposed conservationists rip away at our very capacity to act on climate change by attempting to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Compare it too to the 'conservationists', actions on World Heritage listing. Australia has a proud history; we were the seventh nation to sign the World Heritage Convention 40 years ago, and yet this week two issues of significance—the Great Barrier Reef and the attempted delisting of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area—are on their agenda. It is shameful action from a person who claims to be a conservationist.