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Monday, 16 November 2009
Page: 11688

Mr SULLIVAN (3:40 PM) —Earlier today I commented that the world had dealt with ozone-depleting gases and sulfur and neither of those had led to any catastrophe. I believe that we can do the same with the capture and reuse, or sequestration as required, of carbon dioxide.

I want to conclude my comments by talking a little bit about the weather. I think people are aware that the weather events that we are experiencing these days are unusual. In my own electorate quite recently we had a hot spell that occurred during winter, which decimated the strawberry industry. I do not know to what extent the strawberry industry was able to operate, but it normally contributes about $100 million annually to our local economy, and that has gone. Cyclones are becoming more frequent in Queensland and are moving south, and it is not just in Australia that the weather patterns are unusual. Throughout Australia we expect to have an increased frequency of heatwaves, which have tragic consequences for elderly people. Drought conditions are expected to be extended, particularly in the south-west of the country. We also have hail. These things are changing the way we are able to manage our country. They are changing the way that agriculture operates. They are changing what we can anticipate for our future, irrespective of the broader issues of global warming which spread out over a much larger time frame.

In question time the Prime Minister spoke of the effects on tourism. I will not repeat those comments so soon after they have been made. But this issue is something that this government, this parliament, this nation and this world need to deal with and deal with now. We cannot afford to continue to dilly-dally. I note that the Prime Minister has set a timetable for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 [No. 2] to be considered in the other place. I encourage those in the other place to listen to Ross Garnaut and just pass the thing.