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Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Page: 7692

Ms HALL (ShortlandGovernment Whip) (22:25): Representatives from The Australian Youth Climate Coalition visited Parliament House today. The AYCC's Meet Your Member campaign facilitated over 500 young people from around Australia to meet with their local representatives to discuss climate change. Five representatives of the AYCC came to parliament to report on their campaign. These are five young people who are passionate, five young people who actually believe that, through their actions, they can make a difference. Today they had morning tea with members of parliament to discuss the outcome of their campaign and to discuss the important issue of climate change. I think it is inspirational that young people can be so passionate about an issue that is of such great importance to our planet.

I am pleased to report to the House that, earlier this year, four young members of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition visited me in my electorate office. They made me aware of how passionate they were about the issue. They sought to find out what my position was on climate change and the introduction of a price on carbon. I told them that I fully accepted the science behind climate change, that I was very supportive of the government's plan to put a price on carbon and that I believed we needed a national climate change policy—all the types of issues that they were raising. They pointed out to me how important it was to provide an incentive for polluting companies to clean up their act and how there was an opportunity to use the revenue to invest in clean energy technologies.

In this parliament, we are lobbied on many occasions by many people. We are lobbied by cigarette companies—the previous speaker put forward his argument against plain packaging of cigarettes. We are lobbied by people who oppose many different changes and we are lobbied on issues based on self-interest. Today we were faced with passionate young people who are concerned only about the future of the planet and making sure that the world is a better place, young people who want to make a mark on our society, young people who can see that, unless we address climate change, unless we accept the science which is supported by over 90 per cent of scientists and unless we accept the views of economists throughout Australia and the world that we must act on climate change, we are going to have real problems not only in Australia but globally.

The young people who ran this campaign ran it in a very professional way. They organised meetings, they registered the details of their meetings online, they prepĀ­ared the meetings using a very professional pack which they had put together and they worked with other youth representatives. They organised local media to cover the meetings and they confirmed the meeting times and places. They liaised, they briefed each other, they talked about the results of their campaign. They have a website— I encourage members to visit that website. In addition, they talked to politicians and to the community and attended community functions. They also circulated this petition which states:

I support making polluters responsible for pollution by putting a fair price on carbon pollution.

I seek leave to table this petition which has been signed by young people within my regional area.

Leave granted.

Debate interrupted.

House adjourned at 22:30