Title Federation Chamber
Climate Change
Database House Hansard
Date 25-07-2019
Source House of Reps
Parl No. 46
Electorate Dunkley
Main Committee/Federation Chamber
Page 1100
Party ALP
Status Final
Speaker Murphy, Peta, MP
Stage Climate Change
System Id chamber/hansardr/bf07f4c7-cb9e-476c-a990-c87b42b76cec/0247

Federation Chamber - CONSTITUENCY STATEMENTS - Climate Change

Ms MURPHY (Dunkley) (11:19): Caitlan Hohneck is a student at Mahogany Rise Primary School. I heard her give a terrific speech at a Project O event last month, with a message in it for everyone in this parliament. So it's my pleasure to now deliver that speech on her behalf.

'My name is Caitlan and I am in year 6. In the future I would like to be a politician, something I have wanted to do since I was in grade 4. Just ask my teacher, Shannon. Politicians have the power to change things, to have influence and use that power and influence to help people. And I want to help people. One of the things I am passionate about is climate change. Climate change is not a problem that is going to go away if we ignore it. I am passionate about it because, if we don't pay attention to it , it is going to affect us all, especially my generation. Here are some facts about climate change. The rate at which Antarctica is melting has tripled in the last decade, Wildlife populations have declined by 60 per cent since 1970. Koalas are at risk of being critically endangered in some states of Australia. Trees are scientifically proven to help reduce the effects of climate change by absorbing CO2 and producing oxygen, but still, in 2017 alone, 39 million acres of tropical forest was cleared. I have heard so many times adults saying, "Oh, they're just kids," or that because we're young we don't understand the world or have experience of what's come before us. But I say to those adults: we are the present and we are the future. We see the emergency and we know that, if the adults today don't start making the right decisions, we will be the ones having to deal with it in the future. And when I am an adult I will have to tell the children that, even though we tried to speak up, past generations didn't act on it and it created irreversible change. We also have easy ideas on how we can start to fix the problem. We can stop using our cars so much. We can use our bikes and walk more. We can really commit to stopping our use of plastic bags. We can plant trees. We can take the time to educate ourselves and check twice before we buy something, to know the ethical and environmental impact of the things we buy. So, yes, we might be young, but it doesn't mean we aren't just as capable as adults of reading about the science and coming up with solutions. The only thing we can't do is change the laws and policies. That, for now, is in the hands of the adults. But we can keep speaking up, and we will keep reminding the adults that our future is in your hands. My name is Caitlan, and I want to be a future leader.'

Well, Caitlan, you're a leader now. Let's keep working together with everyone else who cares about the climate to make sure that the adults in this parliament look after our planet and your future.