We have not wavered in our pursuit of a better world for the many, not the few.
By Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
As ever, I am proud to be a member of the federal party room that has been so principled and resolute over the last twelve months. We have not wavered in our pursuit of a better world for the many, not the few. And we have not wavered in our fight to ensure that future generations are actually able to inhabit this earth and share it with the rest of the vast and beautiful natural world.
These are immutable goals for this party. Our policies lay out the pathway to achieve these goals. We parliamentarians do what we can to move our country in this direction, including dragging this cruel and inept Turnbull Government along when the chance presents. That is our job. To make changes. Otherwise, we're just part of the furniture.
And the opportunities for change are coming more often. As the economic troubles and environmental calamity of our time become all too real, people are becoming frustrated with inaction and our ideas are becoming more popular, even mainstream. This is not always easy for us, but our course is true. We need to stay strong and we need to keep our voice.
Defending our oceans
Climate change is here now. Our oceans are the sorry proof of this fact. As Chair of the Senate Environment and Communications Committee I have run a nationwide inquiry into the effect of warming oceans. The evidence is truly frightening. The devastation that is being brought onto the Great Barrier Reef is a national emergency. One of the great treasures of the world is being wiped out before our eyes. Yet the Lib/Labs continue their obsession with a great big new coal mine. They couldn't be more out of touch.
I will continue to advocate for healthy oceans in the Australian parliament by: highlighting and fighting the impacts of climate change on our marine environment, protecting apex predators like sharks and phasing our shark nets and drum lines that kill endangered marine life, opposing illegal whaling, and campaigning to restore marine protected areas that are an insurance policy protecting marine biodiversity for future generations.
Lastly, and perhaps the biggest job of all, is leading the political debate to tackle the scourge of marine plastic that is slowly choking life in our oceans. I will make sure that we do everything we can to preserve marine life.
The Tasmania Greens have continued to work with environment groups and the indigenous community to campaign for a national park in the north-west takayna forests. Takayna is a magnificent and inspiring place. It is rich with natural beauty and cultural values. It is a place that should be preserved to remind us that this planet is not the sum of its material value. Unfortunately, takayna remains under threat from a challenge by the state and federal government to a court ruling banning four-wheel drives. But we are winning over the community as more and more Tasmanians realise that our future can and must be a clean, green one.
Taking it up to the banks
Three years ago, the Greens went out on a limb and called for a Royal Commission into banking on the back of misconduct uncovered by Senate committees. Well, how right we were. The clamour for a Royal Commission is now deafening. The Turnbull Government is doing just about anything to block out the noise, even introducing a levy on the big wealthy banks first proposed by the Greens! But the noise will not go away. The scandals keep coming and the public want action. The Greens have taken this fight right up to the government with my private member's bill to introduce a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (essentially a Royal Commission that reports to parliament, not the government) passing the Senate earlier this year.