Adam Bandt: “We need a Green New Deal”
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Adam Bandt: “We need a Green New Deal”


… acknowledge that it’s we had treaties
with our First Nations communities. I also want to thank our emergency services,
public servants, our community volunteers, who’ve all been working so hard to look after
us over this terrible bushfire season, including here in Canberra today, and also now looking
after us with the coronavirus threat. And I want to also acknowledge and thank the
fantastic work of our former Leader Richard Di Natale. Richard, we are going to miss your courage
and your commitment, and thank you for your years of service. And I think it says a lot about your values
Richard, that you have chosen, on your own terms, to step down to be with your boys as
they move into their teenage years, and I think they’re really going to appreciate having
their dad around. I want to congratulate my colleagues behind
me for being elected to positions of leadership with us, and also to especially note Larissa
Waters, who is going to be our Leader in the Senate and is going to do an amazing job,
taking the fight up for a Green New Deal, and for everything the Greens believe in to
all of the other parties in the Senate. And lastly I want to thank my colleagues for
the incredible trust they have placed in me. I want them to know it’s something I won’t
take for granted and I will spend every waking moment repaying that trust. A couple of weeks ago when I dropped my kids
off at childcare, the air was so dangerous that the warning on my phone showed someone
wearing a gas mask. Summer is going from a time to relax to being
a time to where people fear their life and their health. People are angry and anxious because it is
clear that the government does not have the climate emergency under control and the government
has no plan to get it under control. But people are also anxious and angry because
in this country, the basics of life are no longer guaranteed. Go to TAFE, go to university, study hard and
you can find yourself underemployed in a job with insecure hours low wages. Get yourself a job and you can find yourself
unable to afford a house because the government has rigged the market against you. We are becoming a country where even if you
do the things that everyone has asked of you, you are no longer guaranteed a good life. We are facing a climate emergency, a jobs
crisis, an inequality crisis and the government’s only answer is to shrug and say ‘well, get
used to it, because this is the new normal’. Well, I refuse to adapt to kids wearing gas
masks. I refuse to accept a society where people
put off having children because they are feeling so insecure about their jobs and their life. I refuse to accept people living below the
poverty line in a country as wealthy as ours. And I refuse to accept the dismal standard
of this government led by Scotty from Marketing, whose love of coal has contributed to these
fires that we’re seeing at the moment and the climate emergency we are facing. And I refuse to accept the dismal standard
of the Labor so-called opposition, who chooses the middle of bushfires to celebrate coal,
and who votes with the Liberals to give tax cuts to millionaires. We are a smart and wealthy country and if
we have the guts to take on the big corporations and the weak politicians they have in their
pocket, we can solve these crises. We need a Green New Deal. A Green New Deal is a government-led plan
of investment and action to build a clean economy and a caring society. The two elements of a Green New Deal – government
taking the lead to create new jobs and industries, and universal services to ensure no-one is
left behind – are the values I have been fighting for my whole adult life. I joined the Labor Party at high school, but
left in university because Labor started putting up fees for education, and putting people
into so much debt that it was inconsistent with my values. It meant that people like my father, who was
the first person in his family to go to university were going to face barriers that no one should
have to face. As a lawyer, I fought big corporations on
behalf of clothing outworkers and represented firefighters and even coal workers who were
battling with privatisation. And in my seat of Melbourne we have brought
people together, from public housing to young families and that is what a Green New Deal
will do as well, because it provides a vision of the country that takes on the challenges
that we are facing that everyone is able to get behind. We’re going to talk a bit more about the
Green New Deal and how it addresses the climate crisis, the jobs crisis and the inequality
crisis over the coming months, but let me just give you 3 things at the moment, that
I’ll be fighting for as part of a Green New Deal: First, is get dental into Medicare. That is unfinished business for us in the
power-sharing parliament back in 2010 we managed to get dental into Medicare for kids, and
we need to do it for everyone across the country. Second. Make education genuinely free. And the first cab off the rank for us at the
moment is going to be targeting those fees that people who are sending their kids to
public schools are being forced to pay. Sometimes they’re called voluntary feeds,
but there’s nothing voluntary about them. Our public schools are under-funded and they
shouldn’t be dipping into parent’s pockets. We’ll be fighting to make sure public schools
are properly funded so that no one pays a cent in fees when they send their kids to
public schools. The third – a manufacturing renaissance in
this country. I want Australia to be the renewable energy
superpower that people bring their businesses to from overseas because we can provide them
with cheap, clean electricity as we phase out coal. Let’s increase our capacity to process a
lot of our minerals here, so that we can sell – using clean energy, so that we can sell
the rest of the world, the things that they will need in a zero carbon economy and let’s export our renewable energy directly
via undersea cable or via green hydrogen. I want Australia to make things in the new
economy and with a Green New Deal we can. Let me finish by reminding you that the Greens
get things done. There is one unarguable fact in recent Australian
history. The only time pollution has been cut in this
country is when Greens shared power. We worked with Labor, worked with the independents
to cut pollution. And we can do it again. Right here in Canberra at the moment, you
have Greens working with Labor to transform the ACT and have it running on 100% renewables. And the Greens are the only ones who can fix
the problems because we’re the only ones not taking money from those that are causing
the problems. Finally, I want to just speak directly to
young people. Especially the hundreds of thousands of 16
and 17 year olds who are gonna be voting for the first time at the next election. The Greens understand that you have the most
to lose from the climate emergency and from our unequal economy. You are right to feel that you are getting
screwed over from every angle by a government that is criminally burning your future. But now is not the time for despair. We don’t have the luxury of despair. Now is the time for action and to fight. So let me finish by saying to everyone who
is feeling anxious and angry at the moment: If you are sick of this terrible government’s
thoughts and prayers and you want action, then come to our Green New Deal website, sign
up to find out about the amazing actions that we are going to have rolling out across the
country over the next few months and join this fight for our future. Thanks very much.

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