In Twenty Years

October 18, 2021

Today, as a part of the Raise Our Voice, Youth Voice in Parliament Week, the future leaders of tomorrow submitted speeches to their local members in the hope that their words would be read in Parliament.  

I’m reading a speech written by 16 year old, Ella Marshall, who lives in my electorate.  

In twenty years, I want to see the colours of the Great Barrier Reef.

In twenty years, I want to see the biodiversity of the Kakadu National Park.

In twenty years, I want to see the penguins on Macquarie Island.

With Australia ranking last in climate change action among the UN members, I’m scared.

I’m scared that my dreams and many other young peoples’ dreams of seeing the wonders of Australia may end up becoming just a story told around the dinner table. That our dreams of a future with these places unaffected by climate change will be as unreachable as a six-year-old wanting to be an astronaut.

Climate change is impacting every Australian’s life. From summer school uniforms being modified to combat the unnatural temperatures in heatwaves, to farmers struggling financially, mentally, and physically as they wake up each morning with dying land.

It’s heartbreaking watching good, hard-working Australian’s  face the impacts that are a result of profit over people.

It needs to stop. The disbelief and the disregard of climate change-induced weather events need to stop. I do not want our country to spend another year with television screens around the world streaming red skies and dying kolas.

You can pass the bills to make the change and help me see those wonders in twenty years.

I hope the Deputy Prime Minister has heard Ella’s words today.