Australia is “on the precipice of a great opportunity” and must embrace clean technologies and renewables to address climate change and power the economy, new independent MP Monique Ryan said in her first speech in Parliament.
New Labor MP Marion Scrymgour also used her first speech as a member of Parliament to shine a spotlight on Australia’s “huge opportunity” with critical minerals and renewables.
Ms Ryan, who ousted former Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in the seat of Kooyong at the May election, said climate change is the “greatest challenge of our generation”, but should also be seen as an opportunity.
“We stand on the precipice of a great opportunity: a transformation to a new clean energy economy – an economy which will not need to rely on volatile markets and international security for a secure energy supply, an economy that is moving away from polluting fuels and combusting vehicles to quiet electric vehicles and clean air for our children,” Ms Ryan said on Thursday.
“Our renewable energy resources are the envy of the world. Our systems are all interconnected. We can’t have a resilient agricultural industry if we continue to drag our feet on climate change.”
Australia needs strong leadership from the federal government to drive this transformation, Ms Ryan said.
“Strong government leadership is crucial to manage a just transition, facilitate investment in low-cost clean energy and turbocharge economic activity and job creation across Australia,” she said.
New Labor MP for Lingiari in the Northern Territory Marion Scrymgour also delivered her first speech on Thursday, focusing on the potential with Australia’s critical minerals supplies.
“What we are seeing as a likely mining opportunity for the future is the extraction of minerals which are going to be required in the new industries and technologies built on renewables,” Ms Scrymgour said.
“When it comes to renewables, nothing could be more exciting than the massive and innovative Sun Cable solar project, which is planning to harvest solar energy from far inland in the Australian continent and then deliver it in Singapore.”
The Sun Cable aims to be the world’s largest solar infrastructure network, with plans to build an intercontinental power grid connecting Australia to Singapore to supply 24/7 renewable power.
Ms Scrymgour also reference the issue of gas in the Betaloo basin, saying that the project must be carbon neutral and that this is the responsibility of both the federal and Northern Territory governments.
“There is a huge opportunity for the two governments to meet this challenge in a way that will turbocharge jobs and ranger programs out bush,” she said.
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