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Australian Bushfires

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:20 pm on 9th January 2020.

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Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons) 12:20 pm, 9th January 2020

You will be aware, Madam Deputy Speaker, how thrilled I am to see you back in the Chair—your rightful place in this House.

I am grateful to the Minister for her statement. I speak as someone whose mother grew up in Western Australia. I have family living in Victoria and in New South Wales, so I feel the pain of that country maybe as much as other Members of this House. The reality is that when friends speak, they also speak with some honesty. Prime Minister Morrison has ignored the climate issue for a number of years, as other Members have pointed out. The Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting is coming up later this year. I accept that it is not part of the Minister’s responsibility, but may I ask her to make representations to the relevant Minister, the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister to prioritise climate change as part of that meeting? We must learn lessons. The situation in Australia should be a warning that the world is burning, and the Commonwealth must play a much more significant role in tackling the impact and realities of climate change.