LEAN at National Conference 2021

LEAN endorsed Chapter 3, Climate Change, Energy and the Environement of the National Platform today at the Special Platform Conference. Read Co-convenor's Felicity Wade and David Tierney's speeches to the Conference.

Felicity Wade

I am Felicity Wade, National co-convenor of LEAN and I’m speaking to you from Gadigal land.

Delegates I joined the Labor party because over my lifetime it has KEPT SHOWING UP. Showing up to defend the natural environment and more recently to protect us from global warming. Bob Hawke’s decision to save the Franklin river is my political birth story. Continuing to show up on climate change over the last decade has not always been easy. Labor’s broad-based determination to keep showing up sustains my activism.

Once again, this chapter confirms Labor’s commitment to showing up to keep Australians safe from a disrupted future where terrifying fire and flood are just the beginning. But also to address the cost to workers who have proudly powered our nation in the fossil fuel sector over the last century.

With the energy transition inevitable and already well underway, it is our task to step up – to have the honest conversations about the changes coming our way - and to step in where the market will fail, to deliver fairness in the transition and the necessary scale of ambition that can limit warming and build new industries and jobs.

Delegates, gas is not a low emissions fuel. It is a fossil fuel and a major source of greenhouse emissions.

While cheaper gas is a priority for manufacturers and electricity consumers, domestic reservation, market reform and fuel switching are the solutions - not new gas fields. The community does not support fracking and LEAN stands with them.

Furthermore, fossil fuels are a mature industry, fossil fuel projects and their associated infrastructure should not receive public funding or subsidy. That’s what the Morrison govt are proposing. We know that public funding to lock in dangerous climate change contravenes core Labor values.

I want to thank the shadow ministers for their constructive engagement with LEAN.

I want to acknowledge all the LEAN activists across the country who worked hard to improve this chapter and constantly show up to make Labor a better party - organized rank and file are a powerful force.

I commend this chapter to you.

David Tierney

Delegates, I am the National Co-convenor of LEAN – Labor’s Environment Action Network.

Climate Change and the Government’s, and Community’s, responses to address Climate Change IS the Environmental issue of our times. However it is not the only environment issue we are facing. As the recent Samuel Review identified, our natural environment remains under threat. Graeme Samuel, a member of Melbourne’s establishment and not a radical greenie, stated in in his opening line of his Review…

“Australia’s natural environment and iconic places are in an overall state of decline and are under increasing threat. The current environmental trajectory is unsustainable.”

And he is right. Australia is still losing species, and its habitats, at alarming rates.

So these days while we tend to focus just on climate change the Platform contains positive policies and actions that will once again place the protection of the natural environment on the agenda of a Federal Government. Policies and actions that conservative governments reject – even when recommended by one of their own.
The platform that LEAN helped draft with the shadow spokespeople calls for…
- An overhaul of our environment laws to make them fit for purpose
- And for the establishment of a powerful Environment Protection authority
The platform also now recognises that “a healthy environment is essential for a strong economy”.

Now to the politics of the Environment.
Labor as always been at the forefront of addressing environmental issues - as the shadow minister stated…
- When we needed to protect the reef
- When we needed to stop logging our rainforests
- When we needed to take the lead out of our petrol to stop our cities choking

We turned to LABOR. Not new Labor – not old Labor – not ‘inner city’ Labor. Just LABOR with core values
We should reject the childish language of Bumpkins like ‘New’ and ‘Old’ Labor – as their only purpose is to divide us.

Working people who have never been near the inner city – like me, my parents, and certainly my now voting daughters – care about the environment

In conclusion, as National Co-convenor of Lean, (although not for much longer. After 7 years its time to move on) I have the privilege, for the third National Conference in a row, of saying LEAN endorses the draft Platform and its program of action.
Conference Policy Announcements by Anthony Albanese and Chris Bowen
Two very good policy announcements were made at the Conference, to make electric vehicles more affordable and to support community level batteries, allowing solar households to make the most of their energy. You can read the detail here:

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