Thursday, February 29, 2024

AMCA says climate change Bill leaves rural communities out in the cold

The Australian Mining Cities Alliance (AMCA) is calling on the Senate Committee for Environment and Communications to address what is says is a “crucial flaw” in Australia’s new Climate Change Bill.

The Climate Bill, passed by the Australian House of Representatives earlier this month, enshrines into law two national greenhouse gas emissions targets – a 43% cut below 2005 levels by 2030, and a reduction to ‘net zero’ by 2050.

“We observed the passing of the Bill in the House of Representatives and in particular the amendment proposed by Dr Helen Haines MP Member for Indi, that partially addressed the need for impacts on rural and regional Australia to be considered in the Annual Statement on emissions reductions and when setting new emissions reductions targets,” AMCA Chair, Phil Barwick today.

“However, the Bill is flawed in that it only requires ‘benefits’ to rural and regional Australia to be reported.

“What about the ‘disbenefits’ that will impact on mining communities subject to the most dramatic of economic and social change? They must be considered.

“There are many thousands of Australians living and working in such mining communities who believe that this Bill will in time destroy their livelihoods and their families’ futures. At the very least there should be consultation with these communities and their local government leaders to ensure their sustainability.”

AMCA Deputy Chair and Mayor of Isaac Regional Council, Anne Baker said that without direct and meaningful consultation, rural communities would be left fighting for their existence under the pressure of negative social, economic, and environmental impacts resulting from end of mine life and global climate change responses.

“That is why we ask how and when the Climate Change Authority and the Minister for Climate Change and Energy will actually consult with the mining communities that will face transformational change as a result of this bill and subsequent legislation?” Mayor Baker said.

“We call on our Senators and relevant Ministers and Shadow Ministers to act to ensure that the legislation properly takes into account those affected the most,” she said.

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