Nature Repair Market Bill 2023

CONSIDERATION IN DETAIL - HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

It is beyond belief how I feel this evening in this House, having seen the Greens once again team up with the Liberals to vote down, to vote against nature, to vote against weed eradication, to vote against communities like the Blue Mountains—and for the member for Macquarie to vote against communities like mine—to vote against nature itself. The Greens have once again come into this chamber to show to the Australian public that they are not the party they claim to be. Their voting record demonstrates a very different idea than I know, than people in my electorate who tell me they are Greens supporters—and I know how disheartened they will be tonight seeing this. It is a perfectly reasonable bill, setting up a market to attract private and philanthropic funds into a market where they might support nature repair— the repair of areas like mine, where noxious weed infestations are an absolute blight and risk infesting a Ramsar wetlands site. The Greens have come in here tonight to vote against a solution to a problem.

I listened to the Liberals speak across this debate. I listened to those opposite and their speeches, and couldn't believe that they were against a market—that they've finally found a market they're against! But to know that the Greens have come in and said, 'Sorry, you might have found a solution, you might have found a way to attract investment into our communities to ensure that we can build back degraded land in our communities, to create employment potentially for Indigenous communities, to create employment for locals in these spaces'— the Greens have come in here and voted against repairing nature. That's what we're looking at now. I know that, in my community, the people from the Greens party that stand beside me election after election are going to be absolutely bewildered this evening.

This bill offers a solution. Let's face it: we are talking about a bill put forward by the member for Sydney. Is there a person who has fought harder for conservation and the environment in this place? Is there a person who has fought harder and is there a person who has voted more often to support the environment than the member for Sydney? The problem, as I see it, is that no solution is good enough unless a small group of people sitting in this chamber thought of it first. That's how it feels to me.

I think that, across this consideration in detail, there should be some members of the Labor Party taking notes, so we can go back to our communities, to our neighbours who support conservation, to our neighbours who care about the environment, to our neighbours who are saying to us, 'It is so good to have a government getting on with action to reduce climate change, so good to have a government who is doing the things we've wanted them to do.' They will be bewildered by the fact that the party they thought was founded on environmental values has voted against this bill in this House tonight. It is an absolute shame.

When this bill came into the parliament, I found the member for Sydney and I said, 'Does this include noxious weed eradication?' The member for Sydney said, 'Yes, Jo, it does.' I went home and I rang my council, and I said, 'We've got a bill in the House that might help our community eradicate the noxious weed that has taken over what was farmland in my community.' And the Greens think this is not a good idea. It is extraordinary. It is almost beyond belief for those of us on this side of the House to see this as a voting pattern for the Greens. Housing is one thing, but the environment—the Greens voting against a creative way to solve problems and to create a market that will attract investment into communities across this country to see nature be repaired and be taken back to a better place than it is currently? I cannot believe I'm seeing this this evening.

I know there will be people in my electorate that will be bewildered. I know there will be people across the country who will be bewildered. But we now know who's going to team up with who, and who stands with the Australian public.

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