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Question to the Premier on Global Climate Strike

On Wednesday 18 September, Michael posed a question to the Premier concerning the Global Climate Strike, specifically whether she would openly support public servants that had decided to participate in the forthcoming Brisbane event. Her response afforded the proper credence to the direct causation of climate change and an increasing rate of natural disasters, but disappointingly opted to request that those interested in attending do so within the allotted break hours of their work schedule - highlighting an ignorance to both the principles of civil protest and the magnitude of climate change.

You can read the speech below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard), or watch it HERE.

Mr BERKMAN: My question without notice is for the Premier. After devastating bushfires last week gave Queenslanders yet another taste of what climate change looks like, workers here and all over the globe are joining students striking for climate action. Will the Premier step up like Daniel Andrews did yesterday for Victorians and back Queensland public servants who want to attend the Global Climate Strike this Friday? 

Ms PALASZCZUK: I thank the member for Maiwar for the question. Let me say a couple of things in relation to that. First of all, Queensland is seeing more and more natural disasters. Are they a result of climate change? Yes, I believe they are. We are seeing temperatures increase across the state and across the globe. That is why my government has a very clear 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030. That is why we have the most efficient coal-fired power stations in the nation. We have gas and we also have renewable energy. In fact, there is $20 billion on the books and $5 billion under construction, with most of the jobs happening in regional Queensland.

The Bureau of Meteorology also backs what I have said publicly. I have made public speeches about the change in our climate and the impact it is having on natural disasters. In fact, from memory a report was handed down at the end of last year which talked about changes in temperature and what that is doing for cyclones. For the first time ever Queensland has had a catastrophic level of bushfires such as we have not seen before. Unlike those opposite—especially federal LNP member David Littleproud, who came out and said he did not back the science and climate change is not man-made— we will do everything we can on this side of the House when it comes to climate change. 

In relation to your question, I understand that children may be participating. As I have said previously, I believe that children should be attending school and people should be attending their workplaces. If these events are held after hours and if they held on the weekends, I am all for that. I believe in democracy. I believe in people being able to express their opinions on a whole range of things. We have a very vibrant democracy in this state which I support, but I do not support events that use dangerous devices. I know the Minister for Police will have more to say about that at a later stage. I do respect the fundamental right of people to protest in this state. They should do it peacefully. They should do it in spaces that are allowed. They should let the police know. I do believe that it should be done after hours or during lunch breaks. 

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