Independent lawmakers explain why they abstain from voting on climate change bill

The independent lawmaker explained why she abstained from voting, saying the climate change bill lacked detail and didn’t account for the economic impact on low-income communities.

This came through Congress less than a week after the climate change bill was first introduced, by 89 to 55 votes.

Dai Lee, who defeated prominent Labor Senator Christina Keneally to claim the Fowler seat in Western Sydney, said on 3 August that she “cannot justify voting in favor of a bill that hastily passed parliament”. He tweeted that he abstained from voting.

Lee said lawmakers need to make “informed and informed choices.” This means understanding the consequences of the bill.

“As it stands, the law lacks detail, which means there is no certainty about electricity prices, and no certainty about how it will be achieved,” she said. media statement.

solar panel
Solar panels on the roof of AGL’s new Docklands office in Melbourne, Australia, August 20, 2015. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The Vietnam-born lawmaker added that while supporting a cleaner and greener environment, he sees economic relief as an emergency, rather than current climate change bills.

“Australian families are facing a real emergency right now and we need to focus on low-income families struggling with soaring food, fuel and energy costs,” she said.

“The median household income of my voters is 20% less than the rest of Australia. We need a solution now.”

Will promoting renewable energy benefit low-income communities?

The 14-page Climate Change Bill sets a minimum emission reduction target of 43% by 2030 and net zero by 2050. It was largely opposed by the coalition, but was supported by the left-wing Green Party, which originally proposed it. Raise emissions targets to 75% by 2030 and net zero by 2035.

“We are not doing this to try [to] Stop pollution a little.we are trying this [to] Stop climate change from becoming a runaway chain reaction,” said Adam Band, leader of the Green Party.

The bill aims to rewire the electricity grid so that it is primarily powered by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, while fulfilling Labor’s election promise to increase the penetration of electric vehicles. increase.

Epoch Times photo
The Tesla Model Y electric car on display on the showroom floor in the Miami Design District, Florida, October 21, 2021. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

But a Dai Le media spokesperson told The Epoch Times that while there are incentives for renewable energy in principle, in practice, “it takes a lot of thought to implement something like this.” .

The move to renewable energy, for example, means that low-income communities like Western Sydney will have a harder time adapting, she said.

“With solar rebates, a lot of people in our community are renters, so there’s not even an incentive for landlords to put solar panels on their rental homes. Said.

“When it comes to electric cars, at the moment it will take two years for a car to be introduced in Australia. There is a supply problem. It is a very high price for us.”

“Western Sydney has a big manufacturing industry. Why are we talking about importing an electric car that takes two years to get here when we could potentially build it ourselves in Western Sydney? ”

“These two things are not very permeated by everyday Australians.”

Currently 64% of Australia’s energy grid is coal-fired, and the country supplies 60% of the world’s lithium.

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Please contact her at [email protected]