I called out the PM in Parliament and I was asked a most bizarre question.
Nearly every week, there is another scientific report calling for action on climate change. It’s clear that to give our children the best chance of a healthy, happy life we must act now.
But despite all of the alarming scientific evidence piling up, our Federal Government continues to ignore the need for climate action and is set to today cut our Renewable Energy Target, with Labor’s backing.
When the Pope last week came out and spoke about the need to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy in his encyclical – an important announcement in the Catholic faith – I felt a glimmer of hope. Maybe, just maybe, the Pope could change the Prime Minister’s mind on climate change; after all, Tony Abbott is well-known as a Catholic and once even trained to be a Priest.
But when I raised the question of whether the Abbott Government would listen to the Pope’s call for climate action in Senate Question time yesterday, my question was met with howls of confected outrage from the government senators.
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Senator Canavan shouted out that I was “a bloody bigot”, before he was forced to withdraw the comment.
Senator Brandis, to whom I had addressed my question because he was representing the Prime Minister in the Senate, said my question was “disgusting”.
Obviously, I had hit a sore point.
But the most bizarre remark was from Senator O’Sullivan, who asked, “You are married, aren’t you?”
I replied: “No, I’m not and that’s an irrelevant question, my marital status has nothing to do with this chamber.”
I really don’t know what point Senator O’Sullivan was trying to make, however, I question whether he would have asked the same question of a male Senator.