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September 25, 2023

Can Pocock break through on climate change?

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Can Senator David Pocock break through on climate change?
Cloudcatcher Media with Midjourney AI.

After multiple postponements, independent ACT Senator David Pocock finally introduced a private member’s bill to parliament yesterday that seeks to incorporate an intergenerational duty of care into the 2022 Climate Change Act.

Senator Pocock’s bill is a response to the unsuccessful legal attempt by a group of young people, led by Anjali Sharma, to force the environment minister to consider climate impacts on future generations when approving fossil fuel projects. That 2020 Federal Court case ultimately failed because of legislative gaps, which is one of the factors that prompted Mr Pocock to become a politician, in the process deposing long-standing Liberal Senator Zed Seselja.

The new bill seeks to imposes a statutory duty on decision makers to ‘consider the likely impact of decisions that could harm the climate on the health and wellbeing of current and future children as the paramount consideration’, and
 ‘not to make a decision that could harm the climate if the decision poses a material risk of harm to the health and wellbeing of current and future children in Australia.

Senator Pocock said, ‘It’s our duty as politicians and policy makers to make sure that the climate young people inherit is one they can live and thrive in… I want to be part of a parliament, and more importantly a country, that takes this responsibility seriously.’

Who is he?

Born in 1988, David Pocock has already spent many years in the public eye. His family moved from Zimbabwe to Australia as a teenager, where he soon became a dominant presence on the rugby field. He’s also been arrested for his climate activism, lending his star power to the Leard Forest blockade, which was attempting to stop the expansion of a coal mine north of Tamworth.

Pocock has had a lifelong interest in birds, and was a reluctant politician, but since his surprising victory has demonstrated a serious commitment to social justice and environmental issues.

Lead climate litigant Anjali Sharma and Senator David Pocock at the announcement of the bill. FB.

For the public announcement of his new bill, Senator Pocock was flanked by young climate activists including litigant Anjali Sharma, who said ‘I’m increasingly scared about my future. The past few years have seen climate disasters and temperatures that have broken records.

‘The government can either act in accordance with its duty to young people and deliver us a safe and liveable future, or set us on a path to climate catastrophe,’ she said.

The introduction of the Pocock bill was preceded by debate in the Senate on a climate trigger for fossil fuel projects, proposed by The Greens. As mentioned by both opposition and progressive voices, this was very similar to a bill originally proposed by one Anthony Albanese in 2005, which didn’t save the latest version from being shot down in flames by the major parties, voting as a bloc.

Senator Pocock’s first private member’s bill also seems destined to fail, considering what’s been happening in the federal parliament lately, but David Pocock’s whole life has been about defying the odds and coming out on top, so this will be an interesting debate to watch.

There is a petition for people to add their support to the duty of care bill here.

David Lowe
David Lowe. Photo Tree Faerie.

Originally from Canberra, David Lowe is an award-winning film-maker, writer and photographer with particular interests in the environment and politics. He’s known for his campaigning work with Cloudcatcher Media.

Long ago, he did work experience in Parliament House with Mungo MacCallum.


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  1. David Lowe, great article.
    David Pocock, 1000%!

    The LabLibNat Fossil Fuel Cartel, the supreme con artists, they nothing more than climate criminals.
    It’s what you get when political parties are bought by $’shundredsofthousands Fossil Fuel Industry political donations.

    If anyone cares about the future, not just for themselves but for their children and grandchildren, then you need to act and vote out the LabLibNat Fossil Fuel Cartel before they do any more damage.
    Voters, its time to finally wake up and act.
    PM Albanese and his mate Senator Donald Farrell can do us all a big favour, stop threatening your Double Dissolver Election and bring it on so that we can begin the climate repair.

  2. Well, that certainly opens up the ability for the court to rule that not approving fossil fuel projects detrimentally effects the future of young people economically.

  3. Pocock and Lowe the dynamic duo, they are so left they only take left turns. It takes them twice as long to arrive at their destination as anyone else. What a pair of genei, between them they could solve world economic woes and the planet while eating mung beans and vegetable burgers. I can not understand how the planet has lasted this long without their great ground breaking ideas. Knock yourselves out comraids, everyone is hanging out for your next utterances. It must be so great to be you.

  4. One could only imagine the lifestyle living off grid…
    Protesting Against your prosperity has consequences.. not so for Pocock ..this guy
    Is the alarmist on steroids..a hypocrite in the
    First order..lecturer’s all on global warming
    Nonsense… and how we all should wean ourselves
    Off hydrocarbon’s ..but not Pocock running around
    In his government car ..pointy end of the plane
    Circumnavigating the countryside..
    Seriously this bloke along with all the other
    “Do as i say not as I do elites” NEVER would have
    Enjoyed a hydrocarbon free day in their lives..
    go join the Brandt brigade Mr Pocock ..
    You would fit right in..incidentally the IPCC
    Have sent out a Memo to the world’s scientists
    suppress the fact that the planet has not warmed
    At all this past 15 years..they also suggested that
    Alarmist like Pocock stop scaring the kids to the
    Point of mental health treatment..for eco anxiety..

    • Barrow, the protesting and acting against existential threat of global boiling by all of our climate heroes has benefits, even for you, more importantly for your children and theirs.
      This hydrocarbons thing of yours, it been explained to you a number of times previously.
      Barrow, it is entirely logical to use an existing technology, whilst at the same that existing technology is being reduced and eliminated. It is how it always works for everything that is new. Why is it so hard for you to understand.
      On the IPCC thing, please tell us more about this “Memo” business.

      • Joachim i know you have good intentions!
        I along with all on this platform want a clean
        Environment ..a better way for our planet..
        But this constant gaslighting regarding
        The Planet is in trouble is laughable
        boiling point Joachim ? Really ?
        What next !! Seriously the roman warm period lasted about 400 years . The medieval
        Warm period even longer ..it was 1.3 to 1.5
        degrees warmer 2000 years or more ago !
        Growing grapes all year round in the UK
        Can they grow grapes now all year round
        In the UK Joachim ? No you know this ..
        All those previous warm periods were
        Pre- industrialisation..Pre – hydrocarbon’s
        Joachim ..enough is enough..the general
        Lay population has had it with this
        Gaslighting alarmist paranoia…all this
        Activists throwing themselves into
        Sporting events.. blocking roads ..loved
        One’s dying because they can’t get to
        a hospital in time ..all because these
        Indoctrinated selfish attention seeking
        People’s are only thinking of themselves..
        Look at me !! Well listen to this you lot..
        The majority of the population are not concerned about global warming
        It is not even in the top ten for concerns
        It is not a emergency..meaning we are
        In” imminent danger ” worry about
        Your own carbon footprints..wean
        Yourselves of hydrocarbon’s go live
        In caves ..and leave us alone ..

        • Barrow, all very nice reading for the climate denying faithful to be sure . The IPCC and your “Memo” thing didn’t get a run in your writing.
          Barrow your “Memo”, please come back to us and tell us all about it please.

  5. Well said Barrow. You are onto them, don’t give up. The greens slide around the world preaching that we have to sacrifice our standard of living while they wear their crocodile skin shoes, leather hand bags, travel in carbon dioxide spewing aircraft but are quite happy to finger wag at us and take all the benefits of our society and want us to go live in the caves. They are pitiful hypocrites of the highest order. Shame, Shame, Shame on them all.

  6. Joachim, Boiling climate?. This is the next ludicrous term being spewed from the corrupt UN (IPCC). Well said again Barrow, a hole in one. All the lefty greens are achieving is the scaring the daylights out of school children, this is called abuse. How do you feel lefty’s?, proud of yourselves?. I suggest your reply would be yes.

  7. KD, wake up did we. May I suggest you nod off again. What part of my comments do you think is ridiculous?. I have a serious problem?, if I were to criticise you one would suggest you have a little emotional instability, but I do not use such terms or question your mental status. Your questioning of someone’s mental status is highly insulting, I will no longer participate in any further discussion with you on this matter. Maybe you should modify your language, it is a free world (for Now) so I will continue to express my feelings on certain topics weather you agree or not. I often disagree with you however let’s keep it civil as I have requested on many occasions.

    • Tut tut Greg, can’t handle a reality check can you?, seriously, “scaring the daylights out of school children”, is that the best you climate deniers can come up with these days, stupid statements get exactly what they deserve, deal with it.

  8. KD, you obviously need a reality check. I can deal with it but certainly won’t condone the alarmist greenie tripe. Our children are suffering from mental issues connected to the constant climate crisis narrative. Deal with it.

    • Greg, we are dealing with it, something you and your like are having a monumental amount of trouble doing, and the only thing our school kids are suffering from is the lack of action from your recalcitrant corrupt Govt over the last decade. The school kids could give you and your like a reality check any day of the week if you were man enough to listen.

  9. As I said KD, no more replies to you, the self righteous can not be questioned. As being man enough, you or me will not be the judge. One day our deeds will be tallied.

  10. A non KD comment. Anyone that says some children are not being traumatised by the non stop radical green alarmists narrative is delusional. Do some research.

  11. Keith, whilst your tit for tat being played out with the Greg is mildly entertaining, your own denying is being self advertised once again.
    Fed Election 22/5/22, we merely swapped one “recalcitrant corrupt Govt” / Morrison LNP, for another “recalcitrant corrupt Govt” / Albanese ALP.

    If your man Albo was “man enough to listen”, he would immediately follow the climate science and he would immediately get onboard with Anjali Sharma and David Pocock’s call for the government to act, ‘legal duty of care to protect young Australians’.
    But Keith, of course the corrupted ALP bought off by $’shundredsofthousands Fossil Fuel Industry ‘donations’ will do no such thing.

    Reality check Keith, the school kids continually being left to “deal with it”, to pick up the pieces after the reckless and dangerous actions of the LabLibNat Fossil Fuel Cartel.

  12. I might remind you both the ALP stole government with a minority primary vote, much smaller then the coalition. Albo has no claim to mandate anything. The coalition has never set out to scare school children. On the contrary the alarmist green lefty’s have excelled in that role. The greens have a duty of care to stop trying to bankrupt our country, their governing would far exceed any possible ALP or Coalition failures to the point of extreme poverty with no manufacturing, no reliable power and fiscally illiterate no hopers running the place. God help us it they ever get into serious power.

    • Greg, I’ll agree with you on one thing, the mandate thing.
      Until voters vote on a singular issue, then ‘mandate’ can never be claimed.

      Greg, your anti-Greens phobia rivals that of the Keith’s.
      You talk about bankrupting the country but Greg, please do tell us who is it that has racked up the nearly $’s1trillions of debt?
      It wouldn’t by any chance be Lab and LibNat taking their turns at the tiller of government, now would it.

      Greg, manufacturing you moan. Who was it that sent the Australian Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Industry packing?
      The Greens, seeing the future of EV’s, wanted to keep domestic motor vehicle manufacturing.
      Greg, the Greens seeing the future of The Green Economy are all in for domestic manufacturing and ‘value adding’ and with it all, come the jobs Greg.

      Greg, the school kiddies, they are a smart crew, they do learn…S c i e n c e …amongst other things and they see what is happening around the world right now.
      The thing that scares the school kids is the LabLibNat Fossil Fuel Cartel that recklessly and dangerously ignores climate science and ploughs on regardless, with Big New Fossil Fuel projects – that’s what results when governments are bought by $’s hundreds of thousands Fossils Industry political donations.

      Happy to help again.

    • You sound exactly like a certain American “politician” who also can’t deal with loooosing Greg, his first name is Donald, (need any help with the rest?)

  13. Joachim, rest assured I will never ask you or your green rabble for advice on any subject. You continually regurgitate the Trillion dollar deficit. Well my fiscally competent friend please tell everyone how you would have handled the pandemic and estimated possible fifteen percent unemployment without government intervention. Do tell. The then opposition did not oppose, however harangued the government for not going further. You mention political donations from fossil fuel industry’s, please give fully disclosed details as to whom received them how much and when. Time to present facts rather than lefty narrative. Do you not see fossil fuels fund our country’s very existence, please tell us what your idea for revenue raising would be without fossil fuels. Please do not mention hydrogen, green hydrogen faces significant challenges and is a very long way off as it’s highly questionable as an alternative fuel with today’s technology. Even if it became commercially viable I doubt enough could be manufactured to qualify as a successful alternative export in the near term. Fossil fuel produced hydrogen is being used mainly for the chemical and refinery industries. Happy researching.

    • You’re quite right Greg, the debt was incurred through very necessary support payments through the pandemic. The opposition didn’t only support this but, together with the ACTU, dragged the government to realise it was necessary.

      The thing is though, while the first Jobkeeper etc initiatives were done on the fly and without the benefit of how things would unfold, there was opportunity to see that some of this expenditure was going where they it was not only not needed but to companies making record profits. There was plenty of opportunity to tweak programs that just wasn’t taken.

      Then there were things like the home builder grants that allowed the well heeled to do expensive (pre planned and approved) renovations when tradies were doing quite nicely anyway. They also seem to have buggered the housing industry in the process.

      Meanwhile female dominated industries (that kept doing the hardest stuff in the most infection exposed industries) got zilch.

      A few years earlier a Labor government racked up debt in the GFC, received international recognition for their economic management and keeping Australia from going into recession, but were pilloried by the Tories and some of the media for years afterwards.

      What’s good for the goose …

      I agree though, it’s a bit rich for a rabid Green to carry on about debt when they see absolutely no necessity for budgetary management.

    • Greg old son, you’re all over the shop.
      You moan about the Greens and bankrupting the country but you forgot all about the fact that it has been LabLibNat that has racked up a record debt, an inconvenient fact, eh, Greg.
      Then when that lightbulb moment sparked in your head of LabLibNat, NOT the Greens, done all that debt, you go all soft on LabLibNat.
      Greg, we get you. Any imagined in your own head Greens debt is ‘end of days’ stuff but any amount of LabLibNat actual racked up debt is to congratulated. Rofl.
      Greg, do try harder, logic isn’t your strong suit.

      $’sFossil Fuel Industry political donations business, Greg, again I’m surprised with you.
      There is no “lefty narrative” just the facts .
      The AEC publicly releases details of political donations and Market Forces collates donations made by fossil fuel entities and for the 2020-21 year, Labor receiving almost $474,000 and the Coalition receiving just over $674,00 across both the Liberals and Nationals.

      Donor Year ALP LIB NAT ALP+LIB+NAT
      Woodside Energy 2020-21 108,350 82,000 42,000 232,350
      Mineral Resources 2020-21 92,400 80,000 50,000 222,400
      Minerals Council of Australia 2020-21 71,500 101,192 28,091 200,783
      The Trustee for St Baker Family Trust 2020-21 52,444 112,758 0 165,202
      Santos 2020-21 55,748 44,000 22,000 121,748
      Coal21 2020-21 50,000 42,500 22,000 114,500
      APPEA 2020-21 31,650 72,610 2,750 107,010
      The Cha of Minerals & Energy of WA 2020-21 45,334 41,000 0 86,334
      St Baker Energy Innovation Fund 2020-21 50,444 27,500 0 77,944
      Ampol 2020-21 34,500 42,850 0 77,350

      For the 2021-22 year , Labor receiving almost $600,000 and the Coalition receiving almost $790,000 across both the Liberals and Nationals.

      Donor Year ALP LIB NAT ALP+LIB+NAT
      Adani 2021-22 0 107,700 0 107,700
      Alinta 2021-22 12,000 0 0 12,000
      Ampol 2021-22 56,500 32,250 0 88,750
      APA 2021-22 27,500 30,000 0 57,500
      APLNG 2021-22 11,000 0 0 11,000
      APPEA 2021-22 56,700 23,500 28,720 108,920
      Australian Pipelines & Gas Association 2021-22 27,500 30,000 0 57,500
      BHP 2021-22 0 16,704 0 16,704
      Cartwheel Resources 2021-22 50,000 0 0 50,000
      Chevron 2021-22 45,470 43,000 4,620 93,090

      Happy reading Greg, reading “facts”.

  14. Everything is so easy in hindsight. You are all experts after the fact. The then government did everything in it’s power to get things right, did they?. No, does anyone think they are guilty of sabotaging our economy?, I suggest all of you experts pull your heads in and go play lefty green disruption games that you seem to excellent at. I often think what would our great country be like today if the best PM ever Albo had been in power, and even worse if the greens were there. I think all of you experts should be thankful you have an economy as good as it presently is. After all we are in reasonable shape compared to other nations.

  15. Joachim, thank you for the donation figures. I fail to see anything scary there, both labor and coalition received money. One thing though, why is there no mention of greens?. If they did not receive donations one must ask why?. You failed to tell all how you would have handled the pandemic and up to 15% unemployment my friend. You denigrate the last government for keeping money coming into millions of homes and avoiding mass sackings. What would you have done?. Oh, and I’m not your son. I trust your figures are correct. No need to check them?.

    • Greg old son, did you enjoy your “happy reading” of those $’sFossil Fuel Industry political; donations?
      You seem to have lost that “lefty narrative” indignation once the facts were revealed.
      Greg, yes, the Greens receive $’sZERO from the Fossils Industry for very good reasons – Greens won’t accept $’sFossils bribes and donations unlike the LabLibNat Cartel. The Greens won’t be captured by corporate masters, something that both Lab and LibNat should learn themselves up.

      You did rail against QANTAS for supporting Albo / ALP Yes Voice for the very reason of capture.
      ALP refuses QATAR Airlines that protects QANTAS and lo and behold, Yes Voice from QANTAS. Wonderful outcome for both!!!
      But somehow its different when Lab and LibNat receive $’shundredsofthousands donations from the Fossils Industry, nothing scary there says the Greg, except that LabLibNat Cartel obliges the Fossils Industry with approving and boosting Fossils Industry all over the place.
      The Greens are way smarter than any of the corruption rubbish being played amongst the LabLibNatFossilFuelIndustry Cartel.

      Greg, my man, keep boxing on about your debt issue. It is very entertaining seeing you implode.

  16. Joachim, we are still waiting for your information on how you would have handled the pandamic, etc. You are a little coy about that, the debt issue is yours Joachim not mine. You make derogitory comments about the governments pandemic debt but can’t offer a better idea. Come on we can’t wait. The greens do not get a guernsey when it comes to donations as why would they bother giving money to a mob that wants to destroy them. You can’t reject something that isn’t offered. Don’t worry, I will never lose that lefty narrative. I knew the figures all along, I just wanted you to spend time writing them down. Who is imploding now?. Not me for sure. Hurry along with your paper on a better alternative to the last government’s pandemic response and subsequent debt. I am not your son or your man, however if you are looking for a man there are many out there.


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