Wills MP Peter Khalil makes maiden speech but fails to mention ARENA cuts
On Monday September 12 Wills MP Peter Khalil made his maiden speech in the House of Representatives, in which he prefaced: “This speech is for everyone who cares about compassionate policies for asylum seekers and refugees, the immense value to our nation of the arts and multiculturalism, equality before the law for all and the impact of climate change on our environment.”
He referenced climate change twice briefly in his speech:
“Wills has a commitment to the Environment. Residents have lead the way on climate change action with one of the fastest rates of home and business adoption of solar panels. In the suburbs of Fawkner and Glenroy pensioners have roofs covered in solar panels because it makes environmental and economic sense.”
“I believe in tackling climate change for our, and future generations, sustainable living, and funding for infrastructure and public transport.”
In a debate on Wednesday on ‘Matters of Public Importance:’ Khalil raised the subject of climate change in relation to the Prime Minister.
“…It is rumoured the Prime Minister was again overridden by the right wing of his party on climate change. He is now peddling a policy that he himself once described, as a fig leaf and a recipe for fiscal recklessness on a grand scale. But, it actually could be worse. I may be being too kind.”
“The most damning indictment of his failed leadership would be—and I think it is—that he has actually traded away his own values for the top job. I am just a new member in this place, a new backbencher, yet in my first week I was confronted by the Prime Minister. On the first day of this parliament in the hallway he proceeded to lecture me about the notion of bipartisan support for a marriage equality plebiscite. I was a bit shocked. I did not know what to say. Then he turned his attack on the NBN and insisted that they were building it, that he was building it. He assured me that they were building it. Such a great statesman was roaming the halls of parliament seeking anyone who may throw a lifeline to his withering legacy. He is in danger of sinking even further into the depths of obscurity than the man he has usurped.”
On the subject of budget cuts to ARENA’s renewable energy investment budget, and the deal Labor did with the government to “save it by compromising on the amount slashed”, there was not a word from Peter Khalil. Read more on this deal by Giles Parkinson at RenewEconomy: Coalition puts a cap on innovation, and strips Turnbull’s flagship initiative.
Some of Peter’s voters urged him to follow in Kelvin Thompson’s footsteps and become a climate champion in caucus and parliament:
Labor could have successfully opposed the cuts with support in the Senate from Nick Xenophon Team, the Greens, and perhaps Derryn Hinch. Instead we saw cheap bipartisan politics at the expense of energy transition.
A Poll of 10,271 Australians showed majority support for the Senate blocking axing of ARENA in the budget omnibus bill, according to The Age.