Australia

Independent Zali Steggall seeks meeting with Scott Morrison on climate bill

Independent MP Zali Steggall at Parliament House in Canberra. Source: AAP

An independent MP is hoping to discuss her climate change bill with Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a bid to gain government support for the plan.

The independent MP planning to introduce a climate change bill to parliament is hoping to meet with the prime minister and clinch government support for the proposal.

Zali Steggall's bill would rubber-stamp net zero emissions by 2050 and set up a climate change commission.

Ms Steggall unveiled the plan on Monday and is now seeking meetings with both Mr Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese.

"I'm putting forward the case on behalf of all Australians," she told ABC News on Tuesday.

"They have had enough with the politics of this and they want this place, the parliament, to get on with the job."

The Warringah MP nabbed the seat from former prime minister Tony Abbott on a platform focused on climate action.

Independent Helen Haines, Centre Alliance member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie, Independent Zali Steggall, and Independent Andrew Wilkie.
Independent Helen Haines, Centre Alliance member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie, Independent Zali Steggall, and Independent Andrew Wilkie.
AAP

Mr Abbott abolished the climate commission, created by Labor, two years into its existence when he became prime minister in 2013.

More than 20,000 people have so far supported Ms Steggall's bill online through a dedicated website, which assists them to contact their local MP about supporting the legislation.

Bills introduced by independent MPs don't usually progress through parliament as they're pushed to the bottom of the priority list by the government.

Labor's energy spokesman Mark Butler said while the opposition welcomed efforts to progress climate action, the government would have to allow debate on the bill in parliament.

"When Labor moved a motion to declare a climate emergency last October, Scott Morrison wouldn't allow the question to be debated at all," he said.

"Scott Morrison and his divided government have never taken action on climate change seriously."


Independent Helen Haines, Centre Alliance's Rebekha Sharkie and Independent Zali Steggall at Parliament House in Canberra.
Independent Helen Haines, Centre Alliance's Rebekha Sharkie and Independent Zali Steggall at Parliament House in Canberra.
AAP

A fresh round of infighting has broken out within the coalition over climate and energy after the government promised $4 million for a feasibility study into a coal-fired power station in Queensland.

The Nationals are cheerleading for the project but moderate Liberals want greater climate action, particularly in the face of public pressure after the devastating bushfire season.

Ms Steggall's bill has piqued the interest of Australia's industry and business sector, who have been calling for certainty on energy and climate policy.

Clean Energy Council chief Kane Thornton hopes the bill brings an end to "political squabbling" on climate action and helps renewable energy investments bounce back.

"With renewable energy responsible for just over 20 per cent of Australia's total electricity generation, there is a significant opportunity for the industry to expand its role in combating the effects of climate change."

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