Hearing that Australia has a 50-50 chance of facing yet another La Nina event sent a shudder up my spine last week.
The flooding across northern NSW and south-east Queensland earlier this year was the third-costliest extreme weather event in Australia's history, behind Cyclone Tracy and the 1999 Sydney hailstorm.
Many affected families are still repairing the physical damage from those floods, let alone dealing with the emotional trauma and financial impact.
Meanwhile, families not that far from us here in Australia - in China, India and Bangladesh - were evacuated from their flooded homes and towns just last week.
We're watching climate change play out in real time, with families right across the world being hit by disaster after disaster.
Images of children wading through floodwaters and residents navigating small boats through flooded streets and rescuing animals in Bangladesh last week remind me of similar pictures from our own communities just a few months ago.
Across the Northern Rivers region, more than 14,000 buildings were damaged and nine public schools were damaged so badly some sites are still closed, with kids learning from temporary or alternate sites - yet another disruption to their learning after two years of the pandemic.
The thought of potentially seeing our children and communities go through that same damage and trauma again so soon is alarming. The broader impact of climate change on the mental health of our young people cannot be overstated, either, with recent research conducted by UNICEF finding that one in four Australians aged between 16 and 25 were extremely worried about climate change.
We know that the risk of extreme rainfall and flooding increases with climate change, and that floods cost our economy billions of dollars.
We also know that our communities were underprepared for the recent flooding.
To ensure the safety of Australian families - especially those who are yet to fully repair or rebuild their homes - the new government will need to act quickly to prepare at-risk communities for further potential flooding.
But the need to act goes beyond immediate disaster preparation and relief.
The government can and should act quickly and decisively to implement policies to make the climate safer for all of us, and for our children.
Parents and the community in general want the government to invest more in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, which would reduce our emissions while also generating jobs and building a stronger economy - something we all want for ourselves and our children.
Solar is the cheapest source of energy available, and by investing in renewable energy and the infrastructure and storage around it, policymakers could help drive down energy prices.
With power prices skyrocketing, pushing the cost of living even higher, any measure that helps family household budgets while also helping our children live safe, healthy and prosperous lives is very welcome.
And as we see the effects of climate change play out in our backyards and on the other side of the world, it's clearer than ever that if we want to protect our kids, we must throw everything we have in reserve into advocating for stronger action on climate to all sides of politics.
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