It is extremely disappointing that, less than a year after the Coalition took the historic step of committing Australia to zero net carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, and 75 days after Australians couldn't have made it clearer they wanted strong action on climate change, only one courageous Coalition MP could bring herself to vote for the ALP's 43 per cent 2030 emissions reductions target.
While others, such as Simon Birmingham, expressed support for the target but voted against it because "legislation isn't necessary", only Bridget Archer had the guts to cross the floor and to vote for legislation that has overwhelming community backing.
The irony that Thursday's vote took place while parts of the ACT were being inundated as a result of heavy rainfall linked, at least in part, to shifting weather patterns predicted by climate change modelling wouldn't have been lost on many people.
Memories of the catastrophic flooding events that occurred in other parts of the nation earlier this year are still fresh and raw. Coming as they did in the wake of the devastating "Black Summer" bushfires, the sheer scale and frequency of the flood disasters has demonstrated - yet again - climate change is real and that large scale consequences are already being felt both here and abroad.
This is why, when ACM surveyed more than 7200 of our readers about what mattered most to them ahead of the May 21 election, action on climate change topped the list of issues. A massive 43 per cent of respondents nominated this as their major concern.
If this, and the results of many similar surveys and polls, isn't enough to convince the Coalition of the depth of community concern, then all its MPs have to do is to look at the cross benches. There is no way they can ignore the presence of six teal independents, all of whom campaigned strongly on climate, who all occupy what were once safe Liberal seats.
Those independents, along with the Greens, are to be commended for voting for the government's climate legislation even while disagreeing with it on the grounds they didn't believe the 43 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 target is high enough.
They, in words made famous by Henry Kissinger, have not allowed the perfect to be the enemy of the good.
While politics has often been said to be the art of compromise, that has not always been the case in recent Australian parliamentary discourse.
One of the most refreshing aspects of Thursday's climate debate was to see independents being listened to and, when they moved sensible and practical amendments, to see them being adopted.
That, for those who may have forgotten, is how parliaments are supposed to work. Consensus is not the same thing as submission.
While it would be tempting to dismiss Mr Albanese's expression of disappointment at the Coalition's failure to vote in favour of the climate legislation as a rhetorical device, he actually makes a good point.
Australia has had a long tradition of bipartisan consensus on defence and national security, with AUKUS and assistance to Ukraine two recent examples.
The social, economic, physical and environmental challenges being presented by the adverse weather events brought about as a result of our rapidly changing climate are now arguably the greatest danger millions of Australians face.
The time has come to end the climate wars. What the community wants and needs is clear direction and leadership, and an assurance that a change of government does not automatically mean a change of policy.
We don't have time to waste on false starts and political shenanigans. This issue is far too important for that.
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