There was a case last year. Australian Federal Court judge Mordy Bromberg sided with a group of eight female teenagers and their litigation guardian (an eight-six-year-old Catholic nun), intent on stopping a particular mining development in New South Wales. They brought a class action arguing that the federal minister for the environment had a common-law duty of care to young people by protecting them from climate change when considering the approval of new mines. Subsequently the full Federal Court threw out Bromberg’s bizarre ruling.
But what now? Now that a forty-three percent reduction in emissions by 2030 is in law. Some say that it is a toothless measure, without much purpose or point. It can be done without legislation, they say. They’re wrong.
In fact, the legislation spells the end of any new coal or gas developments. It gives the Greens and the Teals what they want without specifically giving them what they want. Something akin to Bromberg’s ruling will soon enough become part of common law. Does this or that fossil-fuel development threaten the achievement of the legislative target, will be the question? And, of course, it will. Activist lawyers will have a field day. Schoolchildren and aged nuns will be lining up. Developers won’t even attempt to fight through the lawfare.
Albo and his Labor mates have done the dirty on Australian voters. Stopping any new fossil fuel developments is their goal but they suspected it wouldn’t go down well in the polls. Thus, the sleight of hand. The duplicitous sleazy deal. Why else would the Greens and Teals be onboard? Anything that Adam Bandt goes along with is bound to be destructive of our way of life. He doesn’t like our way of life.
And then, to boot, there is the penalty in the legislation’s fine print. To wit, a severe public thrashing for Albo and Chris Bowen if the target isn’t met. I’m being fanciful. After all, by 2030 the Liberal Party will have got its act together, moved to the sensible right, won office, and abandoned the climate cult. Now that’s really fanciful.