Imagine Docklands was under water

Imagine Docklands was under water
Sean Car

Imagine the damage if every underground car park in Docklands was underwater. 

Predicted impacts of floods on inner-city Melbourne, like those predicted for the northern rivers region of NSW, are for bigger, more intense, and more regular floods. 

We’ve seen the damage these floods caused up north. 

One in three homes have been destroyed. A number of people have lost their lives. The damage bill is already more than $2 billion. 

This is what the climate crisis looks like. It’s caused by the mining and burning of coal and gas. It creates bigger, and more frequent extreme weather events. 

Inner-city Melbourne, areas adjacent to the river, and lower lying areas like the Docklands and Southbank are all in harm’s way from bigger and more intense floods. 

According to the latest International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, floods like the one we have seen this month are likely to be more regular, and 40 per cent bigger. 

That’s why it is so hard to hear politicians from the old parties say things like “no one could have predicted this”, “one in 100-year event” or describe the events as “unprecedented.”

It was predicted and ignored. 

Now, with more dire warnings for our future, it’s time to change who picks up the bill for the damage caused by the climate crisis. 

Everyday people did not cause the climate crisis, we just have to pay for the damage. 

That’s got to change. We need to make the big corporations who caused the climate crisis, who have profited from causing the climate crisis, and who continue to make it worse, pay.

Companies like Santos, Woodside and Exxon are the people who should be made to pay for the climate crisis, but these companies often don’t even pay tax. Many of them make massive profits, much of which is sent offshore tax free. 

The Liberal government is trying to look the other way. With an election on the way, the government is happy to send thoughts and prayers, but not what’s needed. 

What’s needed is no more coal and gas. Right now, the Liberals and Labor are both backing 114 new coal, oil and gas projects. They both take millions in donations from coal and gas corporations, and the big corporations get special treatment, and their projects get fast tracked. 

This time, Melbourne has been spared. But we know it’s only a matter of time until the next fire, flood or drought hits us here. 

The faster we act now, the less damage there will be. Every tonne of pollution matters, and we are running out of time. 

We have enough sun and wind to be a world leader in renewable energy, we can build new industries, clean manufacturing, green metals and renewable hydrogen. These industries can create generations of secure, well-paid jobs.

But we won’t get there without leadership. This country needs leaders who will stand up to the fossil fuel industry, not sell us out to them. 

Otherwise, there’ll be even more Australians struggling to keep their head above water •

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