Amid controversial debate around climate change, actor and disability advocate Kiruna Stamell offered Monday night’s Q&A audience a rather odd analogy.
“I want to quote my father … My dad said you can’t take a dump in the living room and not expect it to affect the ambience of the house,” she said.
“Right? And this house is our planet. We haven’t advanced enough to go anywhere else.”
Ms Stamell’s passionate appeal, which came to rapturous applause, also called for an “innovative” investment in renewable energy.
“We actually need to stop exploiting fossil fuels by 2050. We are not talking about future generations, we are talking about me in my 70s and your children,” she said.
“And do you know what is more expensive? Things like supplementing and subsidising the fossil fuel industry which we do massively, directly and indirectly, compared to renewables. That long game is cost effective.
“We need to go down that road otherwise, guys, we are going down along with our neighbours, who are going to want to be seeking asylum here because their islands don’t exist anymore. This is real! We have to wake up as a species, because we are just animals.”
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) June 5, 2017
NSW Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm deflected a question challenging his suggestion that Australia should follow US President Donald Trump’s decision to back out of the Paris agreement.
His response was met with audible groans from the audience.
“Why should we back out of an agreement which sends many of our manufacturing jobs offshore … which seeks to drive up the cost of electricity, so that people have to make a choice between keeping their houses warm or going to bed or buying food?” he posed.
“I would have pulled America out, if I had been Donald Trump, and I think the best thing for Australia is to pull out too.”
Minister for Social Services Christian Porter confirmed that there was “no suggestion whatsoever” that Australia would withdraw from the Paris climate accord based on the decision of the Trump administration.
“The position of the government is that we are in Paris and staying in Paris,” he said.
“It is still absolutely a worthwhile global process, which we are pursuing with vigour.”
‘Terrorists aren’t sophisticated … they’re dickheads’
In light of the spate of terror attacks in Britain, most recently in London over the weekend, one audience member asked whether the panel supported tougher counter-terror laws and possible future pre-emptive detention.
Senator Leyonhjelm rejected the idea, likening it to being on bail or parole without having committed an offence.
After talk of the sophisticated nature of previous terror attacks, he added: “I disagree with the suggestion the people are sophisticated. They are not. They are actually dickheads, most of them.
“They are dangerous dickheads.”
Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese said he believed it was wrong to downplay the need for a stronger counter-terror response.
“This is an idealogical movement driven by the Salafists and funded by some states, including some that we have positive relationships with. We need to call that out for what it is. It is dangerous,” he said.
“But on the positive side, I think the response of civil society has been quite inspiring in recent times. Whether it be the concert that was held in Manchester today (Monday) of 50,000 people, just saying: “No — we will go out and continue to enjoy our ourselves, celebrate freedom.”