Liberal Bridget Archer crosses floor to vote for Labor’s climate bill

Liberal Bridget Archer crosses floor to vote for Labor’s climate bill

Bridget Archer

Liberal MP Bridget Archer has crossed the floor to vote in favour of Labor’s climate in the House of Representatives.

Archer said she is in favour of legislating the government’s 43 per cent by 2030 emissions reduction target, even as the rest of the Coalition will vote against the legislation in its entirety.

In parliament on Wednesday, Archer spoke about climate change as an issue that “transcends age, gender, political beliefs and socioeconomic circumstances”. Archer will support Labor’s primary bill, but says she has concerns relating to some of the amendments.

Archer told parliament she needs to be able to sincerely say she has represented the community in her Tasmanian electorate, who tell her they want action on climate change.

“It’s important to me that when I’m back in my own community, I’m able to sincerely say that I used the opportunity afforded to me with the power of my vote to stand up for what they want and need,” she said.

“It is important that we do move forward and we act now and not delay until the eve of the next election.”

During the last parliament under the Morrison government, Archer, who is considered a “moderate” in the Liberal party, crossed the floor to bring on debate for a proposed national integrity commission.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton has confirmed the Coalition will oppose the climate bill and will instead focus on developing its own new climate policy with a focus on nuclear energy. Last election, the Coalition had a policy of a 26-28 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030.

The government’s climate bill will pass through the House of Representatives on Thursday, after the Greens confirmed their support on Wednesday after securing some changes.

Greens leader Adam Bandt likened the legislation to “bringing a bucket of water to a house fire”, but nevertheless indicated the Greens support to get it over the line as a starting point.

“The Greens have improved a weak climate bill, but the fight to stop Labor opening new coal and gas mines continues,” Bandt said during an address at the National Press Club.

“The climate crisis is caused by mining and burning of coal, oil and gas. You do not end the climate wars by opening more coal and gas mines. At some point in our history, we have to say: it is time for no more coal and gas projects.”

The government has shown its support for a number of amendments put forward by independents in the House of Representatives, including a key change from Zoe Daniel MP, which ensures the 43 per cent target is a “floor” not a “ceiling”. The government has also adopted amendments from independents Kate Chaney, Helen Haines, Allegra Spender, Kylea Tink and Zali Steggall, among others.

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