Teal MP advocates for climate and equality
Independent MP Zoe Daniel has used her maiden speech in parliament to call for stronger action on climate change, gender equality and restoring public trust in leadership.
The former journalist spent years covering the aftermath of climate change-induced natural disasters and said the experience led her to parliament.
Her electorate reflected a desire to do more on climate change and restore trust in government, two promises Ms Daniel made during the campaign.
“Enough waiting, enough obfuscation,” she told parliament.
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“It’s time to be fierce and brave, to represent the community, to make tough decisions and to lead with optimism.”
Ms. Daniel praised the Albanian government’s demonstration of good faith negotiations on its climate change proposal so far.
Ending climate wars will take “courage and ambition beyond politics”, she said.
“Deception, fear and division must end,” she said.
Alongside her environmental concerns, Ms Daniel worries about the fragmentation of truth, trust and the danger it poses to Australian democracy.
She pledged to hold parliament accountable for restoring trust with the creation of a commission against corruption, whistleblower protection and truth in political advertising.
Dressed in purple and white – the colors of suffragists like Vida Goldstein whose electorate is named after – Ms. Daniel paid tribute to the community that elected her.
The movement that put her in parliament wants reasoned discussion and collaboration to solve big challenges, Ms Daniel said.
His community-backed campaign succeeded in ousting two-term Liberal MP Tim Wilson and turning a traditionally blue ribbon seat into teal, the color associated with independents in the 2022 election.
“For over 100 years … the Goldstein electorate has voted for men on the conservative side of politics,” she said.
“In 2022, Goldstein found her independent voice – a woman, too!”
One of 13 independent figures in parliament, Ms Daniel said she and her colleagues held a special place in their communities and in parliament.
“We were appointed to these seats for similar reasons by people who want honesty, sincerity and courage from their representatives,” she said.
“Unfettered by party lines, we can and will speak out.
“It is also my goal, and the goal of all independents in this parliament, to behave and deliver in a way that makes our nation proud.”