The recent election demonstrated there's been a seismic shift in the direction of our nation. For people like me, living in a regional area that's been hammered over the past five years by floods, fires and drought, it's about bloody time.
I'm still poring over the results to get a grip on what this will mean for my future, our future, because I've got skin in the game.
If the new Parliament addresses climate change as a priority, my home and those of my neighbours, will be less likely to burn down in the future.
You'd think I'd be celebrating, but in truth, I'm still having a little trouble unfurling from the brace position I assumed shortly after the first fire hit my place in 2018.
People I speak to in other impacted communities are feeling similarly cautious.
Climate certainly won the election but there's a LOT more work to do to ensure this nation never becomes divided on climate again. That means regional and urban Australians understanding the enormity of the position we're in right now.
While the Nationals didn't lose seats in regional Australia they did experience significant negative swings in many seats, with the notable exception of candidates such as Darren Chester, Kevin Hogan and Andrew Gee. All bucked the trend and achieved positive swings. All had spoken about the need for climate action.
It's hard not to see a pattern.
I hope the king-makers in the Nats also see this pattern because people in regional areas don't have much time for climate "debate" and boat-rocking, as rain continues to drown swathes of the eastern states. When La Nina does move on, many of us will be straight back to preparing for supercharged bushfires.
It's been hard watching some politicians and commentators try to create a city-country divide on climate action. Climate concerns are not just the fancies of "urban elites" or "raving inner-city latte sippers".
As a regional Aussie who's watched my community being pummelled by climate fuelled disasters, those insults really smart.
And I grew up in Melbourne, so it's a double whammy for me and thousands more who've moved recently, or whose kids have shifted from the regions into a city. And while there's no doubting climate disasters have been the headline in the bush, it's unfair on urban communities to ignore the immense impact of smoke from bushfires, intense heat waves and black mould from unprecedented rain in the very heart of our cities. Hundreds of people died in urban areas as a direct result of these events. We need to acknowledge their loss just as we mourn those who died in the floods and Black Summer.
It's with these people in mind, and the millions more who've been brushed by the awful hand of global warming, that I now plead for unity on climate action.
We've seen many conservative politicians turn towards a zero emissions target and I absolutely and unreservedly thank them for their courage and leadership.
The progressives may have won an election riding on the back of climate action but they should not claim this as their exclusive territory. All parties must join this fight for a safer future if we are to make the kind of bold progress required.
I believe we can do this because I see our connectedness daily; the fresh food on an inner city café plate, the retirees bringing their superannuation and the tree/sea changers bringing their business acumen and enthusiasm to our regions, the urban holiday-makers who flock to my beach and enjoy a latte that never disappoints, the country kids who move into the big smoke to widen their horizons, further their education, build a career. We are constantly mingling, learning from each other.
Our current emissions mean the threats to my home will keep increasing. Turning this around means EVERYONE pitching in.
Town and country must act as one, strengthened by our diversity, bound by our purpose, divided by none. Climate action must be as non-partisan as the sun, the wind and the rain.
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