Health professionals’ vote of no confidence in Minister Angus Taylor

More than 3400 health professionals have written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to express their professional concern with Angus Taylor’s failure to fulfil his responsibilities as the Minister for Emissions Reduction.

“We are health professionals and organisations bearing witness to the harm Mr Taylor’s failure to reduce emissions is causing to the health of Australians,” the letter reads.

“We are also united by our concern about the climate crisis and the impact it is having on the safety and wellbeing of Australians and our neighbours. Public health is inextricably linked to climate health. Climate damage is here now — and it is killing people.”

The letter says Minister Taylor is failing in his ministerial duties by:

  • allocating public money to gas and other polluting fossil fuel projects while overseeing a 50% decline in large-scale renewables investment from a record high in 2018-19;

  • failing to reduce Australia’s emissions in line with our international obligations;

  • and, not committing Australia to a 2050 net zero emissions target.

Fiona Armstrong, Executive Director of the Australian Climate and Health Alliance, said:

“Climate change is a health emergency. It means more bushfires, more dangerous heatwaves, the spread of tropical diseases, and an increase in heat-related illnesses and deaths. We urge our political leaders to commit to urgent climate action by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with what the science demands.”

Kelly O’Shanassy, the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Conservation Foundation, which co-ordinated the letter, said:

“As Australia moves into another summer this is a crucial time for our government to show it is serious about climate change. At the moment, Australia is a global leader in per capita climate pollution. We urge Prime Minister Morrison to immediately replace Angus Taylor with a minister who is committed to the job of rapidly cutting emissions.”

Eurobodalla doctor, Michelle Hamrosi, who helped promote the letter campaign said: “We are black summer bushfire survivors. We choked through the smoke all late spring and summer and evacuated our homes, often multiple times. Our businesses and lives were disruption, and many destroyed.  Our medical centres and hospitals were at grave risk of being burnt down during this crisis. 33 lives were lost Australia wide and over 400 deaths were attributed to the smoke pollution. We know all too well the cost of climate inaction.”

“Now as we prepare for a future of worsening bushfires, floods, soaring temperatures and storms, we must address the root cause - worsening climate change. And when our government, especially the minister who’s role it is to help us reduce our emissions, in line with the Paris agreement, is actually doing the opposite, he must be called out on this. It‘a a kick in the guts to our communities to see the direction Angus Taylor and the Morrison Government want to take us. We deserve better.”

“As a doctor on the front line of the bushfire crisis, I’m passionate advocate for seeing our country focus on a healthy and green recovery post COVID-19 , as are many of the Doctors in the Eurobodalla who have also signed this letter. Climate solutions are solutions for healthier communities, towns and cities. Our council must also step up its role in helping us adapt and become more resilient in the face of the deepening climate crisis.”