|Pacific Islands Forum|
by David Spratt
National security is a defensive issue for opposition leader Bill Shorten and the Australian Labor Party. Their approach is to mimic the government at almost every step, lest a crack of difference between the two parties becomes a conservative wedge. We saw this again last week with the fear campaign on the medivac law.
But Labor can turn the table on the government’s security agenda by framing climate change action as the duty of government to protect the people — their livelihood, security and health — from the greatest risk of all to their future well-being and human security.
It will take courage from Labor, but the crushing impacts of climate change — devastating floods in Queensland, destruction of precious World Heritage forest in Tasmania, vital river systems without water, and an extraordinary, month-long, record-breaking heatwave blanketing most of Australia — are the material conditions on which a new climate and human security narrative can be built.