Goldstein MP Zoe Daniel on the natural disaster that put climate change on her radar

“I’ve been through floods in northern New South Wales, Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia; seen the melting permafrost in the Arctic and the animals and people struggling to survive as the environment changes beneath their feet; reported on the aftermath of cyclones in the Pacific, hurricanes in the United States, bushfires in Australia and California,” she told parliament.


Her new job, she said, would be to hold the government accountable for “significantly improved climate policy and targets”, saying the proposed target of cutting emissions by 43% by 2030 must be enshrined in the law as a “floor, not a ceiling”. .

“We need to have clear mechanisms in place to hold all of us – each one of us – accountable to achieving net zero by 2050, if not before. 2040 is not a moment too soon,” she said.

Wearing the colors of purple and white suffragettes, Daniel drew inspiration from the example of Vida Goldstein – one of the first women in the Western world to run for parliament when she contested the 1903 federal election – and after whom the electorate bears the name.

“Vida was a peace advocate, activist, politician and, as owner and editor of female spheree, journalist, like me,” she said.


Like her, Daniel said, Goldstein had also rejected party politics, telling voters of the last century “I’m asking you to vote for me because I’m not a member of a political party” and describing party government as “a totally outdated system”. ”.

Goldstein failed in her ambition to enter parliament, making five failed attempts, but more than a century later a record number of women will sit in the House of Representatives.

“In this 47th legislature, women represent approximately 40%, the highest proportion ever recorded. This includes 19 MPs for the first time. I am one, as a new member of Goldstein, on behalf of Vida,” Daniel said.