Parents guide to transforming climate grief
7 May 2021
by DEANNA HAYES
THIS week I helped deliver three tiny babies, born fresh and innocent into the world. I gazed at these little beings wondering what world they were being born into, what their lives will look like 15 or 30 years from now. Because I had just learnt that the Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley had lodged her appeal against a historic Federal Court decision that she has a duty of care to our children to not cause them harm in the future. This made me furious.
On July 8, Justice Mordecai Bromberg confirmed that the Environment Minister has an obligation to the next generation to consider the harm caused by climate change, which science shows will be worsened by carbon emissions. But it took just a day after the final orders were handed down, on July 18, forEnvironment Minister Sussan Ley to lodge an appeal to challenge the court's decision, seemingly arguing that she doesn't have a responsibility and a duty of care for Australia's children.
In the past week, 2000 parents nationwide have signed my petition asking Ms Ley not to appeal the declaration in the case. She is entrusted with the chief responsibility of providing a healthy environment for all Australians, now and in the future. And yet her speedy abdication of responsibility shows her callous disregard for the wellbeing of our children.
The Morrison government is putting the profits of a coal mining company before its duty of care to our children. Quite frankly, it's offensive.
Ambrose, his siblings and his friends are disappointed by the result, but not surprised. They have no faith in this government to protect their safety, their future. I know they will fight back, but as a mother, I wish they didn't need to.
I wish that I didn't feel helpless to protect him and those three babies I helped deliver when we have a government that clearly does not care about their futures.
I am asking other parents around Australia to sign our petition, to ask Ms Ley to drop this appeal. We need to show our children, who are already suffering in lockdown, that they can trust their parents and leaders.
■ Deanna Hayes is an anaesthetic nurse and mother of Ambrose Hayes, one of the eight young people involved in the historic court case.To sign the petition, go to ap4ca.org/protectourkidsShare Tweet
Australian Parents for Climate Action meet and work on the lands of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people and respect that sovereignty of those lands was never ceded. We pay respect to Elders, past and present and emerging, and acknowledge the pivotal role that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the Australian community.