12 February 2021

Victorian Trades Hall’s Luke Hilakari: “I call it the Fitzgibbon Paradox. It’s a comforting story for politicians that have no interest in tackling climate change to tell themselves. The idea is that caring about clean air and drinkable water is just a niche obsession for inner-city dilettantes who are detached from the everyday pressures faced by working people. The problem is, it’s just not true. … [A]bout three quarters of Victorians, from all walks of life, are genuinely concerned about climate change. Contrary to what some folks would have you believe, less than one third of working class Victorians claim to be unconcerned. This shouldn’t be surprising, because working people feel the impact of climate change every day. … [T]he group least likely to support real action on climate change is actually the wealthiest among us. … It’s the top end of town that have the biggest interest in maintaining the status quo, perhaps because they’re more shielded from the catastrophic impacts of climate change on their jobs and way of life than the rest of us. … We can either plan now for an orderly transition, build new industries, and create the well-paid jobs of the future, or we can have a very different future thrust upon us. It’s time that we got beyond political games because such distractions don’t just damage our climate, but also damage our chances of creating a future built on good, clean, well-paid and secure jobs.”