Australian government’s appeal fights for duty to not care about children

In announcing the Morrison Government’s intention to appeal Federal Court finding of a duty of care, Environment Minister Sussan Ley is arguing that she has the freedom to not care about Australian children and young people, according to the teenagers behind the case.

Response on intention to appeal duty of care

“When I heard the news I found it funny and honestly pretty embarrassing that the Environment Minister plans to appeal,” said Anjali Sharma, 17, in Melbourne.

“As a person in power, her job should be to act for, not against, the young people of Australia.”

“Instead of safeguarding our future, she is fighting for her right to make climate change worse, harm the environment and risk the injury and death of Australian children.”

“It should be a rule that the Government has a duty to safeguard the future, but instead it needed to be written into law, and now the Morrison Government wants to erase that.”

“This is an embarrassment for Minister Ley. A challenge favours the profits of coal companies above safeguarding the health of our environment and children and young people like me.”

Legal response on intention to appeal duty of care

Lawyer for the students, David Barnden said, “We question the Morrison Government’s intent to appeal the duty. This is a duty about life and death for Australian children.”

“It seems inconceivable that an Environment Minister, a Member of Parliament representing the people of Australia, would seek to rid herself of this sensible responsibility.”

“We will vigorously defend the rights of children not to suffer injury or death from climate change at the hands of a government intent on approving new fossil fuel projects.” 

“The duty is sensible. It is based on the principle not to harm your neighbour.”

“A government that cares about all its citizens would not appeal the duty. The duty places sensible restrictions on people in power to avoid the catastrophic harms of climate change.”

“The Minister’s intention to appeal is one that looks after the welfare of vulnerable children.” 

Sussan Ley MP is a Member of Parliament and Minister for the Environment, as a member of the government of the Commonwealth of Australia, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Ms Ley represents the people of Albury in New South Wales and the electorate of Farrer, a 126,000 square kilometre area in south western New South Wales.