The Australian government currently has no duty of care to protect young people and future generations from climate change.
The Duty of Care Bill builds on the case of Sharma v Minister for the Environment, a legal challenge by brave Australian children who argued that all young Australians are owed a duty to take reasonable care to protect them from climate change harm.
Although the case was initially successful, the federal government appealed the decision and it was overturned.
Chief Justice Allsop said that
A duty that calls up such questions should not be imposed [by the judiciary]: It is one of core, indeed high, policy-making for the Executive and Parliament involving questions of policy.
In 2023, on graduating high school, the lead litigant in that case, Anjali Sharma, moved to Canberra and reached out to her new Senator with the hope of continuing the conversation.
Together they are joining with Australians of all generations to call on the government to embed a duty of care in law.