Jim Tait - ICAN founder and leaderJim is the founder of Independents for Climate Action Now (ICAN) and an environmental scientist who specialises in freshwater ecosystems. During a 32 year career, Jim has worked for research organisations and in his own consultancy business to industry, government and community. He has also managed national scale assessments of Australia’s catchments, rivers, estuaries and biodiversity for the Australian government.

Jim is a family man with two teenage children. He comes from a rural north Queensland and tropical Papua New Guinea background but has resided in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW for 17 years. He and his family share a love of the outdoors, enjoying camping, fishing, bushwalking, bush regeneration and gardening.

Concern for his children’s future and the natural world are the primary motivations for his desire to address climate change politically. “As the climate science has got more and more compelling, I was at first amazed and then seriously worried by the denial of the science and lack of effective action”. “While our youth are becoming increasingly alarmed and activated for their future, it up to us as responsible adults to step up and take political action” Jim says.

Australia can build a renewable energy powered economy including a reinvigorated manufacturing sector and export clean energy to the world. Jim believes pragmatism and working across the political spectrum is key to delivering effective climate policy outcomes. These are skills he’s gained as an environmental consultant working between industry, government and community. Please support him to deliver a viable future for our kids.


Action on Climate Change

I stand for honestly informing the Australian public of our climate change predicament and taking effective action based on the science. I also stand for developing pragmatic solutions, working across multiple stakeholder interests.

From extreme fire seasons, heat waves, droughts, floods and powerful cyclones it’s clear the impacts of climate change are already occurring. Science informs us that without effective action Australia’s economy, environment and society will come under increasing stress that will lead to major disruptions to our lifestyle.

Getting scientific evidence-based policy into government to secure our children’s’ future and the natural world is what motivated me to get involved in politics. I led the development of ICANs climate policy platform which includes a comprehensive range of measures that meet what the science says we need to do https://i-c-a-n.com.au/policy/. While threats posed by climate change are a key concern, it is the opportunities presented by addressing them, I believe offers the greatest chance to engage the Australian community in a nation building response.

For too long science denialism and false narratives pedalled by the fossil fuel industry have held sway. As we respond to climate change the merits of a renewable energy powered economy will become increasingly apparent in terms of technology innovation, new industries and employment. Changes to land use, primary and rural industries will also lead us toward regenerated landscapes and more resilient regional communities. Most importantly for our youth, we’ll create a path towards a more viable future they can look forward to.

I will work to ensure that Australia fulfils or betters its commitments under the Paris Agreement as part of collaborative global efforts to limit mean global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrialisation.

As part of meeting these global commitments I will advocate that Australia reduce overall emissions by 50% by 2030 and work towards zero net emissions by 2050.

I will support government and industry investment frameworks that will take our nation to a 100% renewable energy generation in the electricity sector by 2030. This path excludes any support for new coal generation.

To meet climate mitigation, resilience and adaption goals I will support the establishment of a Climate Emergency Response Commission.  This will establish interim and longer term legally binding targets, including for Renewable Energy Targets and Sector Emission Reductions.

I will support the re-establishment of funding to the Climate Council to provide independent advice to government, as well as the extension of government funding available to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

I will support government policy initiatives that lead to the managed cessation of the fossil fuel industry. This includes opposing Adani and any other new fossil fuel development. To achieve this politically, I will also seek support within parliament for a ban on donations from fossil fuel companies to political parties.

Recognising that electricity generation only represents around a third of Australia’s current emissions, I will support government programs and incentives that address all other sectors including land use, agriculture, industry and transport.

I will seek government support for carbon farming, re-afforestation, regenerative agriculture and blue carbon programs to massively increase carbon sequestration.

I will support investment in science and technology to deliver carbon drawdown.

I will pursue a host of related policy initiatives that work toward delivering a beyond zero emissions society.

Recognising that climate change is already occurring and that many impacts including sea level rise are already locked in, I will pursue implementation of Government planning and investment to support Australia’s adaptation and resilience to unavoidable impacts.


I stand for the conservation of Australia’s biodiversity. I also stand for the right of Australians to enjoy the benefits of a healthy natural environment as an essential part of our quality of life.

As an ecologist my understanding and love for the environment runs deep. Enjoyment and interaction with the natural world have always been part of who my family is.

I have worked both in dedicated nature conservation and with industries that depend on the use of natural resources to generate economic benefits. I have a direct appreciation of what underpins the material economy the Australian nation enjoys. I have also managed national scale assessments of the status of Australia’s natural resources and am aware of the sustainability challenges we face. I believe economic and ecological wellbeing are mutual and I will strive for an Australia that has both.

Recognising the impact to not only national emission levels but also to our vulnerable biodiversity, I will work to end broad scale clearing of remnant native vegetation across all jurisdictions.

I will pursue the implementation of a national riparian management and rehabilitation program. Recognising its value as a nationally important natural infrastructure and its role in carbon sequestration, catchment processes, climate resilience and biodiversity dividends.

Acknowledging the role of reafforestation in meeting the carbon sequestration needed for a viable climate future I will work toward the establishment of a National Reafforestation Authority that works across jurisdictions to establish reafforestation targets, underpinned by carbon sequestration, regional biodiversity, timber production and climate impact resilience objectives.

Accepting the vastness of Australia’s rangelands, the potential role they can play in climate change mitigation and the area of these lands under traditional ownership, I will work toward the establishment of a national rangeland management authority and permanent funding for Indigenous Ranger management programs.

Recognising the amount of sea level rise locked into our coastline and the disruption this will create for coastal ecosystems, I will seek the establishment of a Federal program dedicated to the managed succession of coastal ecosystems under sea level inundation. This will maintain essential ecosystem services and reap opportunities for enhanced carbon sequestration.

Acknowledging that intact natural ecosystems provide one of the best forms of resilience to emerging climate impacts, I will seek Government support for the further expansion of the national reserve system including Indigenous Protected Areas.


I stand for a strong and effective public health system. I also stand for effective social safety nets that protect the elderly, disabled and vulnerable.

I believe public health expenditure is an investment in our social capital. I am a supporter of Australia’s public health system but know we can do more. I want a strong viable future for Medicare.

I believe dental health should come under public programs.

I support increased resourcing for health care professionals and for skills and training supporting their professions.

I believe we require major improvements in national aged care outcomes and support the Royal commission into the aged care sector.

It is also critical we fulfil the funding commitments required to support the effective operation of the NDIS.

I support much greater investment in mental health services as a necessary way to avoid the social costs associated with neglect in this sector. I also recognise that as the climate crisis unfolds, there will be a need for increased mental health extension services to meet growing climate related mental stress in the Australian community.

I believe it is a human right to choose dignity in death and support a national euthanasia policy.

I feel the policy of prohibition regarding recreational drugs has come at an enormous social and economic cost and that we should move towards a harm minimisation and selective decriminalisation strategy that recognises drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal one.


I stand for a strong economy that serves the Australian people equitably. I also stand for economic diversification and value adding that fully capitalises on the economic potential of Australia’s human and natural resource base.

I believe that Australia should position itself to become a renewable energy super powered economy that uses our abundant renewable energy resources to support a clean energy export industry and a reinvigorated manufacturing sector that serves the renewable energy transition of our region. Wind energy turbines, photo voltaic panels, batteries and electric vehicles represent a viable focus for such a manufacturing sector and government support.

I support the use of powerful market mechanisms including a market-based carbon price to promote the transition toward our renewable energy and zero emissions future.

I will support the development of processing, manufacturing and recycling industries in renewable energy zones around the nation. Mineral (e.g. lithium) processing associated with energy generation and storage systems and recycling industries that deal with end of life by-products of these system should be a focus for government support.

I believe we should use economic indices that measure genuine societal progress in addition to the accepted gross domestic product.

I support business working in partnership with Government. I don’t support corporate power being greater than the democratic rights of citizens or leading to the exploitation of the environment or people.

I think that initiative and innovation in business should be rewarded.

I believe that government investment in research, development and commercialisationof Australia innovation in science and technology needs to be increased. I also feel that there are major commercial opportunities associated with supporting the transition to a low carbon future in heavy industry, construction and transport.

I don’t support privatisation of assets that are owned and performing for the Australian people.

I think we need Government intervention to address wage stagnation.

I also support changes to negative gearing and other perverse incentives that impact home affordability for first home buyers but believe that where possible the existing financial arrangements of individuals should be ‘grandfathered.’

Going forward I do not support tax refunds on franking credits but I accept that many individuals have planned their retirement funds on the basis of these arrangements and I support the grandfathering of existing financial plans.

I support a fair, graduated tax system. I believe we need better taxation laws to reduce systematic tax avoidance by large Australian companies and multinational corporations and to move the tax burden away from small businesses and employees.

I support recommendations coming from the Banking Royal commission for better consumer protection and to enforce greater integrity into the banking and finance sectors. I also believe we need stronger punitive measures including criminal convictions for CEOs to avoid future malpractice.

 Education and Employment

I stand for equitable, accessible education. I stand for fully funding our public education system from early childhood through to tertiary levels as a key investment in the social capital of our nation.

I will also seek to restore funding to universities and TAFE to invest in the future skills that Australia needs.

I believe we need additional investment in the promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects within the Australian school curriculum to meet the challenges of Australia’s future and public education programs.  This will increase citizen literacy in science and public understanding of those challenges.

I will seek government support for vocational programs and skills training to meet the growing demands of a clean energy industry.

I will support the development of federal government programs that support the re-skilling and translocation of workers affected by the economy’s transition away from the fossil fuel industry.

I will support tax and other financial incentives and work place legislation to reinstate the security of fulltime employment.

I support the creation of career paths and well-paying jobs for young people and believe we need to address the failings of the ‘gig economy’.

I recognise and will support the need for affordable early child care.


I stand for engaging the Australian Nation in meeting the infrastructure build required to address the climate emergency. This includes infrastructure to support the renewable energy transition and to adapt to unavoidable climate impacts.

I support major public investment in renewable energy infrastructure as a priority for Australia. This includes new electricity transmission networks to serve prioritised renewable energy zones and large and medium scale pumped hydro energy storage systems.

I believe infrastructure investment should be developed around long term planning horizons and integrated with a sustainable population policy. I will support the creation of a dedicated department of Population and Infrastructure Planning within the Federal Government and the development of a national sustainable population policy.

I recognise that the economic contribution of Australia’s natural infrastructure can be equal or greater than that of its built infrastructure and is worthy of equivalent levels of investment for its management and maintenance.

I support the need for infrastructure planning that addresses the climate and sea level impacts that will continue to emerge with each passing decade. I will seek the development of national strategies to deal with planned coastal protection and retreat, floodplain settlement protection and relocation and heat wave and other extreme climatic event shelter infrastructure.

I will support the establishment of a National Emergency Response Service (NERS) including a fire fighting aviation fleet and a dedicated contingent with the ADF.

I support public investment in and ownership of national infrastructure while also recognising the important role of private capital partnerships.

I support major development in public transport infrastructurefor our population centres and support the establishment of a Federal Pubic Transport Authority to guide national planning and investment.

Subject to viability feasibility, I support the building of a high-speed rail network to link the major population centres of the eastern Australian sea board.

I support government co-investment in developing the production and export infrastructure for a clean energy export industry.

I support the use of regional planning frameworks for the development of energy, water and food security planning and climate emergency planning.

The Arts

I stand for recognising the contributions that the arts make to Australia’s cultural identity and quality of life.

I support increased funding for the ABC and SBS and increased transparency about board appointments and editorial control.

I recognise that the arts industry is a major employer and revenue generator for the Australian economy and warrants increased levels of Australian government funding program support.

I think that Australian content in our media is an important contributor to maintaining our national identity and should be protected via appropriate legislative mechanism.

Social Justice

I stand for the sovereign rights of first nations people.  I recognise that my love and sense of place for this land is borne of their dispossession, and I am sorry, not from guilt but from the emphatic realisation of the traumatic history by which modern Australia was founded and the injustices that remain to this day.  These need to be addressed until they don’t. To this end I am a supporter of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

I believe in the universal declaration of human rights as enshrined by the UN Charter.

I support inclusiveness and the Government creating a sense of community harmony through humane policies that respect and encourage diversity and civil rights.

I also stand for the rights of third parties in development applications and decisions.

I believe that the levels of violence experienced by women in Australia are a national crisis and that we need to have a national summit to examine domestic and family violence and to develop appropriate funding and program commitments to reduce it.

I believe in the need for strong border policies but call for an end to mandatory offshore detention of asylum seekers and for onshore processing that recognises their human rights and processes their asylum applications in a timely manner. I will also work toward cooperation between the UNHCR, Red Cross and the 30 sovereign nations of the Asia-Pacific, to support Australia’s participation in the establishment of regional asylum seeker processing and in the development of third country settlement and sponsored repatriation following cessation of source area hostilities.

I believe that as the world’s driest inhabited continent a large population is not compatible with sustainability of Australia’s ecosystems. I therefore support the need for Australia to develop a sustainable population policy. Our immigration police must remain non dissimilatory in every way and have the capacity to respond quickly to humanitarian need.

Other Issues

I support the establishment of an Independent Federal Integrity and Anti-corruption Commission.

I believe all donations to political parties should be subject to comprehensive auditing and declarations by all parties.

I think media ownership in Australia is too monopolised and that this leads to a major disservice to the Australian community and that Government legislative initiatives should be undertaken to reduce the coverage of such monopolies.

I believe most Australians have a very poor understanding of our political system and that this leads to low levels of participation in the political process. I think this should be addressed by much greater inclusion of political science in school curricula and public education programs.

I feel that Australia is ready for its own head of state and that we should establish a time table for another referendum on becoming a republic following a public education program.