The seconds and minutes ticked by as the nation waited to know the outcome of the 2010 federal election. 2pm came and went, Bob Katter briefly appeared to let the Australian people know he would be going with the Coalition, and still we all waited for the two Independents to arrive and cast their deciding votes.
Then Rob Oakeshott walked in grinning and beaming, cracking jokes and in turn waiting for Tony Windsor to keep his date with destiny. Tension mounted as the media shuffled nervously and texts and tweets flew across the country.

Finally the two wise men spoke. We heard from Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott as they announced, not just who they would be backing – both went for Julia Gillard – but also why they would be backing her government.

It became clear that the two big winners out of this extraordinary election are the environment and future generations. The Independents made it clear they support action on climate change and renewable energy. They recognised the enormous opportunities that exist for regional Australia if we invest at scale in renewable energy.

At last – but who could have guessed it would take two guys from regional Australia to state the obvious.

Greenpeace went into this election asking for three things to combat climate change; a price on carbon, shifting subsidies from the fossil fuel sector to renewables and a rigorous pollution standard for new power stations.

While no one could have predicted this outcome to the election, it is clear the Australian community want action now on climate change. This crisis will no longer be used as a political football – punted from one generation to the next.

The time for action is now and that makes the 7th of September a truly historic day.