Media Release: Candidates thrash out implications of Climate policies at Coburg
A lively state election candidate’s climate forum at the Coburg Town Hall on Monday evening (17th of November) saw Moreland-based State election candidates discuss and argue the implications of wide range of climate impacts and their interaction with other policies. Candidates clashed on topics around buying back energy assets, and the impact of Moreland’s contentious development policies like the recently approved Coburg strategy on Climate change.
The forum, organised by Climate Action Moreland (CAM) and endorsed by five other environmental groups*, was attended by ten candidates who openly shared their views on climate change and their proposed policies for action to reduce human impacts on climate change.
Lower House candidates in the seats of Brunswick, Pascoe Vale and Broadmeadows as well as Upper House candidates in the Northern Metropolitan region were invited to the forum. Candidates attending included independent candidate Peter Allan and representatives from The Australian Greens, the Animal Justice Party, the Sex Party, Socialist Alliance, Save the Planet, Voice from the West, and the Liberal Party. There was lively discussion between all the candidates about renewable energy targets, public transport, cycling infrastructure, agricultural practices, urban planning and energy efficiency.
Despite five Labour candidates being invited, the Labor party chose not to provide representation to explain their climate change policies, or apparent lack thereof. CAM members strongly believe that Labor missed an opportunity to join in and speak to their constituents from across three electorates. Labor currently holds the lower house seats in Brunswick, Pascoe Vale and Broadmeadows. While Broadmeadows and Pascoe Vale are safe Labor seats, Brunswick is a marginal Labor / Green seat, yet Labor continues to remain silent on their environment and climate change policies.
Groups in neighbouring suburbs who have organised candidates forums have noted the non-attendance of Labor and Liberal candidates at environment focused forums. Both major parties shunned a recent climate forum in Northcote and the Uniting Church’s forum in Pascoe Vale.
“It’s a shame in an election that’s had very little attention on environmental issues, that the Labor party missed an opportunity to put themselves on the record. We had a forum that ran the gamut from the Liberal party to Socialist Alliance, and Labor chose not to be part of that conversation” lamented Michael Stanley from Climate Action Moreland.
CAM were impressed with the turn-out at the forum and felt that the candidates in attendance provided valuable insight into their climate change policies, but were disappointed that the Labor candidates chose not attend. CAM believes that residents of Moreland are very concerned about climate change, as it is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and that action to reduce human impacts on the environment needs to be at the forefront of political policy.
Climate campaigner and Climate Action Moreland member Andrea Bunting stated: “I believe Australians are ashamed about our country’s current stance on climate change. Candidates who refuse to discuss climate policies do so at their own peril.”
Notes: * The Forum was endorsed by Australian Youth Climate Council, Moreland Bicycle Users Group, 350.org, Moreland Community Against the Tunnel.
Embedded videos of 8 candidate party presentations are available from youtube and at:
Photos of this election forum are available for use from John Englart’s Flickr Site – all with Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license.
Entry filed under: media release, news, Politician education, Vote Climate. Tags: Bruce Poon, Climate Action Moreland, climate change policies, dean o'callaghan, Giuseppe Vellotti, Joel Murray, Mohamed Hassan, Peter Allan, Sean Brocklehurst, tim read.