We started the #ausvotes conversation in #Wills2016 on Climate change
Climate Action Moreland organised a forum on climate for voters in the electorate of Wills to meet the candidates. Eight candidates accepted and turned up, with an apology from Kevin Hong, the Liberal candidate. About 140 people attended, more than we were expecting. We had to put out more chairs.
The numbers present – and the crowd was greater than we were expecting – highlight that climate change is a serious concern to the people of Moreland, as well as wider Australia. We want our politicians to lead on this issue, and not be beholden to sectional corporate interests. We expect our Federal representative to fearlessly pursue this issue in their party room, in parliament and society.
We have had the fortune of retiring MP Kelvin Thompson being active on the issue, while perhaps not pushing quite as hard as we would have sometimes liked. With the Paris Agreement in place we need to lift our national targets and actions to implement a just transition to a zero carbon economy by mid century. Thar is just 35 years from now. Even better if we can do so sooner.
The damage and prognosis for the Great Barrier Reef means that there is little time to spare.
On the local level we need to be concerned about extreme weather events, particularly the health risk during heatwaves, and Council and State Government action to moderate extreme temperatures associated with the urban heat island effect.
The story of the evening as it unfolded on social media
The eight Candidates who turned up. L-R: Will Fulgenzi (Socialist Equality Party), Peter Khalil (Australian Labor Party), Camille Sydow (Animal Justice Party), Tristram Chellew (Sex Party), Ash Blackwell (Drug Law Reform Party), Francesco Timpano (Independent), Samantha Ratnam (The Greens), Zane Alcorn (Socialist Alliance), and compare Cinnamon Evans.
Then the one minute summary statements from candidates:
Here are the final one minute candidate summaries: Some candidates chose to respond to questions that had been raised while others used it as an opportunity to summarise essential climate policies.
Both Greens candidate Samantha Ratnam and Animal Justice Party candidate Camille Sydow signed the Australian Conservation Foundation Pledge at the end of the night. Labor’s Peter Khalil took the pledge away to consider.
This pledge is made to electors that they will:
* support clean energy by moving to 100 percent renewables;
* cut pollution by moving to zero net climate pollution by 2050 and close dirty coal burning power stations;
* protect our reefs, rivers, forests and wildlife.
Thank you to all candidates and voters for attending the forum. It definitely showed the rich diversity of the electorate.
We allowed more questions from the floor but that meant the meeting ran later: to about 9:30pm. Some managed to get away early to catch QandA, while others had to make do with the latest news from Professor Terry Hughes on Lateline on the state of the Great Barrier Reef.