Posts tagged ‘Premier Denis Napthine’
Conditions were ideal with cool cloudy morning before the sun came out to warm things up and bring tens of thousands of people onto Sydney Road in Brunswick.
East- West Tunnel = Climate Madness
Climate Action Moreland was one of a host of community groups present, which included the Moreland Community Against the Tunnel (MCAT on Facebook) .
Climate Action Moreland had a leaflet connecting the dots between building the East-West tunnel and climate change. We were active in giving out leaflets for the Sunday March 30 rally against the East West tunnel.
Climate action is a State government election issue
Also on our radar was the importance of ensuring climate action is an issue in the November 2014 Victorian State election. We had postcards addressed to Jane Garrett, the local Labor member for Brunswick, the Premier Denis Napthine, and Greens upper house member for Northern Metropolitan Greg Barber. The postcards urged all parties to take climate action seriously. We need action at Federal, State and local Government, as well as action by you and I as individuals, and businesses both small and large.
The Climate Change Authority released it’s report last week arguing that the conditions have been met for Australia to lift it’s target to 19 per cent emissions reduction on 2000 levels by 2020. But with the Abbott Government slating this Authority for closure if it can get legislation through the senate, it is doubtful whether we will see a substantive increase in emissions reduction target with the present Federal Government led by Tony Abbott.
Coal mine fire poisoning Morwell. Time to close Hazelwood?
Much can be achieved at the municipal and state levels which arguably are more important for planning, development, conservation and land management issues as they affect climate mitigation. The Morwell coalmine fire has demonstrated the health risks associated with coal mines and coal fired electricity. But we have a State Government that has forbidden wind farm development across most of the state, including within 5 kilometres of any town. Which would you rather live close to, a coal mine next to town like Morwell or a wind farm? Perhaps it is time to close down the GDF Suez owned Hazelwood coalmine and coal fired power station for good and build some non-polluting wind farms instead. Read more on this by Ketan Joshi: The cost of coal puts renewable myths in perspective.
After almost a month of battling the toxic fire which has poisoned the air over Morwell, Victoria Chief Health Officer has advised that vulnerable people should move out of the area in a health warning on 28 February (ABC news – Morwell mine fire: Premier Denis Napthine backs Victorian health officer’s decision on warning). But Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham said that Premier Napthine had dodged the main question about whether the state government had done all it could to minimise the risk of coal mine fires.
The Premier and Health Department officials are playing with peoples’ lives and future health. According to Associate Professor Adrian Barnett, a Principal Research Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology, commented via the Australian Science media Centre:
“Coal smoke is very dangerous to health; we know this from some of the earliest epidemiological studies in this field on the London coal smoke smog of 1952 that killed around 12,000 people. This high number of deaths comes from a relatively low individual risk (around a 10 per cent increase in mortality during the London smog episode) applied to a large city population. So the more people who are exposed in Morwell, the greater the overall health problem will be. We would also expect emergency hospital admissions to rise, especially for respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. Those at greatest risk are children, the elderly and those with pre-existing chronic disease. Pregnant women would also be advised to keep away from the smoke. Staying indoors or wearing masks does not offer complete protection from some of the smoke particles, which can be tiny and easily penetrate inside homes. If I lived in the area I would move my family away until the fire was out.”
Urging Moreland Council to Go Fossil Free and divest
The City of Moreland Council is pro-actively working at increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste and reducing carbon footprint. But there is still much that can be and needs to be done at the local Government level, including progress on planting an urban forest to help counter the urban heat island amplification of heatwaves and reduce Moreland’s high social vulnerability to excessive temperatures.
The Council also utilises the facilities of the Commonwealth Bank which has invested, along with other major Australian banks, in the Abbott Point coal port infrastructure. Abbott Point will increase the export capacity of coal from new coal mines in the Galilee basin in Queensland and increase shipping through the Great Barrier Reef adding extra pressure on an already fragile reef ecosystem which many tourism operators depend upon. Climate Action Moreland have a petition to urge Moreland Council to divest banking with the Commonwealth Bank, and indeed any bank with major interests in fossil fuels. Market Forces have investigated which banking and financial institutions have investments in fossil fuels and which take a more ethical stance. It’s time for Moreland Council to commit to going Fossil Free.
Images of our stall at Sydney Road Street Party
Thankyou to all our old supporters who came up to us and asked what we are doing and reconnected and the new people who added their names to our mailing list. See below a few photos from our stall on the day taken by John Englart.
The Premier Denis Napthine warned Victorians that 100,000 premises may lose power during the extreme heatwave due to demand on the state’s electricity grid. Thank you Premier, for your incompetence at managing electricity generation in Victoria.
Climate scientists have been warning of the increased frequency and intensity of heatwaves, with a long term trend of increasing temperatures and 2013 being our hottest year on record. (See this 2009 study by Alexander and Arblaster – Assessing trends in observed and modelled climate extremes over Australia in relation to future projections (PDF))
Much of the electricity system is about managing peak demand through ensuring adequate generating capacity in the network. Victoria’s continued reliance on aging brown coal fired generators with impediments to diversification through renewables has let down the electors and residents of Victoria, badly. We are now seeing the results of poor climate and energy policy at the state level.