Posts tagged ‘tim read’
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.
Climate Action Moreland members ventured to the Coburg Farmers Market on Saturday to shop, to chat with other Moreland residents about climate change, collect signatures on the Monster climate petition, and listen to candidates for the State Election in November 2014 speak at the Fair Food Forum.
Food security and agriculture are important subjects which we should all be aware of and asking our political representatives about.
Fair Food Week – 10 to 19 October – is organised by Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA). Michael Croft, AFSA President, described the occasion as “Fair Food Week encourages the general community to embrace local food production, purchase and consumption.”
All candidates for the seats of Brunswick and Pascoe Vale who had so far committed to stand were invited to speak, however the Liberal candidate for Brunswick cancelled the night before, Jane Garrett, Labor MP for Brunswick refused to attend, and Lizzie Blandthorn, Labor candidate for Pascoe Vale although originally agreeing to come then reneged and instead handed out red balloons and launched the Batman market near the Batman railway station.
But the forum went ahead with the Greens candidates Liam Farelly and Tim Read, Dean O’Callaghan from Save the Planet and Sean Brocklehurst from Socialist Alliance.
I am really astounded that both major parties refused to send anyone along to this forum. Food and agriculture is so important in our lives, and yet both the Liberal and Labor parties could not bother to provide some-one to represent their party and policies in this area. Climate change is already affecting agriculture from long and intense droughts, changes to rainfall patterns, more extreme weather events, and of course rising temperatures affecting crop yield and milk production.
As well as the Meet the candidates Public Forum on Monday 19 August 2013, Climate Action Moreland have put together a list of question that we would like a response to from each candidate. The list is below. We will publish written candidate responses emailed to us on our website.
Responses have been received from and uploaded in PDF format:
- Adrian Trajstman – Australian Sex Party
- Margarita Windisch – Socialist Alliance
- Tim Read – The Greens
- Kelvin Thomson – Labor Party (Federal Government Policy)
Questions on climate change
- With scientists forecasting substantial sea level rise this century, many people from low lying coastal regions of south East Asia and islands in the south Pacific will be seeking asylum in Australia as climate refugees. What should Australia’s response be?
- The Australian government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5% below 2000 levels by 2020. However, under the emissions trading scheme, Australia does not need to reduce local emissions, but can purchase emission reduction certificates from overseas.
- What do you think Australia’s emission reduction targets should be by 2020? 2030? 2040?
- Should these targets be conditional on the actions of other countries?
- How would these emission reductions be achieved? Could you please describe how the emission reduction schemes that your party proposes will work in practice?
- What is your position on whether Australia should be required to reduce its local emissions rather than purchasing certificates from overseas?
- How do you propose to reduce emissions produced in Australia?
- Australia is regarded as particularly vulnerable to climate change. Given the lack of action to date, it is inevitable that Australians will be subject to serious impacts, including adverse health impacts and increased mortality due to rising temperatures and heatwaves, changes in rainfall and water availability for drinking and agriculture. What are your policies to reduce the impact of climate change on Australians?
- Heatwave induced mortality is expected to increase in inner urban areas like the Wills electorate due to the interaction between climate change driven increasing temperatures and the Urban Heat Island effect. While 173 people lost their lives in the Black Saturday Bushfires, 374 people died in Victoria due to the heatwave according to Victoria’s chief health officer, Dr John Carnie. The 2013 State of Australian Cities report found that heat related deaths are expected to quadruple in number by 2050. What is your response to this public health threat?
- Transport is a large contributor to climate change. What are your policies to transform the transport sector to ensure it is sustainable?
- Approximately $10 billion is paid out each year to subsidize the use of fossil fuels, including in aviation, which helps to keep the price of flying low. Green groups have proposed that instead of subsidizing activities that contribute to climate change, we should be funding technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions including energy efficiency and renewable energy. What are your policies on these subsidies to fossil fuels? If you propose to remove these subsidies, please describe how you would do so and over what time frame. What are your policies on redirecting these funds to technologies that do not contribute to climate change?
- The burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) are major contributors to climate change leading to a substantial carbon bubble in conflict with emission reduction targets, according to the Carbon Tracker Initiative, Grantham Institute, and Australia’s Climate Institute. What are your policies regarding the following: coal exports; use of coal for power generation; use of natural gas for power generation? What would be your strategies for phasing these out?
- Households and business can reduce their carbon emissions through increased energy efficiency, solar water heating and generating their own renewable electricity by installing solar panels. Do you support these measures and if so, what are your policies to ensure these measures become widespread? Do you personally use solar hot water and/or solar panels or buy Green Power?
- Some councils, including Moreland, have announced that they are carbon neutral. However, this has been achieved partly through the purchase of offsets from overseas projects. What is your position on councils, businesses etc using offsets to claim carbon neutrality?
- Food waste is a major source of carbon and methane emissions. What are your policies to reduce food waste and reduce emissions from food waste? Do you personally compost waste food?
- Do you know that in Wills we have platypus in Merri Creek? Eastern Grey Kangaroos visit the Fawkner grasslands? We have rare plant species along our creek corridors? Funding for biodiversity has recently been slashed by the federal government. What is your policy on federal government biodiversity funding and species and eco-system conservation?
- Dean O’CALLAGHAN, (Save the Planet)
- Kelvin THOMSON, (Australian Labor Party)
- Margarita WINDISCH, (Socialist Alliance)
- Tim READ, (Greens)
We are hoping that the other candidates: Shilpa Hegde for the Liberal Party and Adrian Trajstman for the Australian Sex Party, and any other candidate that registers for the poll in Wills, will also come along to highlight their climate and sustainability policies.
When: 7.00pm for 7.30pm start, 19th August
Where: Coburg Concert Hall, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg
Facebook: register for this event on Facebook
This is a family friendly event. Gold coin donation. Further information: sallyRose m. 0431 445 930
We are also sending a questionnaire to each candidate on climate and sustainability issues, and hope to publish their considered responses on our website, as a guide to residents who can’t make the public forum.
Climate Action Moreland has organised this event but is supported by other community groups around Moreland including: Moreland Bicycle Users Group (BUG), Brunswick Residents Network, CERES, Sustainable Fawkner, Friends of Upfield Linear Park
Flyers in colour and grayscale are attached below to print or photocopy and distribute.