Greens call on Carr to follow Beazley lead on forest fuel freeze

“Labor’s environmental credibility on the line”, says Nettle

The Greens No.1 Senate candidate for NSW, Kerry Nettle, today called on the Carr Labor government to immediately stop the state’s “forest furnaces”, in line with Federal Labor’s weekend promise to stop the burning of native forests for electricity under the guise of “renewable energy”.
Ms Nettle issued her call at a “Stop Forest Furnaces” protest action by Greens candidates and forest activists outside the Newcastle offices of Australia’s largest electricity producer, the state-owned Macquarie Generation, which already burns native forests for electricity, and sells it to consumers as “Green Energy”.

Ms Nettle welcomed as a “step in the right direction” Mr Beazley’s weekend announcement that a Federal Labor government would immediately declare a moratorium on such practices pending an independent review.

“But if Labor is serious about this policy, then the best way to prove it to Green voters in NSW before next Saturday’s election is for the Premier, Bob Carr, to demonstrate his party’s commitment by immediately halting any further burning of native forests for electricity in NSW,” Ms Nettle said.

Macquarie Generation – owned by the NSW Government – is licenced to burn native forests for electricity under the NSW Electricity Act.

“After Mr Beazley’s weekend policy statement, the Premier should immediately revoke this licence, or risk Labor’s credibility on this issue,” Ms Nettle said.

“Now that Mr Beazley has made this policy promise, it would be hypocritical and inconsistent for Mr Carr to go on supporting something that his Federal party colleagues now say they would stop.”

The Greens candidate for Newcastle, John Sutton, said that most Novocastrians he had spoken to about the idea of burning native forests for electricity thought it was “ridiculous and immoral”.

“State and federal governments seem stuck in the mentality of primitive, job-shedding, environmentally damaging approaches to energy, when what Newcastle and the Hunter should be doing is tapping our potential to become a leader in job-creating industries and technologies in real renewable energy alternatives, such as solar and wind power,” he said.

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