Greens announce challenge to Port Stephens

NEWCASTLE Greens today announced Ms Charmian Eckersley as the Greens candidate for the electorate of Port Stephens.

“I am thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity to represent Greens principles in the forthcoming election,” Ms Eckersley said.

“There are vital issues in the Port Stephens electorate that need and deserve a Green perspective,” Ms Eckersley said.

“The proposed third coal loader has international implications. This short-sighted exploitation of the coal in the region will profit few and will hasten the demise of low-lying regions of the world under the rising tides resulting from climate change”.

Ms Eckersley is joining Newcastle City Council’s call for a cap on coal exports and is opposing the construction of a third coal loader proposed for Kooragang Island, which is in the southern extremity of the Port Stephens Electorate.

“If a new coal loader is built, it will only serve to fuel demand for increased coal exports to justify its cost, at a time when it is imperative that we do everything possible to reduce the burning of fossil fuels,” Ms Eckersley said.

Ms Eckersley is calling for maximum protection of marine wildlife in the proposed marine park. An international study found that all local marine life will be lost within the next fifty years if urgent action is not taken to protect their breeding environments.

“The Grey Nurse Shark is critically endangered and it is expected that they will become extinct within our lifetimes unless all their critical habitat sites are protected. Some areas of their habitat will remain open to fishing such as parts of Broughton Island and Seal Rocks/Edith Breakers,” Ms Eckersley said.

“The marine park needs to be increased to at least twenty percent of the marine biosphere (as opposed to the proposed 8%). The marine park is an opportunity that must not be blown by self interest and short-sightedness,” Ms Eckersley said.
Further comment: Charmian Eckersley, mobile 0407 730 410

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