Suzanne Pritchard, Greens candidate for Lake Macquarie, wants climate change to be the number one issue when votes are cast on Saturday.
”Whilst the election has been a chance to highlight all the issues that a State government deals with the most pressing issue of our time, the Climate Change point has been underplayed, overlooked and avoided by the major parties who are committed to business as usual with their coal companions,” Suzanne said.
“Our future can only be assured if we start looking beyond coal, not just for our immediate future in terms of jobs and regional security, but we are in a critical time for implementing decisions for the future of the planet, and it starts where the coal is dug out of the ground, and the energy is produced.”
The Greens support a just transitions package, funded through carbon taxes, that would mean coal industry communities will have access to renewable energy jobs of the future. The Greens want to make NSW a leader in the manufacturing and export of renewable energy technologies.
“We can be at the forefront of this new age of renewable energy, it could be a very exciting future with real promise and action to address the most pressing issue humanity is facing.”
The Greens support a moratorium on any new coal infrastructure. A one kilometre exclusion zone around water sources must be applied to all long-wall coal mines. Protecting our catchments is crucial.
“In Lake Macquarie campaigning for fairer and more sustainable communities will be vital otherwise we may push our environmental gains to the point of no return. You can’t have development without infrastructure or services, a point that has been missed in the regional strategy,” Suzanne said.
“The Lower Hunter Regional (development) Strategy proposes massive increases in the population over the next few years. This will be nothing more than a developer’s land grab if there are not suitable processes in place to allow the community to respond. If the Minister has undisputed powers of approval the community will be exhausted and silenced by having to continually fight the same battles.”