Greens candidates for local Hunter seats joined other climate activists today to demonstrate Labor’s inaction on climate change, outside the office of the member for Charlton, Greg Combet.
The Greens called for a visionary plan to phase out the Hunter’s coal industry over the next ten to fifteen years, and switch to job-rich renewable energy.
The Greens candidate for Charlton, Ian McKenzie, said that the need for such a plan was underlined by today’s news of Newcastle’s record coal exports, and reports earlier in the week of planned massive expansion of coal exporting facilities.
“All this made it a Black Friday indeed for Hunter communities who suffer from the local impacts of coal mining and transport, for everyone who will be affected by climate change, and for anyone who thinks or cares about future generations,” Mr McKenzie said.
Commenting on today’s demonstration, Greens Senate candidate Lee Rhiannon said: “As Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet is in the box seat to effect change.
“The hundreds of Hunter residents planning to take part in the local Walk Against Warming events on Sunday will feel rightly let down by news of Newcastle’s rocketing coal export levels,” she said.
The Greens candidate for Shortland, Phillipa Parsons, said that The Greens policy of a planned transition from coal dependency toward renewable energy was the only long term solution to the Hunter’s current unsustainable reliance on non-renewable energy sources, and that none of the other parties had any comparable policy.
The Greens candidate for Newcastle, Michael Osborne, said that – whilst the two big parties were fiddling whilst the planet burnt – groups such as Beyond Zero Emissions had recently shown how Australia could switch completely to renewable energy in ten years, with the necessary political will.
“Neither of the big parties want to talk about climate change now – it’s become the elephant in the room of this federal election.
“Today’s demonstration was to highlight how Labor has squibbed this great moral challenge of our generation,” Mr Osborne said.
For more information or comment, please call:
Lee Rhiannon (Greens Lead Senate candidate for NSW): 0432 332 104
Ian McKenzie (Greens candidate for Charlton): 0414 682 001
Phillipa Parsons (Greens candidate for Shortland): 0414 271 135
Michael Osborne (Greens candidate for Newcastle): 0439 442 984