Bradfield can do Better on the Climate Emergency
Australia needs urgent, strong and authentic action on the climate emergency. Australia, as yet, has no plan on how to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Australia has one of the highest per capita emissions rates in the world and our emissions continue to rise. Australia's climate policies have no credibility internationally with Australia being described as a 'climate laggard'.
The devastating impacts of climate change are being felt across the world with catastrophe following catastrophe. Global warming is predicted to exceed the 1.5 degree limit that was agreed in the Paris Agreement.
Currently the global community is rapidly decarbonising their economies by investing in cheaper and cleaner renewable energy leading to the creation of new jobs.
Yet Australia continues to expand its coal and gas fields. This is at a time when the International Energy Agency has warned the world that this must cease if we are to avoid runaway climate catastrophe. For too long the Coalition government has resisted strong action to combat climate change. The newly elected Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader, Mr Joyce, opposes ambitious actions to reduce Australia's greenhouse emissions.
In February 2021 Janine Kitson screened Kathy Drayton’s documentary ‘The Weather Diaries’ that highlights a mother’s grief knowing that her daughter cannot survive on a heating planet. Ian Dunlop, renowned climate authority, also shared his thoughts with direct honesty, saying "we are running out of time". Ian Dunlop argues that Australia needs to rapidly reach net zero emissions before 2030 if we are to escape environmental and societal collapse on a global scale
Searing summer heat waves are now the norm. 'Extreme' fire days are projected to increase in the coming years. This makes Bradfield’s bushland suburbs particularly vulnerable to catastrophic bushfire with many of its suburbs accessed by only one road.
Individuals have done what they can. Residents have enthusiastically embraced solar panels and electric cards. According to the 2018 Bureau of Statistics suburbs in the Bradfield electorate has one of the highest uptakes of electric cars in the nation. It is now time for the Federal Government to step up and implement laws and regulations to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases.
Bradfield can do better on the climate emergency.
The disruption that we are living through with the pandemic will be nothing compared to the disruption caused by climate change. There will be days when it will be simply too dangerous to leave our homes with scorching heatwaves and cyclonic wild storms.
Bradfield needs to ensure that Australia makes genuine commitment to taking action on climate change at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, 2021. It needs to make a commitment to achieving net zero emissions 'preferably' by 2030.
If we can take action, based on expert scientific advice, for the COVID health crisis - we can do it for climate crisis.
Bradfield a renewable energy leader
- Support legislation to make Australia an renewable energy superpower that can export clean energy to the world
- Support legislation for a national independent commission to manage Australia's emissions reduction targets with the goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions before 2030.
- Support legislation to invest in renewable generation, storage and transforming the power grid.
- Support legislation to oppose new coal mines and expansion of existing coal mines.
- Support legislation to phase out all fossil fuels.
- Work with the Bradfield community and experts to design and implement targets to achieve zero carbon emissions in the Bradfield electorate eg: the installation of more electric chargers (Bradfield has one of the highest uptakes of electric cars according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2018 motor vehicle census); installation of more household solar, batteries and generators that prolong renewable energy from intermittent sources like wind and solar; and promote energy efficiency.
- Collaborate and strengthen NSW's government's 10-year plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050 through renewable energy zones.
- Support a renewable energy export strategy that will create jobs for displaced workers in the fossil fuel industries.
- Support a clean energy and green materials government procurement program.
- Collaborate and strengthen Bradfield's local government initiatives to reduce greenhouse emissions:
Willoughby Council has declared a climate emergency and has adopted a number of emission reduction and renewable energy targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and aims to be powered by 50% renewable energy target by 2028.
Ku-ring-gai Council receives approximately 30% of its electricity needs from Moree Solar Farm under a retail contract with Origin Energy; is upgrading its street lighting through Ausgrid’s LED lights that is expected to lower annual electricity consumption by approximately 989 MWh/year; is currently consulting with its community on how to achieve zero greenhouse emissions by the year 2040.
Hornsby Council has 192kW of solar panel systems and one 15kW wind turbine on its council buildings, libraries, works depot and park facilities.
Bradfield can do better on Biodiversity
Like everywhere, Bradfield’s rare biodiversity is under threat.
The Federal Government's environment laws - the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) is failing to protect Australia’s environment. The independent review of it, led by Professor Graeme Samuel AC, deemed the current EPBC Act as not fit for purpose and incapable of halting Australia's extinction and deforestation crises.
For too long the Federal Government has ignored biodiversity experts and community concerns who have called for their local MPs to strengthen Australia's national environmental laws.
The federal electorate of Bradfield, that includes the bushland suburbs of Chatswood to Asquith, is one of Sydney’s most biodiverse urban areas. Some claim that Bradfield's natural environment is of national significance - and parts even deserve world heritage listing. Bradfield contains extraordinarily environmentally sensitive areas with many threatened ecological communities, including Blue Gum High Forest, Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest and Duffys Forest. The Bradfield environment is under threat by the failure of the current EPBC Act to protect it.
Bradfield’s grand Blue Gum forests, and many of its other unique ecological communities face extinction from the cumulative history of overdevelopment, land clearing, pollution, weeds, pests, disease and the impacts of climate change. Ku-ring-gai’s flying fox colony is particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures as they simply cannot survive soaring heat waves.
There is an urgent need for the Federal government to invest in recovery plans, restoration and regeneration programs to restore Bradfield’s environmental resilience.
There is hope. Bradfield’s remnant Blue Gum urban forests remain probably the best ‘carbon capture’ and 'air conditioning' there is.
Stronger Federal environment laws are urgently needed, not just to protect Bradfield's but Australia's precious and fragile environment.