Politicians answer

Since forming, Ryde Gladesville Climate Change Action Group has written to and /or held meetings with elected representatives at the local, state and federal levels. Meetings have included:

John Howard – Federal Member for Bennelong

No, we never did succeed in getting a meeting with Mr Howard despite making numerous attempts over the course of 2007. 

Maxine McKew – Federal Member for Bennelong

Ryde Gladesville Climate Change Action Group has met with Ms McKew on three or four occasions.

The first occasion was in 2007 before she was elected to the seat. At this meeting she assured the group that the Labor Opposition took the issue seriously and was ready to act on climate change.

On the second occasion (after the election) we took her a copy of David Spratt and Philip Sutton’s book, “Climate Code Red” (2009). She told us she was sceptical of “apocalyptic scenarios” which made us worried that she was dismissive of the well founded science on climate change.

We also met with her in early 2010. At this meeting when we asked if we could take notes from the meeting to report back to our members, she refused us permission. She told us that the points we were raising were not new, we had raised them with her previously and shortly afterwards terminated the meeting abruptly and prematurely. 

Joe Hockey  – Federal Member for North Sydney

We met with Joe Hockey in September 2009. He was generous with his time, talking to us for an hour and a half and appeared to be open in his views. He told us that he believed climate change was occurring, but that he did not necessarily believe it was created by human action.

He also told us that he did not believe that people were prepared to pay more to address climate change and seemed surprised and impressed to hear that 44 Ryde Gladesville Climate Group supporters had been prepared to spend the money to purchase solar panels to add to the pool of renewable energy.

Interestingly, later the same day, Mr Hockey made a statement reported in the media about the importance of addressing climate change.

Anthony Roberts – State Member for Lane Cove

We met with Mr Roberts in 2007. He indicated at that time that The NSW Liberal/Nationals Coalition would close the cost differential between base load coal and renewables using the NSW Government Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme (NGAS) and  change the rules of the NGAS so that it will apply only to genuinely new projects with preference given to renewable energy projects in NSW.

He also stated the Liberals would  legislate for a renewable energy target of 10 % of electricity bought by NSW retailers by 2010 and 15 % by 2020. (Our goal is to achieve 20 per cent renewable energy by 2025). When asked about setting a target for a cut to emissions he said that he agreed with cutting emissions, but needed more information before he could commit to a specified target.

Victor Dominello – State Member for Ryde

On April 28th 2010, the group had a meeting with Victor Dominello. When asked his opinion about whether climate change was occurring he said he thought it was, but that it was only partly caused by human action.

We raised our concerns about the NSW government approving preliminary plans for the construction of two massive new coal power stations, Mt Piper, near Lithgow and Bayswater, in the Hunter Valley. If built, they will spew over 20 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution into the atmosphere each year and  increase the state’s total greenhouse emissions by 15% for the next 30 years.

We asked him if he would oppose the state governments plans to build these two new coal fired power stations. He told us he would need to check Liberal policy and get back to us. He also invited us to make submissions about renewables to the shadow energy minister.

He told us he was in favour of renewable energy and had been a strong advocate of tree planting on council.