July 2022 Newsletter

After a long hiatus, we are able to send out a newsletter.

It is a relief that there has been a change of government.  A big thank you to those who helped with letterboxing our 10,000 leaflets.

While the federal election results are pleasing and Labor made some significant promises in the lead-up to the election https://theconversation.com/the-teals-and-greens-will-turn-up-the-heat-on-labors-climate-policy-heres-what-to-expect-183532 there are deep concerns about how the federal Labor government will actually do this, particularly as it has not ruled out banning all new fossil fuel projects.  https://theconversation.com/to-walk-the-talk-on-climate-labor-must-come-clean-about-the-future-for-coal-and-gas-183641

Both Labor and LNP have received generous donations from fossil fuel companies totally over $1.15million in the last financial year https://reneweconomy.com.au/labor-and-coalition-enjoyed-more-than-1-15-million-of-fossil-fuel-donations-last-year/. In return, fossil fuel companies were given over $11billion in subsidies. Most of these companies pay little or no tax.

Madeleine King’s appointment as Labor’s new Resources Minister was enthusiastically welcomed by the fossil fuel industry.  She has strongly supported gas in the past, claiming it is an important transitional fuel on the way to achieve net zero emissions (it’s not). https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/01/can-australian-gas-help-the-world-navigate-the-climate-crisis-or-is-it-just-more-hot-air  Australia produces much more gas than it can use locally – 85% is exported and the Energy Minister, Chris Bowen, has again rejected calls for a windfall gas profits tax (like is done in Norway). Our gas industry is 95.7% foreign owned so those profits are going overseas with no benefit to Australia.

SOME GOOD THINGS HAVE HAPPENED The ACT, which runs on 100% renewables, is dropping its electricity prices from July; City of Ryde will reach its 100 percent renewable energy target eight years ahead of schedule; ARENA will grant $45m to University of NSW for research on photovoltaics over the next 8 years

Fridays for Forests  There is a campaign to protect our vital forests from logging and save threatened species of plants and animals, especially koalas. In the leadup to the NSW state election due 25 March 2023, this campaign is asking people to use social media to highlight on Fridays at 10am and as often as they can, the importance of forests. Go here for information. Use the large photo of Blinky Bill in your post.

Scarborough Gas This has been given the green light by the new federal Labor government. It would mean Labor’s weak 43% carbon emissions reduction target would be in tatters as well as cause significant damage to Traditional Owners’ sites. https://theconversation.com/the-ultra-polluting-scarborough-pluto-gas-project-could-blow-through-labors-climate-target-and-it-just-got-the-green-light-184379
There is a campaign by the group Say Not To Scarborough Gas asking us to let the government know this project must not proceed. Watch the video https://youtu.be/Y_Q8csphIFE and then sign the petition https://www.ccwa.org.au/no-scarborough

Fixing Australia’s environment  There are a lot of challenges facing Tanya Plibersek as the new environment minister. Here are the top five suggestions of what needs to be done. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/05/environment-to-do-list-five-ministerial-priorities-for-tanya-plibersek

Methane emissions  These emissions could actually be double what is being reported by mining companies. https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/science/environment/2022/06/08/australia-coal-mine-methane/ Sign the petition to Chris Bowen asking he puts in measures to reduce our methane emission from mining https://www.lockthegate.org.au/coal_mine_methane

Logging koala habitat in NSW  Recently both LNP and Labor in the Upper House voted against the Green’s bill to create a Great Koala National Park on the mid-north coast. If Labor had voted with the Greens, this bill would have passed. With federal Labor talking about protecting the environment, it may be worth politely reminding Chris Minns, NSW Labor leader of the oppostion, that action on climate change and protecting the environment and koala habitat will be a major issue in the NSW state election on 25 March 2023. His email is leader.opposition@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Want to switch to renewables? Here’s what incentives are available to you.

Australia’s energy grid This will explain what it is and how it works (or not). https://theconversation.com/whats-a-grid-anyway-making-sense-of-the-complex-beast-that-is-australias-electricity-network-185127

Santos sponsors the Darwin Festival. Sign the petition asking the organisers to cut ties with this company. https://act.350.org/sign/darwin-festival-cut-ties-dirty-santos/

Adani may have an insurer, Lockton. Sign the letter asking they not go ahead with this.

Separating fact from fiction https://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/content/energy/article/separating-fact-from-fiction-in-the-ev-debate-2467586