‘Give high priority to strong climate action and biodiversity protection when you vote in the upcoming state election,’ says Jack Egan, coordinator of the South East Climate Alliance (SECA)*.
Mr Egan says ‘While progress in NSW’s transition to renewable energy generation and electrifying our vehicles, homes and industries is heartening, the pace of transition is much slower than it needs to be. There is still much that needs to urgently be done.
‘We need to see the next NSW government legislate its 2030 emissions target to provide certainty and accountability. The public service needs to be boosted so that it has the resources to undertake due process without needless delays. It should also stop native forest logging and ban new coal mines and gas wells which only make the climate problem worse.
‘On the environment side, land clearing and Murray-Darling water extraction need controls with teeth. Koala habitat and marine parks need much stronger protection. Fully protected marine sanctuaries have been shown to increase resilience and diversity in the marine environment. Feral horse numbers in delicate alpine areas must be greatly reduced and our national parks properly funded to perform their essential role.
‘To support an effective carbon sink and regenerate wildlife habitat NSW needs a firm plan to transition all logging and wood chipping from native forests to plantations as Victoria and Western Australia are doing.
‘If these issues concern you,’ says Mr Egan, ‘vote for candidates who will lead on protecting biodiversity in the face of accelerating threats from climate change. Vote for candidates who will lead on the solutions for cutting emissions, reducing energy bills through renewable energy and drawing down CO2. These solutions will also make a healthier natural environment'.
* SECA is made up of local climate action and environment groups including 350 Eurobodalla, Southeast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA), Coastwatchers, Friends of the Forest Mogo, Nature Coast Marine Group, South East Region Conservation Alliance (SERCA) and CANsign.