Climate Action Monaro Media Release - 30 August 2013

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 00:00
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Clear Distinction Between Eden-Monaro Candidates On Climate Change

There is a big gap between the best and worst of eight Eden-Monaro candidates when it comes to climate change acceptance and policies, according to Climate Action Monaro (CAM).

CAM issued a questionnaire (see below) to all House of Representative candidates in Eden-Monaro and received answers from five of them, though climate policies of the remaining three (Labor, Liberal and Palmer Uniting Party) were ascertained from their parties' websites.

CAM President, Ms Jenny Goldie, says that Catherine Moore (Greens), Martin Tye (Stable Population Party) and Andrew Thaler (Independent) all essentially said "yes" to the questions indicating an awareness of the gravity of climate change and the need to move the economy away from fossil fuels. Tye and Thaler made thoughtful additional comments.

"Labor incumbent Mike Kelly failed to answer the questionnaire but has a good record on the issue. His party (Labor) had the courage to introduce the carbon tax which, after one year of operation, was responsible for a seven per cent reduction in emissions and a 30 per cent increase in uptake of renewable energy."

Ms Goldie says it was disappointing that the new Labor leadership was abandoning the carbon tax a year early before bringing in the Emissions Trading Scheme, nevertheless, Labor deserves to be commended for introducing the tax, despite initial hostility.

"Although Dean Lynch (PUP) failed to answer the questionnaire, he had shown at the public meeting on the coast earlier in the month that he accepted the need for wind and solar power. He even lives in a stand-alone solar-powered house," says Ms Goldie. "Nevertheless, this is at odds with his party's lack of policies on climate change. PUP supports an expansion of mining of all kinds and Clive Palmer is on record as a climate change denier.

"Peter Hendy (Liberals) twice acknowledged receipt of the questionnaire but failed to answer it. His party's Direct Action Plan, while having a couple of good initiatives in it, will not deliver the promised five per cent reduction in emissions by 2020 without an injection of $4 billion. His party's promise to get rid of the carbon tax is a highly retrograde step," says Ms Goldie.

According to CAM, the remaining two candidates, William Catton of the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) and Costas Goumas of the Citizens' Electoral Council (CEC), indicated in their answers that they do not accept that climate change was man-made and thus any action to mitigate it was pointless.

"We urge voters not to vote for CDP or CEC, however worthy there are other policies might be. We simply cannot afford to elect people that reject the scientific evidence of climate change and the need for urgent action."

CAM recommends that voters who are concerned about climate change give their primary vote to Catherine Moore, Martin Tye, Mike Kelly or Andrew Thaler and that their preferences run down through those four before going to either Dean Lynch or Peter Hendy.

"Goumas and Catton must be placed last," she says.

Questions to Eden-Monaro Candidates by Climate Action Monaro

1) Are you aware that over 97 per cent of climate scientists globally, the CSIRO and the Academy of Science agree that the planet is warming, that the observed climate change is mostly human-caused, and that if we continue with business as usual, harsh impacts and irreversible changes to the climate system will occur?

2) Do you accept that climate change is occurring?

3) Do you accept that the human population is making a substantial contribution to climate change via our greenhouse gas emissions?

4) Is it your position that Australia and the rest of the world need to urgently adopt policies to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in line with scientific recommendations?

5) Are you aware that the health impacts of climate change are already being measured by medical and public health professionals worldwide?

6) Do you accept that anyone who argues that we continue business-as-usual and emit greenhouse gases beyond levels that climate scientists says is dangerous for humanity, should bear the burden of proof that this is safe?

7) Do you accept that politicians have a responsibility to immediately implement strategies to prevent dangerous climate change?

8) Do you accept that politicians who fail to implement policies to prevent dangerous climate change should be held responsible for harm that results from this inaction?

Further information:

Jenny Goldie 
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0401 921 453

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:05