We write to politicians
. . . and they reply
An important part of our work is communicating with politicians - at all levels of government, and on all sides of politics.
Some of our recent letters - and the replies - are included here.
August 2022: 15 other community climate groups around NSW joined us in letters to Matt Kean Minister for Energy, and and Jihad Dib, Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, requesting a meeting to discuss various aspects of the Nature Conservation Council's Climate, Energy & Mining policies, in the run-up to the 2023 NSW State election. Members of several of these groups participated in developing this set of policy asks.
July 2022: A letter to the Hon. Tanya Plibersek, urging her to reject the 27 new coal mines in NSW and QLD currently seeking approval, on the grounds that their scope 3 emissions would swamp Australia's current emissions, let alone reduced levels.
June 2022: following Labor's success in the Federal election, we wrote to Chris Bowen MP, now the Minister for Climate Change and Energy. We congratulated him on his and his party's success, mentioning our work in collaboration with other groups in Reid in raising voters' awareness of climate as a critical issue. But we noted, with regret, his party's support for the Scarborough gas project, arguing that rather than seeing the current energy crisis as a fossil fuel export opportunity, Australia should be accelerating our production of renewable energy.
May 2022: following Labor's success in the Federal election, we wrote to our local Member for Grayndler Anthony Albanese: the new Prime Minister. We congratulated him on his and his party's success, mentioning our work in collaboration with other groups in Reid in raising voters' awareness of climate as a critical issue. And we looked forward to opportunities to meet with him or his staff about community concerns on climate action over the next three years.
April 2022: we wrote again to Anthony Roberts MP, regarding his continued and mounting abandonment of the environmental planning guidelines (SEPP) that were developed over two years by his predecessor Rob Stokes. We noted that the guidelines were intended to place climate change at the centre of planning decisions, and suggested that the lack of consultation with many key industry groups may lead people to conclude that the government is unduly influenced by developers.
March 2022: we wrote to Anthony Roberts MP, (newly-re-appointed NSW Planning Minister) requesting that he reverse his recent decision to abandon Rob Stokes' planning principles which were designed to reduce the impact of climate change. We noted that many relevant industry bodies (eg Inst. of Architects) were horrified at this move which seems designed just to smooth the path for developers.
Also a copy to Matt Kean.
December 2021: we wrote to James Griffin MP, (newly-appointed NSW Minister for the Environment) expressing our horror at the lax controls and low licence fees on emissions and air pollution from the Vales Point power station, and asking that the controls be tightened and the fees be made commensurate with the cost to the community of health harm.
November 2021: we wrote to Anthony Albanese, Chris Bowen (Climate Change spokesperson) and their advisors Skye Laris and Andrew Garrett, pressing Labor to announce, post Glasgow, a much stronger 2030 emissions target (in line with many other countries as well as Australian business organisations) as an election policy. We also sought stronger support for electric vehicles.
November 2021: following our letter to Matt Kean, we wrote to Dominic Perrottet regarding the need for a stronger 2030 emissions reduction target and noting the inconsistency of continued approval of gas exploration and extraction, when the related emissions would undo all reductions in other areas.
October2021: we wrote to Matt Kean, now Treasurer as well as NSW Minister for Energy and Environment, congratulating him on becoming Treasurer, but pointing out the inconsistency of so many gas extraction approvals in NSW, which undo all the gains made in his renewable energy policies.
September 2021: we wrote to Matt Kean, NSW Minister for Energy and Environment, urging him to oppose Federal Minister Angus Taylor's proposed Physical Retail Reliability Obligation (PPRO) - otherwise known as 'CoalKeeper'.
August 2021: we wrote to Anthony Albanese (as our local member as well as Leader of the Opposition) deploring Labor's decision to support the government's funding of gas exploration in the Beetaloo Basin. We warned that Labor's unconvincing climate policies make it difficult for voters to support them.
August 2021: we wrote to Rob Stokes, NSW Planning Minister, asking that Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions be taken more seriously when considering approvals for new or extended coal mines, and monitoring existing ones.
July 2021: following a meeting with Chris Bowen's Chief of Staff, we wrote with a summary of our meeting, and repeating the main points that we raised. (Chris Bowen is the Opposition Climate Change Spokesperson. )
April 2021: we wrote to Ted O’Brien MP, Chair of the Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy, in support of the Zali Steggall Climate Act.
April 2021: we wrote to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian expressing our disappointment the Minister Matt Kean had removed Malcolm Turnbull from the NSW Net Zero Emissions and Clean Economy Board, seemingly in response to pressure from a certain media organisation.
The Premier has passed our letter on to Matt Kean.
February 2021: following an hour-long meeting with Anthony Albanese's Policy Advisor, we wrote to her with a summary of our meeting and our views about many aspects of Labor's Climate and Emissions policy. We received an email acknowledgement and thanks almost immediately.
December 2020: we wrote to Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley, and NSW Minister for Planning Rob Stokes, asking how the 134 conditions attached to the approval of Santos' Narrabri gas project would be monitored and enforced, and insisting that compliance monitoring systems be established before the project commences.
October 2020: we wrote to cross-bench senators as well as relevant government ministers and opposition spokespeople expressing our disappointment at the missed opportunities in the budget for developing a clean energy industry.
October 2020: we wrote to cross-bench senators about the proposed changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act - in particular emphasising the need for an independent regulator as recommended by Professor Graeme Samuel.
September 2020: we wrote to several local Federal MPs, to relevant government ministers and to cross-bench senators, detailing our opposition to the pro gas recommendations of the National Covid Coordination Commission (NCCC). We received automatic acknowledgements from about half, but to date we have had just one reply.
July 2020: we wrote to Rob Stokes, NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, and Matt Kean, NSW Minister for the Environment, detailing our concerns about the government's approval of the Narrabri Gas project, and its general policy in favour of Coal Seam Gas extraction in NSW.
May 2020: we wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, encouraging him to take the same co-operative, National Cabinet approach to tackling the growing climate crisis that he was taking to deal with the Corona virus crisis. We mentioned the need for stronger Federal emissions targets, investment in low-carbon technology, and the folly of continued reliance on thermal coal. We copied Anthony Albanese, Opposition Leader and local member (Grayndler).