CCA NEWS: April 2017
A message from our President:
Happy birthday to CCA Hastings - 2017 marks our tenth anniversary! Looking back over the ten years since we started, a lot has happened but then again, not much has happened. How so? In 2007 Australia was without an effective climate policy and the Renewable Energy Target was 2%! In 2017 Australia is still without an effective climate policy but the RET is now 23%. In 2007 Australia was divided along party lines on climate change and the world was only beginning to wake up to its perils. In 2017 Australia is still divided along party lines on climate change but many nations and states have moved on and are embracing a clean energy future.
Of all the campaigns we have been involved with, few can claim to be more urgent than to stop the Adani mega coal mine in central Queensland. Across Australia, opposition is growing. The nation-wide movement is spear-headed by the Stop Adani campaign, and a local launch was held last Wednesday at Port Macquarie Glasshouse, attended by 120 people. The event was hosted by CCA Hastings. The size of the proposed mine beggars belief – about 450 km2, equivalent to an area from Port Macquarie to Kempsey, 9 km wide. If it goes ahead, it will greatly increase the risk of losing the Great Barrier Reef – directly, through damage from the coal port and bulk coal carriers, and no less harmful, by burning massive amounts of coal that will add to global warming. This coal will emit 180 million tonnes of CO2 p.a. (about a third of Australia’s total annual emissions from all sources). It will increase air pollution, contaminate and deplete underground water, take away Indigenous land rights and threaten 70 000 tourism jobs based on the Reef. Jobs claimed for this project are over-stated – indeed, there is likely to be a net loss of jobs nation-wide as a result.
Both federal Coalition and state Labor governments are aggressively supporting this dangerous and destructive project. The Coalition is keen to give $1 billion to Indian billionaire Guatam Adani for a rail link, while denying funding for numerous alternative and more deserving programs that would benefit the Australian community. The QLD government has granted all approvals, unlimited rights to any amount of underground water at no cost, and even perhaps, a royalty holiday. We can assume that as a multi-structured trans-national corporation, there will be no federal company tax payable.
A final decision is due soon – they need to raise $10 billion just for Phase One. Most banks have said no, leaving Westpac sitting on the fence. We will join in non-violent actions targeting Westpac in May. I hope you can join us.
President, CCA Hastings
A Message from our President:
As members of a climate action group, we know that global warming is real, and dangerous, and happening now. We can see the effects and we’re suffering from the heat. Last Saturday NSW was the hottest place on the planet.
The government claims it is ‘meeting and beating’ its emission reduction targets to combat climate change, and goes on to claim that burning coal will bring us lower electricity prices, secure generation and a stable grid. But what if we turn these claims on their head?
An angry summer has delivered record-breaking heat to eastern Australia and damaging high rainfall in the west - extreme weather typical of an atmosphere now being super-charged by global warming. And Australia’s contribution to the problem is getting worse - emissions are rising, not falling.
We currently have a 76.5% fossil fuel energy target (met by burning coal and gas), but that’s not working to provide a secure and stable supply of electricity. We’ve spent $40 billion in the past decade gold-plating the poles and wires but that’s not given us a reliable electricity grid.
We were promised lower electricity prices once the carbon tax was scrapped, but that’s not happening, with more price hikes to come from the heatwaves (Queensland, with a tiny amount of renewable energy, has been forced to pay an astounding $1bn extra in wholesale power prices just since the beginning of the year!)
Conclusion – current policies, endorsed by the Coalition government, are not working. Writing in the Guardian, Lenore Taylor calls it an ‘omni-failure’: "It would seem obvious - the answer is not to abandon renewable energy but to fix the market and the rules. Cars got bogged when they started driving on roads designed for horses and buggies, but (we didn’t) stop the roll-out of automobiles." Read more at:
We need to change the way we do things and you are part of that change. In 2017, we will be asking you to become involved with campaigns and activities such as those agreed at the recent Climate Justice Convergence, attended by Kerri-ann and me (see sections below.) I hope you will be able to say yes, to a safe climate and lots more clean energy.
Welcome to the first edition of CCA News for 2017. This month we bring you a 'Special Edition' - rather than the usual format, we've decided to concentrate on Steve Posselt's visit to Port Macquarie this month.
A kayak adventurer and ecowarrior, Steve has commenced the last leg of his Connecting Climate Chaos journey that has taken him around the world. On New Years Day 2017 he brought out his kayak ‘Old Yella’ for the last time and set off from Ballina to collect 100,000 signatures for the Climate Emergency Declaration petition.
His journey is 1,200 kilometres down the coast to Moruya and then 180km dragging the kayak up the mountains to Canberra, where the petition will be presented to Parliament. As part of this journey, Steve paddled in to Port Macquarie and many of us had the opportunity to meet & listen to him.