Regional Development Policy
By Colin Hesse, The Greens NSW Local Government Adviser
Like the temperature of the world, the heat generated by the discussion around pricing carbon emissions has increased the political temperature, while doing little to shed any light on how a carbon price will impact our community.
Each level of government will be affected by carbon pricing, and in the case of local government those effects will be in three main areas; the cost of electricity (in particular the cost of electricity for street lighting), CO2 emissions from waste, and other pass-on costs, primarily through building materials.
According to research carried out by the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) in Perth, the cost of the carbon price for local government will be “around one third of the economic impact of the introduction of the Goods and Services tax”.
James Ryan, Cessnock City Greens Councillor
Brad Hazzard has produced a planning Green Paper which at first glance promises a brand new day, in which we, the people, are thoroughly consulted, we sit together at the table and everyone is happy.
We should not be fooled.
Senator Lee Rhiannon on The Drum
"As commentators pick over the Labor-Greens relationship and the implications of the Melbourne by-election, it is timely to remember that the progressive side of politics share many commitments to address social justice, equality and environmental protection.
Building a more active and united progressive Left voice in Parliament, as well as strong social movements, is the key to getting runs on the board. But right now, unity is in short supply as Labor and the Greens are competing for a number of inner-city seats that were once Labor's heartland."
Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4156564.html
Daniel Kogoy, Greens councillor on Leichhardt Council
In inner west and southern Sydney, seven local councils are working together to develop their own renewable energy master plan. This master plan includes Leichhardt, Marrickville, Ashfield, Canterbury, Rockdale, Bankstown and Canada Bay councils and will identify the best ways to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources in these LGAs. It will also cover financing, ownership and operational details, including community/council ownership and joint ventures.
Community owned renewable energy is already common in parts of Europe and North America. In Australia we’re in the early stages of the move away from large, centralised fossil fuel power stations towards clean, decentralised, community scale renewable energy autonomy.
Decentralised renewable energy reduces network costs as power stations can be built quickly and closer to where they are needed. It enables local ownership, which empowers communities and delivers economic benefits locally. It also represents a great opportunity - after the recent shameful electricity sell-offs – to increase the percentage of public and community owned renewable energy.