Greens MP Challenges Premier to Show Environmental Leadership Just Weeks Before World Parks Congress

Greens NSW MP and Environment Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, yesterday called on the NSW Premier to show environmental leadership and reverse his government's attacks on the environment with just weeks left before the once in ten year, World Parks Congress in an adjournment speech to the Legislative Council.
Dr Faruqi said:
"In just a few weeks, Sydney will play host to the World Parks Congress, a once-in-ten-year event that will bring together thousands of environmental experts to discuss the key threats to our environment including climate change, habitat destruction and dwindling biodiversity.
"The NSW Government should be embarrassed that at the same time Sydney is hosting this conference our environment is being attacked so savagely.

Labor can't shake off fossil fuel lobby

Greens candidates for the Newcastle and Charlestown by-elections are challenging their Labor opponents to explain their position on the future of the Hunter and Lake Macquarie coal-fired power stations.
The Labor party's Environment spokesperson, Luke Foley, told the NSW parliament his party will vote against the Greens' bill to slash greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the health impacts of coal-fired power stations and create tens of thousands of new jobs in the Hunter by transitioning the state to 100 percent renewable electricity generation.

China’s move away from dirty coal: pressure on for Hunter transition plan

Unless Labor and the Coalition stop canoodling up to coal barons and start pulling together a transition plan, the Hunter Valley community will be facing further job, said Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon.
“China’s announcement that it will move away from dirty coal is excellent for the environment and people’s health; however, the impact on the Hunter must be taken very seriously,”  said Senator Rhiannon.
“Australia must plan and participate in China’s move away from dirty coal and towards renewables.

Greens.Reboot.Future conference – fresh perspectives for a progressive Australia

In the week that Australians have been forced into a military conflict in Iraq the Greens are hosting a major public conference that will offer new perspectives on key issues and ask some of the big questions facing progressive activists and politicians in Australia today.
British Greens leader, Natalie Bennett, will speak along with peace activist, Donna Mulhearn.
Ms Mulhearn said,  “This conference is a timely opportunity to debate Australia’s war role. Going to war in Iraq in 2003 was never in Australia’s interest. Going back 11 years later because of the chaos that war created is even less so. Now is the time for a robust public and parliamentary debate, about Australia’s involvement in the wars of other nations.”

Greens Senator Rhiannon in Gloucester, backs opposition to AGL frack plan

Greens Senator and water spokesperson Lee Rhiannon will be in Gloucester today to support community protests over AGL's plan to frack for coal seam gas in the region.
"This is a high risk project which should never have been approved," said Senator Rhiannon.
"AGL is putting the communities' health and water at risk all for the sake of increasing exports. This is not a fair deal, especially for the people who have to live next to the wells.
"I am in Gloucester to listen to the community and hear their concerns about the project. It is a shame that NSW government representatives are not working with the community to represent their concerns.
"That AGL's own hydro ecologist has identified this project as high risk should be ringing alarm bells in the NSW government.

State-based RET scheme needed as Abbott threatens clean energy targets

The Greens are calling on the NSW Coalition to join a cross-party commitment to a state based scheme that fills any holes that changes to the RET will create in the renewable energy investment environment.

('Solar installers face another boom and bust' Sydney Morning Herald 30 August, p. 15,

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "Just the announcement of the findings of the Warburton review has inflicted untold damage on the confidence of the renewable energy industry.

"Uncertainty about the future of the RET scheme will drive investors out of the market.

RET report bad news for Hunter clean energy future, jobs growth

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has said that the Report into the Renewable Energy Target is bad news for the Hunter and should not be implemented.
"The backward attitude of the Liberal/National government on renewable energy plus this out of touch politically motivated RET Review will bring uncertainty to the industry in the Hunter and limit jobs growth," Senator Rhiannon said.
"The Hunter has benefited from the renewable energy industry with more households turning to clean energy, business opportunities thriving and a jobs growth this region badly needs.

New regional solar power industry in Western NSW - Labor/Coalition reverse position

The Greens have expressed dismay that their Senate motion in support of the Solar Energy eXchange Initiative in western New South Wales was voted down by the Coalition and Labor after a similar motion was passed by the NSW Upper House.
Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said: "Federal Coalition and Labor have failed to back their own colleagues in the NSW Upper House who voted for a motion in favour of the Solar Energy eXchange Initiative, which is supported by 31 regional councils.
"The failure of Labor and the Coalition to back the NSW Upper House and the western NSW councils support for this project is insulting.
 "Western NSW is the ideal place to harness the power of the sun to benefit local residents, the economy and the environment. The backers of this project know they are on a winner here.
"This project, known locally as 'the SEXI Proposal', would boost local economies, create local jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the need for investment in transmission and distribution infrastructure and, in the long run, reduce power bills.

Rooftop solar industry about to take another blow

The NSW independent pricing regulator has today suggested to electricity retailers that they slash the amount paid for rooftop solar energy by up to 25 percent because of the imminent repeal of the carbon price, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said: "The solar industry is about to become a victim of both IPART's methodology that undervalues electricity from rooftop panels and the Abbott government's repeal of the carbon price.
"Despite the environmental and economic benefits of clean energy generated close to the load, solar installers have struggled with hostile policies from both levels of government for more than three years.
"Now they face yet another hurdle as potential customers see the already meagre benchmark tariffs cut by between 17 and 25.8 percent.
"IPART has refused to price solar power at anything like the retail tariff.

World Environment Day: Greens Call for Government to stand up for the Environment

On World Environment Day, Greens MP and Environment Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has called on the NSW Government to stand up to protect the Environment. Dr Faruqi will host a World Environment Day forum at 6pm at the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts focussed on conserving our Marine Environment, with speakers from the diving, sailing and nature conservancy community.

"Yesterday, on the eve of World Environment Day, I stood with hundreds of people outside the Environment Ministers office, calling on the Government to cancel the special conditions granted to Whitehaven coal to clear the Leard State Forest over winter, and stop the onslaught on our native wildlife.

"This year's World Environment Day theme is 'Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level' and is an urgent reminder of the need to combat climate change, end the CSG and coal rush and transition to an 100% renewable energy economy.