Pursuing a localisation agenda is a great policy initiative as outlined in the Echo’s article, ‘Climate change or system change? The real challenge’. This is a policy direction I along with many in this region heartedly support.
What was not so clearly articulated was the necessary and complimentary policies that need to exist beside localisation if we are to have any hope of saving the planet and ourselves along with it. As Naomi Klein so clearly articulated in her recent writings and at this years Festival of Dangerous Ideas: ‘We do know that responses to climate change that continue to put the entire burden on individual consumers are doomed to fail.’
And here in lies the rub for Australian politics.
Back in 2009 the Greens voted with the then opposition Liberal and National parties to defeat Labor’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. This effectively put big picture environmental protection in Australia back a decade. A decade we could not afford to waste.
Now in 2015 the Greens have once again voted with the Liberal and National parties against tax transparency measures that will continue the gross inequality between what ordinary folk pay in taxes as compared to the large corporations.
People will only support measures that limit carbon production if they know it is balanced with policies of equality and fairness. Those with less wealth should not be asked to carry the biggest burden.
My real concern is that the Greens will now support the Liberal and National parties in lifting the GST.
If we are to have any hope of saving our lifestyles and our planet we must ensure we not only act locally we must act nationally and globally. A fairer and just world will save the planet not good intentions or localisation slogans.
The Greens need to wise up. They need to stop being a party of convenience.
They need to work with Labor to support good policy on the big picture issues (as well as within local communities) or I for one fear it will be too late.
Byron Shire Cr Paul Spooner, Byron Bay