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Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

Renewables forum a wasted opportunity

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On Sunday November 17 The Greens and Climate Action Now combined to invite Senator John Kaye to address a forum in Murwillumbah on how it is possible for NSW to switch to 100 per cent renewable energy. This is a very attractive concept and an interested crowd of well over 150 people rolled up to the new Community Centre in Knox Park. All varieties of ages, incomes, and levels of interest were in the mix. It was gratifying to see just how widespread the interest is in renewables.

However the opportunity to engage all these people in pushing for change was totally squandered.

Dawn Walker, our local Greens candidate and John Kaye, a Greens Senator each gave a short introductory speech, mainly on Greens policy and the shortcomings of the current NSW government on this issue. Then did they launch into the very informative forum to be conducted by Senator Kaye? Oh no. Suddenly there was a call to participate in a so-called traditional Aboriginal dance. Sorry girls, wrong place and wrong time.

Those of us who had come to learn something had to sit through this pointless disruption. A few people drifted away.  Then in a stroke of genius a photographer ushered the crowd away from where they were collected to go out to Nullum Street for a group photo. Many more people headed back through the park towards town at this juncture. Then it was announced the forum would begin. By that time about 40 people were left and just about all of them were the dedicated environmentalists who regularly attend local rallies.

What a terrible waste of an opportunity to engage and inform a wide audience about the very important issue of renewable energy. Wake up Greens! You need the general public behind you on this vital issue if it is to become a reality. The impression you left with the uncommitted was probably. What was that all about?  Please engage all of us in this crucial issue and not just the converted.

Diana Eriksen, Dungay


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