20.2 C
Byron Shire
October 28, 2021

Renewable energy deal to cost north coast jobs

Latest News

Concerns raised over the impact of opening up to tourists

The North Coast has seen a significant rise in vaccination however, spokesperson for the Cross Border Task Force and Tweed Shire Mayor Chris Cherry has told The Echo that there are significant concerns over the impacts as people start arriving from Sydney.

Other News

Recycling polystyrene just got easier at Lismore’s Recycling & Recovery Centre

The Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre has a new machine that can recycle polystyrene which will help the facility increase the capacity to deal with this earth-wrecking synthetic-aromatic-hydrocarbon-polymer.

Cacao wow

After ten years of wholesale trading from their small factory, Byron Bay Cacao’s stunning new retail space is now...

Staff cuts at Murwillumbah mega school

The NSW Teacher's Federations says that the proposed merger of four schools in Murwillumbah will result in the loss of at least 19 teaching positions.

Blue skies for Blueberry Fields

Blueberry Fields is very much a family business with father-and-son team Otto and Jasch Saeck working alongside each other...

Ben Smith leaving Ballina Council

The unique contributions of current Deputy Mayor Ben Smith to Ballina Shire Council are coming to an end, as he's decided to hang up his councillor hat after thirteen years, and not contest the December election.

Byron Council staff push to make Unauthorised Dwelling Policy for ‘internal use’

A contentious draft Unauthorised Dwelling Policy, put on exhibition last year by Council, has re-emerged for this Thursday’s meeting. While staff have recommended that the policy become an 'internal' document others are calling for it to be 'abandoned'.

Native forest will be burned as a result of the revised Renewable Energy Target, environment groups have warned.. Photo Ta Ann Truths/flickr.com
Native forest will be burned as a result of the revised Renewable Energy Target, environment groups have warned.. Photo Ta Ann Truths/flickr.com

Federal Labor has come under attack for stitching up a deal with the Coalition government to reduce the Renewable Energy Target from 41000 to 33.000 gigawatt hours per annum by 2020.

The Greens say the deal will mean fewer jobs and less clean energy on the north coast, which continues to set the standard in the uptake of renewable energy.

And the North Coast Environment Council Inc and North East Forest Alliance have jointly condemned the failure to exclude native forests from being fed into power stations.

Greens spokesperson, Dawn Walker accused Labor of ‘caving in’ to both Tony Abbott and the fossil fuel industry.

This deal means more coal, more pollution and less investment in clean energy.

‘The north coast region continues to set the standard in renewable energy with some of the highest up-take rates for solar power in NSW and several large scale solar projects in the pipeline, like the 99kW Lismore Community Solar Farm to be constructed at Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre and East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant,’ Ms Walker said.

‘Many north coast suburbs have more than a quarter of households with rooftop solar.

‘The Greens want to increase the Renewable Energy Target to power Australia with at least 90 per cent renewable energy by 2030. This will give investors the certainty and stability they need to plan.

‘This cut will harm the future of large scale solar in Australia. Labor has helped Tony Abbott protect the big polluters with a deal for a slower transition to cleaner, cheaper power.’

The Australian Solar Council also criticised the decision to cut the RET, with Chief executive John Grimes saying that ‘A deal at 33,000 gigawatt hours won’t deliver any outcomes for big solar in Australia’.

Meanwhile, North Coast Environment Council Inc spokesperson Susie Russell said the deal was a major blow for both the genuine renewable energy industry and the future health of our region’s forests.

‘We know from nearly 50 years experience of woodchipping, that the logging industry views everything except A Grade sawlogs as ‘waste’. So the likelihood of intensive damaging logging has just got worse,’ Ms Russell said.

‘The renewable industry didn’t want this. They know that not only will it damage their brand, but that it steals from the limited funds available to kickstart renewable energy projects, as well as cheating and effectively lowering the Renewable Energy Target: as energy created from this dirty, high emission and unsustainable source will be counted in our fight to decrease greenhouse gas pollution.’

North East Forest Alliance spokesperson Dailan Pugh said he was concerned that burning trees that have been storing carbon for decades, would result in high CO2 emissions as well as damage to biodiversity, soils and water catchments. ‘Burning trees is not carbon neutral,’ he said.

‘The best thing we can do to ameliorate climate change is to leave our recovering forests alone so that they can take-up and store ever increasing volumes of carbon as they mature.

‘ This would make a real difference to climate change.

‘Feeding trees into furnaces for power is just as polluting and environmentally damaging as coal.

‘This needs to be clearly ruled out as a substitute for genuinely renewable power such as solar and wind.’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Surely,
    Nobody, in their right mind,could believe that burning native forests is a step to reduce carbon pollution. No ! This is an obvious example of political fraud.
    When will the people wake up ? We need political representatives that work for the PUBLIC good , not whom so ever, offers a bribe.

  2. Dawn Walker is off with the fairies again. She would do well to remember that without the ALP there would be NO RET AT ALL.
    We all remember how the Greens sabotaged Rudd’s emission trading scheme. That act of self indulgence set the course of action against climate change back at least seven years.
    Only the ALP can deliver meaningful action on climate change at the

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Should the Northern Rivers be opening up to mines?

The question of whether or not mining should be allowed in the Northern Rivers has once again been raised and the issue is being brought to the table in the NSW Parliament.

Paid parking review on the table for Byron Shire Council

Touted as their ‘first detailed policy position ahead of the Council elections’, the Byron Independents have announced their plans to expand pay parking in ‘other towns’ like Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby.

Community sport warms up as restrictions recede

Amid the uncertainty of COVID-19 and the winding back of public health restrictions, summer sporting codes are doing what they can to get their season underway.

Freedoms and rights

Whilst I agree with most of Adrian Gattenhoff’s assertions in Letters (13 October: Perrotet and Opus Dei) I urge him not to be fooled...