It’s been another week of heavy political precipitation, and it is set to increase with NSW elections looming for March 23.
While the deluge of frantic political promises can’t be over soon enough for some, clearly the Ballina electorate have benefitted from having been suddenly discovered as a marginal seat. So what were some announcements that were made by the Greens, Labor and the Nationals in the last week?
The Greens launched their Renewable Energy Framework for the northern rivers, which would include co-funding for community-led pilot projects, including Community Energy Information Hubs in Byron Bay and Ballina, increased support for councils and grid upgrades under the $5 billion for renewable infrastructure hubs. A plan to support farming and grow the region’s agricultural sector was also announced. Called Our Food and Fibre Future Plan, it aims to provide ‘$120 million in low-interest loans for young farmers, establish a local food fund and brand and ensure proper pricing for farm gate produce.’
Tamara Smith MP also presented her ‘Plan for our community,’ which ‘lays out the policies and commitments that will improve the social fabric of our community by addressing short-term holiday letting, public transport, housing affordability and community-owned renewable energy in the region.
Visit Tamara Smith’s website for more info.
The Nats say if re-elected, they will give out $250 Regional Seniors Transport Cards, which can be used for ‘fuel and taxis from participating providers in rural and regional NSW and pre-booked NSW TrainLink train and coach services.’
The card will be available for aged pensioners, or Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders.
Brunswick Heads has been selected as the fictional Pearl Bay home for the upcoming reimagining of the multi award-winning 90s drama SeaChange. Create NSW joined major principal investor Screen Australia to fund the Nine Network series.
Candidate Ben Franklin reckons nearly 300 jobs will come of it.
Furthermore, the Byron Writers Festival was lobbed $100,000 which ‘will enable the StoryBoard Bus to deliver an education program offering free travelling creative writing workshops for local schools including appearances by acclaimed authors and illustrators’.
And a $30m fund to drive renewable energy projects in regional areas was blurted out from the Nats HQ, which will ‘help fund and support energy projects in regional areas that will protect the reliability of energy supply and provide cost savings for residents and businesses.’
Visit The National’s website for more info.
Labor’s commitment to tackle climate change includes setting a Renewable Energy Target (RET) of at least 50 per cent by 2030, ‘powering all government agencies with clean energy by 2025 and legislating a Climate Change Act with interim targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.’
NSW Labor have also pledged to end the state’s deforestation crisis by ‘remaking environmental laws’ and calls on the party to ‘commit to an immediate suspension of clearing of koala and threatened species habitat.’
A taskforce of scientists, conservationists and farmers would be established to recommend laws ‘capable of stopping deforestation.’
Yet the Nature Conservation Council say, ‘The crisis faced by nature in NSW requires an immediate moratorium on destruction of koala forests and other threatened species’ habitat, and a rapid end to logging of our public native forests’.
For more info visit Labor’s website.