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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

What are you prepared to do for the future?

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Aslan Shand, acting editor

As the Australian government touted its allegedly green credentials at US President Joe Biden’s climate summit last week, it only became clearer that our conservative politicians have been left behind on climate action.

Our PM, Scott Morrison, brought no extra commitments to the table above the Abbott-era 26–28 per cent cut, compared to 2005 levels, by 2030. He then attempted to present the idea that Australia has had a reduction of 36 per cent, compared to 2005 levels, but this is only if you exclude exports, particularly gas. There was no explanation as to the validity of these numbers on cuts, as reported in The Guardian (https:// bit.ly/3xv3Flo).

Then, on Monday 26 April, the Australia Institute revealed that Australian government fossil-fuel subsidies reached $10.3 billion in the last financial year.

‘That’s $19,686 a minute spent on fossil fuel subsidies,’ the Institute noted and described it ‘as irresponsible from an economic perspective and inexcusable through a climate lens’.

‘Coal, oil and gas companies in Australia give the impression that they are major contributors to the Australian economy, but our research shows that they are major recipients of government funds,’ said Rod Campbell, Research Director at The Australia Institute.

While we are taking significant action as individuals on reducing emissions – Morrison boasted that Australia has ‘the highest uptake of rooftop solar in the world’ – our leaders are failing us. It is now apparent that Australians, you and I, have to hold our governments, both state and federal, to account for their mismanagement of climate action for decades.

The continuing push to expand gas as part of the COVID recovery, the billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money given to the fossil-fuel industry, the cost in lives and livelihoods of climate-driven disasters, including flooding and the Black Summer fires, should be driving home the damage this government is doing to the future of – Australia and the world – through its inaction.

Now is the time to demand action from your local representatives. Now is the time to let them know that your vote will only be won if they choose a better future and act now. Otherwise it is time to put your hand up and win the votes yourself, as did independents Zali Steggall and Helen Haines.

Plato put the problem succinctly: ‘One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors’.

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  1. Plato was very wise we have got inferiors running our country , the Governments have not helped the environment in anyway , we now find out they are supporting all the Gas ,oil and coal companies and still letting fracking happen ,the latest in the Northern Territory. Shame on our Governments

  2. Joan & Stefanie once you have eliminated
    All that is coal & Gas from your lives !
    Only then will we take you seriously..
    And you both know what i speak of ?
    double standards and how…
    1000s of items you use and abuse
    Every year that is connected to coal
    Or Gas .. yet you both are happy
    To take all the prosperity thats comes
    With fossil fuels.. please consider having
    a Hydrocarbon free day anytime soon ..
    We all moan & groan yet as individuals
    They are the worst offenders for mother earth.. more emphasis on saving our
    Bees , whales , rain Forrests, rid the oceans of plastics … and BTW more pressure on the
    Real polluters of the world.. China , Russia
    America, Malaysia etc ..

  3. You know as well as I do that we cannot ‘eliminate’ all the above at once so quit
    your shallowness & hiding behind a rubber-duck response, Barrow. You may get
    a kick out of being a stirrer but realize the haze you’ve put yourself in is dishonest
    as well as foolish. ScoMo needs a flock of wisdom-less voters to continue wrecking
    the country & that’s the pity of it all.

  4. Live as simply as possible (including as locally as possible). Produce as much as I can, sustainably, of what we need (not what we want)

  5. It appears the Echo and most print media in Australia [except dare I say it , the Murdoch press] fell for the Australia Institute $10.3bn “fossil fuel subsidy” lie. $7.8bn of that figure are fuel tax credits available to most businesses and remote communities who use fuel off road and has been bi-partisan policy since the 1950’s. Not even the labor party considers fuel tax credits a subsidy. Is this sloppy journalism or a deliberate and successful means of fostering further political hate and division?

  6. Jon. I checked with the Parliament of Australia. The Parliamentary Library. The Australian Treasury. The Australian Tax Office. The Productivity Commission. Deloitte Access Economics. The National Farmers Federation. The Forrest Products association. The National Seafood industry. The Minerals Council. The Australian liberal Party. The Nationals and the Australian Labor Party. I figured that was enough checking. Maybe their all wrong.

  7. Stefanie. Great to see you didn’t fall for the media lies. I think we should start a group exposing the BS we see constantly in the media. Maybe we could invite Barrow, but both of you would have to agree to work towards a common good and not argue all the time at our meetings.

  8. Well said Aslan. I shudder to think what it will take for some people to realise how bad the climate emergency is and how bad it’s going to get. Like that Liberal voter who had an ephiphany that perhaps she might rethink who she voted for, as she was cowering on a beach in southern NSW with her kids, surrounded on three sides by the infernos of the Black Summer bushfires. Sadly, I think the majority of people do not have a soild grasp on reality, and will only realise when it’s too late…

  9. David, Barrow & I can never see eye to eye. While I double & triple check action & non action
    Barrow will always ‘serve up’ an outdated & or buggered up piece of Social Media & parrot
    every bit of trash. Murdoch’s ‘the man’ while the ‘primed minister’ has God on his side’ … I
    cannot & will not support the laying-on of hands or the ‘forced photo shoot’ hand-shakes.

  10. Stefanie i call out for what it is ..
    and will continue to debate but also debunk
    Climate change nonsense .. green leftwing alarmist rubbish.. the hypocrisy is overwhelming Stefanie… Prime example
    Wanda ?? When are these people going to realize how bad the climate emergency is ???
    Yet Wanda nor you or anyone else in the
    Echo as respectful as they are …can provide
    One example Of the Climate emergency YOUR SHIRE COUNCIL declared, with not one single bit of factual evidence to backup
    The declaration… NOTHING Stefanie???
    Yet Stefanie you and the Echo gave the
    Declaration your full support… can’t believe it…

  11. Take a good look in the mirror, Barrow. B.D. ‘A hard rain’s going to fall’ far sooner
    due to those who refuse to wake up.


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