13.2 C
Byron Shire
July 7, 2022

Fossil free future needs government and business to step up

Latest News

Value of the intangible and Suffolk Parks future

It’s hard to know what value to place on the environment – until it changes irrevocably.  A place is defined...

Other News

Happy New Year!

We all know we can help the planet by reducing our single-use footprint, so why not make a new...

Two whales simultaneously entangled in shark nets off SEQ coast today

Two whales have been entangled in shark nets on Queensland's coast today, one at Kirra Beach on the Gold Coast and the other at Marcoola Beach on the Sunshine Coast, Humane Society International says.

Taqueria in Byron celebrates four years

Chupacabra Mexican restaurant in Suffolk Park is turning four this week! Through the ups and downs of the past...

A poem

Row upon row Lest we forget the rows of trees they planted to recall the rows of boys they sent to die in the war Jon...

Bike path? 

Byron Councillors please note: A painted line on the side of the road is NOT a (safe) bike path. Paul...

Will Byron become the Malibu of the antipodes?

Here’s another reason for millennials to be marching on the street. We found out last week that on census day 2021, 15 per cent of the dwellings in the Byron Shire were unoccupied (2,348 places to be precise). That figure was 30 per cent in Byron Bay itself, three times the national average. 

Massive coal mining project in the NSW Hunter Valley. Photo endcoal.org/ Max Phillips

The Australian government may continue to fantasise that they don’t need to reduce the production of fossil fuels but businesses are moving to reduce their carbon footprints without them. 

AGL announced today that they will close their Bayswater and Loy Yang A coal power stations earlier than expected and people in fossil fuel generating communities are recognising that effective transition for them in terms of jobs and livelihoods is required.  

Beyond Zero Emissions said in a press release that ‘the transition away from fossil fuels is happening faster than expected and the government needs to act fast to secure long-term jobs for regional workers’.

This point in supported by the recent poll in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria and Hunter region of NSW agree that state and federal governments need to urgently step up to support both coal communities and industries to transition to clean energy according to Environment Victoria. 

The poll, conducted for Environment Victoria and Nature Conservation Council of NSW,  ‘found a strong appetite for governments to take a more active role in supporting both communities and industry to transition to renewable energy, including ensuring that companies take responsibility for the toxic legacy of their coal power stations and mines, said Environment Victoria in their media release.

The impacts of not reducing fossil fuel include the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

‘More than three quarters (76 per cent) agreed that governments should do more to transition from burning coal to renewable sources of power to meet our future energy needs.’

Beyond Zero Emissions chief executive Heidi Lee says that their ‘research has shown that our regional centres could not only survive but thrive in the zero-emissions economy with government support, coordination and funding’.

‘Pretending this energy transition isn’t happening helps no one. We need power station owners to come clean with realistic closure dates by 2030, so the community can plan ahead. We need all governments to take a much more active role in planning a transition for workers and the community,’ said Jacqui Mumford, Nature Conservation Council acting Chief Executive.

‘Australia could grow a new green export market worth $333 billion a year by 2050 by developing Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts in our regional industrial centres to produce the goods needed for the zero-emissions economy – green steel, green aluminium, renewable hydrogen and ammonia, critical minerals and batteries to the world,’ Ms Lee explained. 

‘They already have the skilled workforce but they need massive expansion of renewable energy production. 

‘Companies such as AGL – which plans to develop a renewable energy hub at its Bayswater and Liddell power station sites – are already planning for the future but cannot do it alone. They need the Federal Government to set ambitious clean export targets, fund Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts, and establish a Supergrid Deployment Authority to power them. 

‘The Hunter has the skilled workforce, infrastructure including roads, rail freight and port, to make a Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct a reality. Our modelling shows that a Hunter REIP would create 34,000 new local jobs in new industries by 2032, attract new capital investment of $28 billion and generate $11 billion in revenue per annum by 2032.’

Jono La Nauze, Environment Victoria CEO said that ‘It’s time for our governments to step up and show they are serious about developing the new industries and technologies that will create new jobs in these communities and enable all Victorians to reap the benefits of a transition to clean, renewable energy.’

Alinta’s Leigh Creek coal mine. Photo http://bze.org.au

Restore the land

The significant profits that private companies have made by exploiting Australia’s natural resources such as coal has also led to calls for them to clean up and restore the land they have used. 

‘The owners of these sites have irreversibly changed the landscape while collecting massive financial rewards. The Latrobe Valley community  deserves to have our land returned in pristine condition, and the State government needs to ensure sufficient training and support for displaced workers so they can convert to the new clean energy industries,’ said Tony Wolfe, senior operator at Loy Yang Power Station and Latrobe Valley community advocate.

Mr  La Nauze is also calling for the Victorian State Government ‘to work with locals to build a community-led transition plan for the region in the Latrobe Valley.

‘Communities living close to coal mines want the state government to ensure that the private companies clean up their giant holes in the landscape and make them safe for future use,’ he said.


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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Where is the love?

I have lived in Mullum and the surrounding hills for 35 years.  Yesterday I drove to Upper Main Arm, to Kohinur, to visit a friend,...

Flood help information from Chinderah, and Uki to South Golden Beach

The floods in February and March are still having direct impacts on the lives of many people and Serice NSW has a trailer coming to a location near you so you can easily access flood assistance.

Weaving through NAIDOC

DJ and Delta with some of the Weaving for Reconciliation exhibits. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Management of Byron’s fragile coastline impeded by NSW government: report

Insufficient funding and guidance from the State government is inhibiting Byron Council’s attempt to effectively manage its famous but fragile coastline, a Council report has revealed.