BCCAN's letter to the 40 candidates in the local council elections September 2017

This is the text of the letter we sent to all 40 candidates for the Bathurst Regional Council elections to be held on September 9, 2017. It was addressed personally to each candidate:

Candidate full name

Candidate mailing address 

Re: Your Policies on Macquarie River and Cities Power Partnership

Dear Candidate,

2017 Council elections: Where the candidates stand on climate change and water

The Bathurst region is gearing up for Council elections (for nine positions) to be held on September 9, 2017.

BCCAN has written to all 40 candidates asking them for their views on two important issues: climate change and policy regarding Macquarie/Wambool river water.

The Adventures of Wom Wom

Hey kids!

Film maker Simon Saffigna has written to BCCAN about The Adventures of Wom Wom.

Simon writes: We want to help educate children, who are the next generation, on the importance of looking after the environment, their health, the animals and each other. Being a surf film maker and travelling the world, I have witnessed first hand the degradation of the environment, especially the oceans and waterways. I felt compelled to do something. I created a short 6 minute free film based around a baby wombat called WomWom who gives environmental messages to children.

The end of the American century

Well, there goes the American century. Donald Trump has pulled out of the Paris agreement, where the countries of the world promised to take action on climate change before it’s too late. That’s 195 countries. That represents just about every country on this little blue planet. It includes the big guns – China and India – as well as little tackers like Nauru and Tuvalu. Tuvalu certainly has skin in the game: the waves are already lapping on the doorstep; the government is already making mass evacuation plans for the day it becomes impossible to stay.

Climate Change and Ocean Pollution

Climate Change and Ocean Pollution

By Laurana Smith

(B.A. Resource and Environmental Studies and former Environmental Officer)



When we think of Climate Change we often think of rising sea levels threatening coastal real estate and agricultural land, and shifting weather patterns with predicted increases in extremes of drought and intense storm events. However, there is another less well understood threat: the potential for a significant increase in pollution, in particular coastal and ocean pollution.

Colouring is a new trend

By Tracy Sorensen

When was the last time you sat down with a cup of tea, a pack of pencils and a good colouring-in book? Going by the latest bestseller lists, it might not be that long. Adults are turning to colouring books as a soothing activity in a world of digital beeps, blips, noise and rush.

200 Plants and Animals

The 200 Plants and Animals exhibition will take place in the Bathurst CBD in October 2015. The exhibition will be BCCAN's contribution to marking Bathurst's 200th anniversary year. The exhibition will honour and raise awareness of the plants and animals that have shared this place over the past 200 years. The exhibition will include paintings, drawings, textile arts, photography, specimens, bones, feathers, taxidermied animals, leaves, pods ... in short, any form of representation that can be displayed in a pop-up shop for about two weeks.

Camels get ready to suck down on their humps

The other day I heard, through an off-the-record but reputable source, that feral camels in the far west of the state are getting ready to suck down on their humps.

The dromedary camel evolved to withstand desert conditions by storing fat in its hump. (It's fat in their humps, not water, as was commonly thought.) They store up in good times and draw down in bad. Apparently their humps, normally hard, are now going soft and droopy as the fat begins to liquefy, ready to enter the bloodstream.

Spaceship Earth in Trouble

By Scott Paterson

The entire population, faced by the threat of climate change, has been flung into a state of complete panic (below right)

In 2003:

"[Critics of the pact] often say, half-jokingly and half-seriously, that Russia is a northern country and if temperatures get warmer by two or three degrees Celsius it's not that bad - we could spend less on warm coats and agricultural experts say that grain harvests would increase further," he told the conference."
 -- Vladimir Putin, President of Russia1

In 2010:

At a meeting of international sporting officials in Moscow on July 30, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev announced that in 14 regions of the country, "practically everything is burning. The weather is anomalously hot." Then, as TV cameras zoomed in on the perspiration shining on his forehead, Medvedev announced, "What's happening with the planet's climate right now needs to be a wake-up call to all of us, meaning all heads of state, all heads of social organizations, in order to take a more energetic approach to countering the global changes to the climate."
 -- Dimitri Medvedev, President of Russia 2

After hurricane Sandy 2013:

Who are you going to call?

Community Energy groups who are thinking or planning to install community solar energy systems face a barrage of changing dynamics such as the latest RET status; regulatory changes; reductions in the costs of solar panels and inverters; new creative financing approaches and other matters.

Nonetheless, going by recent media reports, it seems there are new solar, or renewable energy projects being announced almost every week -- in NSW, let alone the rest of Australia, and the world.

Mining the age of entitlement: State government assistance to the minerals and fossil fuel sector

A new report details the subsidies and financial assistance given to mining and fossil fuel industries: might surprise taxpayers to learn that state government assistance for the mineral and fossil fuel industries consumes significant amounts of their money.
Each state provides millions of dollars’ worth of assistance to mining industries every year, with the big mining states of Queensland and Western Australia routinely spending over one billion dollars in assistance.

This paper is the first attempt to put a dollar figure on the value of state assistance to the mining industry. It shows that over a six-year period, state governments in Australia spent $17.6 billion supporting the mineral and fossil fuel industries. Queensland’s assistance was by far the largest of all states, totalling $9.5 billion, followed by Western Australia’s at $6.2 billion.

Read the full report

Another reason to keep the RET

If we had abundant solar and wind powered electricity (by keeping the RET), how many industries (and homes) could do without gas?

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that:

"... besides the upward pressure on (gas) prices arising from the shift towards export parity pricing (Gladstone LNG), the public is being hoodwinked by industry on access charges.

The reason the gas lobby wants nobody to notice the drop in demand is that – just as occurred with the gold-plating of the electricity market and the consequent doubling in electricity bills – there is a gold-plating racket afoot in the gas market too. The industry is paid according to its inflated forecasts. So there is no interest in letting on that demand is really in decline.

The magic word in all this is DORC (Depreciated Optimised Replacement Cost). David Johnstone, professor of finance at the University of Sydney, says DORC is deployed by those who own the gas distribution assets to "game the regulator" and fetch an inflated return on their assets."

The RET: The Facts

BCCAN has produced a 3-fold pamphlet explaining some of the benefits of the Renewable Energy Target.

Please download, print and distribute in the Orange/Bathurst region.

As per the front of the pamphlet:

The RET (Renewable Energy Target)

  1. does NOT cost taxpayers anything!1,2

    yet because of it the solar industry now

  2. in 2012 employed more Australians than coal product, oil & gas extraction COMBINED3

    And that the Abbott Government's OWN modelling shows that

  3. keeping the RET will LOWER electricity prices 4

    and that according to the Clean Energy Council

  4. of all the RET Review submissions 99.5% favoured keeping or increasing the RET! 5

So why on Earth would anyone want to get rid of it?


Read the full pamphlet, including how removing the RET will help accelerate the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

Clear, unambiguous broken promise on show

The Abbott government's misinformation surrounding the RET is plain to see in this article from RenewEconomy.

RenewEconomy, In an interview with Radio 3AW on Friday, it was put to Hunt that supporting the recommendation of the RET Review panel to cut the target to 25,000GWH from around 41,000GWh would amount to a broken election promise – because the Coalition had always proclaimed that it supported a 20 per cent target.

“That’s completely false,” Hunt said. “Our promise was – and our policy was that we supported 20 per cent and we’d have a review. This report sets out two main options. One is 15 per cent and the other one is 20 per cent. Precisely in line with the long-term bipartisan commitment.”

Of course, that is not true ...

A commenter then includes the following quote, with links to the source (it will be interesting to see if this page 'disappears')

A letter by Isabel Higgins

Our technological advance across time is truly awesome. Our creativity and intelligence has taken us from walking on barefoot to flying in jet aeroplanes and projecting our ideas around the planet via satellite. But nonetheless we seem unable to realise that this is an inevitable progression. Our problem is that we can't visualise the changes about to unfold. The picture has never been painted for us. So let me do it.

I see a future Australia where full advantage is being taken of our natural assets to access electricity that is free, once the relevant technologies have been put in place. We need to harvest the energy of the sun and the wind. The tides are so reliable they can be predicted years ahead and their energy is available night and day. Geothermal (literally the heat of the earth) is present in Australia in two separate forms, one of which is in such abundance across Victoria that it could probably supply the whole continent as base load. There are other forms of baseload energy already being explored by such companies as Pacific Hydro and Infigen. Even now well over 1 million households have turned to roof top solar to help them cope with the rising cost of electricity. Business has been less forthcoming but the economics of energy is becoming such that even large consumers will need to embrace solar energy to minimise their overheads and maximise their profits. The large energy companies controlled by our governments are closely linked to the coal industry and may well be the last to transition to newer clean technologies.


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