BY: Tracey Carpenter
The budget is all over the news, and the analysis is everywhere – it’s cruel; it’s necessary; it’s broken promises; we didn’t have a crisis until now ….. But we haven’t heard much about the budget impacts on land, water and energy or the environment that is critical to everyone’s future.
Before the election, Tony Abbott promised “A Million Solar Roofs,” a program to install solar on a million more solar homes. But, in yesterday’s announcement, there was no mention of a million solar roofs – and the program seems to have quietly disappeared.
Instead, we heard that the Australian Renewable Energy Association (ARENA) – previously established with bipartisan support – has been axed. And, along with it, the 190 renewable energy projects in development, worth approximately $7.7 billion.
Scrapping (ARENA) will be a backwards step for the ‘clever country’ at a time when job losses in traditional industries like the automotive and manufacturing sectors mean we need new, innovative industries to take their place and fill this void.
This budget makes protection of our Renewable Energy Target (RET) ever more critical. The bipartisan commitment to achieve 20% renewable energy by 2020 must be upheld and bettered if we are to keep pace with the global shift to a fossil fuel free economies. If you’ve not yet made a submission to the RET review panel, please consider doing so.
Keppel Street Committee is pushing for an upgrade to the popular shopping precinct. BCCAN strongly supports providing street trees and the inclusion of $150,000 in Council’s budget to provide shade and enhance this popular precinct which houses our library, railway station and public art gallery. The heritage shops are somewhat of a tourist attraction too and upgrading the parking and footpaths is certainly long overdue. If you support a Keppel Street Upgrade let council know at email@example.com
Some good news for land and water in the north of the state …… following months of protest and civic action by the northern rivers community the Resource Minister Anthony Roberts has suspended Metagasco’s license to drill for coal seam gas in Bentley.
Tracey Carpenter is President of Bathurst Community Climate Action Network