Party Time

The environment is the fourth highest factor voters consider when staring at a ballot form. After the economy, health and education, the environment weighs in as significant enough an issue that it could change voting patterns.

Here in the Inner West, our priorities depend on where we live but the environment is in our top five concerns. If the environment is at least moderately important to you, here is some clarity around what the parties (and their candidates) believe, that may assist you come voting time.

The Liberal Party’s environmental platform is pitched at providing economic benefit – think renewable energy sector private investment, research and development, innovation and global trade of carbon credits. GetUp has launched a pretty fierce campaign against the Coalition’s sell out of the Great Barrier Reef.

The ALP position is pitched more at families and they have six key goals: create cleaner power, build jobs and industry, cut pollution, capture carbon on the land and increase energy efficiency. The carbon tax hasn’t been raised in this campaign.

The Greens have similar goals, but their pitch is more emotional. The economic benefits of conservation are less important than the “priceless” benefits of having a pristine environment for our children.

Smaller parties such as The Australian Climate Skeptics Party, The Climate Change Action Party, The Animal Justice Party and Wikileaks Party also have climate change action policies. And the smaller parties have clearer positions.

Here are some local candidate positions:

Craig Laundy

Sitting member, Liberal, Reid

Laundy (pictured above on left) understands his electorate – it is a Lib marginal seat. Recently Laundy was joined by Environment Minister Greg Hunt to announce that the St Paul’s Anglican Church in Burwood will share in $100,000 towards installing solar and battery storage systems in their laundry facilities available to homeless people. “The Coalition’s Solar Communities Program will provide funding for groups across Australia to install rooftop solar PV, solar hot water and battery storage systems for community owned buildings,” he said.

Anthony Albanese

Sitting Member, ALP, Grayndler

Penny Wong, previous Minister for Climate Change, launched Albanese’s campaign at the Vic on the Park last week and there was a policy promise from Albanese, “An elected Labor Government will transition to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.” Albanese also made a commitment to clean up the Cooks River.

Sylvie Ellsmore

Greens Candidate, Sydney

Ellsmore had Bob Brown out with her to push their plan of phasing out dirty coal and fast tracking renewable energy. Ellsmore said, “Action on climate change by phasing out the coal industry is a key part of the Greens election platform so I welcome the opportunity to sign the ‘Pollution Free Politics’ pledge initiative prepared by” This was supported by a pledge not to accept donations from fossil fuel companies.

No matter how you vote come election day, remember that there is the opportunity to create and deliver your own climate change action policy at home!