Stop CSG Blue Mountains, Climate Action Blue Mountains and Permaculture Blue Mountains Macquarie Candidates Survey

Responses by Danielle Wheeler (Greens) and Susan Templeman (ALP) are shown below. Sitting Liberal member, Louise Markus did not respond despite numerous efforts to prompt a response.

Attempts were made to survey all candidates standing in Macquarie but, of the minor parties, a response was received from only the Sex Party's candidate, Mark Littlejohn who was sympathetic to the aims of the survey but said the Party did not yet have specific policies on these issues. He added:

The Sex Party believes that independent, peer-reviewed scientific research is essential to inform the broad spectrum of knowledge and debate in our 21st century world.

Responses to Stop Coal Seam Gas Blue Mountains questions

QuestionDanielle WheelerSusan Templeman
Would you support a parliamentary motion to use the Commonwealth corporations powers under the Constitution to legislate:
(1) landholders' rights to refuse an access agreement with mining companies seeking to explore or mine on their property?
Why?People buy land in good faith thinking they own all of it, not just the bit on the top. Experience with CSG exploration shows it has a huge negative impact on quality of life and destroys communities. People have the right to say no.No further information provided.
(2) no-go zones in relation to coal seam gas exploration and extraction in drinking water catchments? YesYes
Why?This is a no brainer. Australia is the driest continent on earth. Our water is incredibly precious. There is no room for extractive industries in drinking water catchments.No further information provided.
(3) no-go zones in relation to coal seam gas exploration and extraction on land primarily used for food production? YesYes
Why?Food security is a huge issue for Australia and inextricably linked to water security. Agricultural land must be protected from both development and extractive industries right through the 21st century.No further information provided.

Responses to Climate Action Blue Mountains questions

QuestionDanielle WheelerSusan Templeman
(1) The International Energy Agency, Australia's Climate Commission and others agree we need to keep the majority of remaining fossil fuel reserves in the ground to have a better than even chance of limiting average global temperature to a maximum 2 degrees centigrade.
Do you have proposed economic policies (e.g. transfer of fossil fuel subsidies to the renewable energy industry) that aim to rapidly restructure the Australian economy away from its current dependence on the use and export of fossil fuels in order to achieve this?
Why? Please give an example(s) of relevant policy Greens' Renewable Energy Policy requires 90% renewable by 2030. The Greens believe strongly that remaining fossil fuels must remain in the ground. On 21 August the Greens launched their Community Renewable Energy Policy pledging $100 m. over 5 years for locally owned and operated clean energy projects. See Signing the Kyoto Protocol was a first step. Putting a price on carbon was the next step to be able to tackle climate change. And now we need to ensure that the clean energy fund is directed to develop renewables and reduce energy consumption.
(2) According to consultancy Green Energy Markets, Australia is on track to surpass its renewable energy target by deriving 22.5% of its power from renewable sources by 2020.
(a) Do you support the retention of the renewable energy target for large scale renewable generation of 41,000GWh by 2020 despite this amount exceeding the 20% target?
Yes. This is consistent with our clean energy policy of 90% renewable by 2030.Yes
(b) Given the important role of the renewable energy target in meeting Australia's emissions reduction target, would you support raising the renewable energy target beyond 2020 to a minimum of 90% by 2030? YesNo
Why?90% renewable by 2030 is Greens' policy.I support the intent and would work with industry to determine the most ambitious but achievable targets in the appropriate timeframe.
(3) Would you support the building of a concentrated solar thermal power station (with molten salt storage) as has been suggested for Port Augusta as part of a renewable energy plan to begin replacing Australia's existing brown-coal fired power stations? YesDon't know
Why>Solar thermal power forms part of the Greens 90% renewable by 2030 package in conjunction with wind and rooftop solar. The Greens also allowed funding for the community solar package.I don't know enough detail about this project at this stage, but would be happy to be taken through the detail at a later date.

Responses to Permaculture Blue Mountains questions

QuestionDanielle WheelerSusan Templeman
1. Food security will be an ever increasing issue in Australia. Who do you believe should own the technology used to grow food, including GM food? No one should own the technology to grow food. Farmers should be able to save seed as they have always done and select characteristics best adapted to their area without corporate and legal interference. Our system allows for plant variety rights. However, I am more concerned that no matter who the owner, there is reasonable access to the seeds, at fair and reasonable prices, particularly in developing countries.
2. Would you support the introduction of planning legislation to permanently preserve prime agricultural land on the urban/rural fringe of our cities for farming? YesYes
Why?This is urgent. Agricultural land is vital for cities especially as fuel prices rise. Agricultural land in the Hawkesbury and Macarthur must be preserved. We can grow houses anywhere. Good food needs good land.No further information provided.
Again in relation to food security do you support the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance Peoples' Food Plan which prioritizes the interests of Australian farmers, consumers, community organizations, and food related industries. For More information:
Why?As a permaculturist I am very familiar with this plan. We have a small window to act while fuel prices are low. Land is still available and small farmers still exist. I am part of a working group at Permaculture Sydney West devising a local food plan for Western Sydney provided by the Peoples' Food Plan.Not at this stage. I don't have familiarity with this site, and unfortunately in the middle of an election campaign I don't have the time to really unpack and consider the content.
Stop Coal Seam Gas

More info

The truth about gas prices

  • "Australia has abundant gas reserves, so why is it so expensive?" Watch the video from ABC 7.30 Report.
  • Read a summary of Clancy Yeates' insightful article from 2015 on how exports of CSG will push up local gas prices. Clancy's predictions have indeed come true!

Narrabri: useful links

  • Visit the CSG Free Northwest website.

CSG in Qld

  • Read Jane Stevenson's account of what she calls her "Trip to Hell" of her journey through the Queensland gas fields.

Science and CSG

Research from
Australia Institute

  • Some useful research has just been published exposing some of the economic myths being promoted by the CSG industry:
  • Read the Fact sheet and Three myths article

Council votes
against CSG

Pilliga Forest Protests

  • Images from the Pilliga forest protests.