Inner West Community Energy today attended its first meeting as a new member of the Nature Conservation Council.
Along with other new members such as Climate Action Monaro, Low Carbon Living Southern Highlands, The Wilderness Society and seven other local green groups we were there for the Annual General Meeting of the NCC.
The NSW Coalition government, Labor and the Greens were invited but only Labor and the Greens could find the time to attend this once-a-year meeting of NSW’s peak environment organisation.
Opposition Leader Luke Foley got top billing, of course, given he’s the alternative Premier. It’s a tough gig being a state opposition leader, as it’s hard to get much media coverage, but for those who rate the environment a high priority in the March state election, I left feeling Foley at least understood the issues.
He was Labor environment spokesperson before the became the leader, he clearly personally rates the environment an important issue, and he knows all the major players. He should be getting good advice and he gave the impression today that he listens.
We’re a pro-renewables community group so we were tuned for any big announcements there. Sadly, nothing much today. But Foley did say he would have a lot more to say about renewable energy before the election. “We’ve got big ambitions,” he told the NCC crowd. He also said the future for NSW’s energy system was not the clapped-out Liddell coal-fired power station. “That’s just nonsense,” he said.
And while he wouldn’t give anything away on ALP policy on renewables, noting if he had done so today the news would get lost amongst the royal visit and the Wentworth by-election, he did point out it was ALP party policy for the next Labor Government to establish a state-owned renewable energy company.
Tonight, with Kerryn Phelps’ win in Wentworth, and Foley’s comments today, the outlook for stronger action in NSW and nationally in favour of renewables and a safer climate is looking a little brighter.
We’ll keep pushing forward in the Inner West. We have another two big solar PV systems being completed this coming week, one in Ashfield, the other in Balmain.
– Gavin Gilchrist, project manager