NSW election 2023: Our climate policy Top 10

With the NSW state election coming on March 25 2023, these are the major priorities on Climate Policy that we at Climate Action Burwood-Canada Bay are seeking from the parties and candidates running for office:

Climate Action Burwood Canada Bay – our top 10 list of policy and legislative action needed in NSW – 2023

Our policy demandsStrategies
Legislate target of 70% in reduction of net carbon emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2035.
In consultation with the private commercial sectors and with communities, prepare and implement a state plan to achieve these targets. Set a plan and 100% target for electricity from renewable resources by 2030. Oversee the development of the Grid in NSW ensuring that project timelines are met and issues arising are resolved quickly. Integrate the electricity produced within the new renewable zones into the Grid/National Energy Market (NEM) ensuring that regulations are in place for speedy connections. Set up a regional transition authority to assist regions with training and employment opportunities in new industries. Stimulate, incentivise and report on the emergence of new industries in regional areas impacted by closure of mining.
Phase out all gas mining and exploration projects in NSW.
Immediately ban unconventional gas mining in NSW (coal seam gas, shale gas and tight gas and contaminates). Ensure that Santos does not mine gas in the Pilliga Forest in northern NSW and in the Narrabri area. Cancel all exploration licences and cease approval of new gas exploration licences. Ensure that the connections to the Newcastle gas pipeline are not built. Protect agriculture and soil productivity, water security and Aboriginal heritage sites.
End thermal coal exports by 2030 and all coal exports by 2035.

Refuse all new coal exploration licences, mining leases, new mines and expansions. Increase royalties for existing exports of coal to 15% and include an added component where windfall profits are made. Propose other forms of revenue to compensate for reduction/elimination in revenue from mining royalties. Measure and regulate to stop fugitive methane emissions from coal mines, including those that have ceased operation.
Reduce the use of methane gas by 80% in commercial manufacturing and government owned enterprises by 2035-40.

Set regulations and industry sector-wide caps for methane emissions – regulations to be administered by the EPA under its Climate Action Plan. Incentivise emergence of green hydrogen industries in NSW. Provide advice for companies and agencies on ways to electrify their operations and provide incentives for them to engage in innovative investment strategies, technology development and renewable energy.
Set targets for the electrification of all households by 2035Incentivise households and landlords to replace gas heating products with electric systems (heat pumps) and to deploy solar systems such as solar panels, household and community batteries and energy efficient upgrades. Ensure through regulation that new building and precinct developments are designed to achieve zero carbon emissions and are powered by 100% renewable electricity.
Set an interim target by 2030 of 300,000 small battery systems for households, including for the use of electric cars. Report regularly and publicly on progress in transition from gas to electricity across NSW.
Drive the transition to electric vehicles.
Provide discounts to registration and stamp duty fees for owners and require public vehicle fleets including garbage trucks and heavy vehicles to be electrified. Lobby the Australian Government to introduce emission reduction standards for vehicles. Provide Investment incentives for industries to develop EV-related infrastructure and support services. Invest in the development of fast charging stations and incentivise Local Councils and the private sector to provide charging stations. Develop safety standards for electric bikes and scooters and for autonomous vehicles.
Set standards and regulations for community wellbeing.Define community wellbeing in government policy, covering definitions and standards for liveability, clean air and water, affordable housing provision, public transport access, bicycle ways and networks, provision of community and health services, schools and green spaces. Ensure that these standards are integrated into planning codes at State and Local levels of government and apply to all new residential housing projects and land developments.
Apply climate science to protect all communities especially those most likely to be affected by climate disasters.Build climate change understanding and supports for communities most likely to be affected by climate disasters. Ensure evacuation routes for impacted communities escaping from flood or fire. Fund new technologies and methods to locate fires and to prevent their spread. Do not construct the proposed extension to the Warragamba Dam wall and ensure that the flood plain below the Dam is refitted with flood mitigation channels to protect homes, roads and green areas in times of flooding. Prohibit urban development in high-risk zones and assist people to move away from these areas. Work with the Australian Government and with communities to ensure that the 2012 Murray-Darling Water Plan is on track to meet its obligations.
Reverse laws permitting extensive clearing of native vegetation on private land and increase incentives for farmers to build soil carbon stores as outlined in the 2021 NSW State of the Environment Report.
Ensure that remnant native corridors are retained and extended through area master plans, developed in consultation with landowners and communities. Ensure that penalties and rewards for compliance with regulations are provided. Include input from Aboriginal communities and their rangers and local experts to inform policies and local programs and area maps. Invest in training and support for landowners and Aboriginal people to become leaders in environmental care. Ensure that groundwater flow in key areas of decline is increased and soil health improved. Protect wetlands on private lands to retain their important role in carbon sequestration and biodiversity preservation.
Cease commercial logging in State forests in line with the recommendations of the NSW Resources Commission Report 2022.
Ensure that state and other native forests do not become net carbon emitters rather than essential places for carbon sequestration. Improve forest management and set targets for habitat protection as well as carbon storage. Measure the decline in stream flows within native forests and develop plans to improve the ability of forests to respond to fires and to provide water security for surrounding communities.

Climate Action Burwood-Canada Bay does not endorse candidates for election, does not endorse political parties, and does not tell voters how to fill in their ballot papers. What we do is review the performance of the incumbent government and analyse the policies of parties seeking election. For information about making a formal vote, see the NSW Electoral Commission website elections.nsw.gov.au

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