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GREENS: wake-up call for new normal on climate action

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Eden-Monaro election 4 July.

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Cathy Griff: Greens candidate Eden-Monaro.

THREE MONTHS OF COVID-19 lockdown has been a huge wake-up call for the world. A forced deceleration of our busy lives has given us the opportunity to rethink how we might modify our lifestyles and discover that going back to “normal” is not what we want. It has been encouraging to hear so many people talking about how they don’t like the old normal and want to create a new one.

Black Summer to be repeated if we continue with “business as usual”

For those of us in Eden-Monaro, those three months were preceded by three more, as we lived in fear while as the bushfires spread out of control and assisted where we could to save lives, livestock and property.

It has reinforced for many people that climate change IS here, it IS real, and the trauma of the Black Summer which started in spring is likely not only to be repeated but to worsen if we continue with “business as usual”.

People still homeless but Coalition focused on ‘renos’

Promised rescue funds have been slow to reach those in need. People are still homeless after the bushfires, but instead of helping them rebuild, the Government is offering renovation grants. People who have lost their home altogether need much more support.

The Greens have contributed to all the ongoing bushfire enquiries, and we hope that what comes out of them will be robust recommendations which incorporate climate change, part of the terms of reference.

Mistreatment of burned areas, flora and fauna

Most in our electorate have witnessed the devastation of our natural environment, with huge tracts of forest and bushland destroyed — habitat for so much biodiversity. Yet our State Government has seen fit to allow logging in burnt areas. Such disturbance hampers forest regeneration and minimises the survival chances of remaining wildlife.

On top of this, 1080 baits are being aerial dropped in burned areas for feral animals and ‘wild dogs’ which targets the Dingo. This affects all animals down the chain and only further threatens the survival of those creatures who made it through the fires.

Trauma has offered a unique opportunity to rebuild in a way that can strengthen our lives and our environment. The traditional parties have no plan for climate change since they are not looking at ending reliance on fossil fuels. The Greens have long-held policies to ensure a safe and healthy future for all and not just humans, but also for the irreplaceable flora and fauna that once flourished in this country.

Investments that really help

We need an investment-led recovery plan that tackles the climate and coronavirus crises while also delivering long-lasting economic benefits. Instead, the government’s gas-led recovery plan is an insult to everyone doing it tough in Eden-Monaro.

Read more about The Greens’ plan.

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