Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fiona Richardson: climate change 'delivered'?

Darren Lewin-Hill presents a letter to Northcote MP, Fiona RichardsonLabor's Member for Northcote, Fiona Richardson MP, has already switched into election campaign mode with a string of local visits to shops, including today's sales-pitch at Northcote Plaza.

Richardson is pushing local achievements she claims to have 'delivered', but Darebin Climate Action Network is making sure the community also makes the link with the climate track record of the Brumby Labor Government that Richardson represents.

With the Federal Government shelving emissions trading until at least 2013, the pressure is on the Victorian Government to fill the climate action vacuum. Yet the State Government is committed to expanding coal mining and addicted to coal-fired energy generation through plants such as the massively polluting Hazelwood.

DarebinCAN distributed fact sheets about our dirtiest power station, and to drive the message home, I presented Richardson with a letter asking that she tell Northcote voters where she stands on climate (click on the arrow at top right to expand).

Part of Richardson's promotion was a flyer indicating she could help constituents by 'Raising an issue in Parliament'. I call on my local State Member to raise in Parliament the issues communicated in my letter, so they can be heard by every Member of the Legislative Assembly, including Peter Batchelor and Premier John Brumby. I'll also be awaiting a written response from Richardson, as will other community members who presented their own letters to the MP.

Like Martin Ferguson, the Federal Member for Batman, Richardson is gearing her campaign to the local achievements she has 'delivered'. While these certainly need to be debated, we should also ask what else is being 'delivered' for Northcote. Emissions from Australia's fossil fuel exports and domestic power-generation are delivered to the global atmosphere, but the impacts of climate change will be localised - everywhere. Questioning politicians about climate change is therefore vital.

Fiona Richardson, where do you stand? Are the only issues you'll raise in Parliament those that are consistent with Labor Party policy? That's too easy for you, too hard on our climate.

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Comments are most welcome on any of the posts at Northcote Independent. I encourage feedback - positive or negative. Feel free to disagree, but remember that posts are moderated to ensure they are on the topic and in the spirit of open debate, as outlined in my editorial policy.