Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Environmentality, 14th August 2013

Hello Environmentality listeners,

Today Mr Kelvin Thomson MP joined us in our continuation of the 2013 federal election coverage. Kelvin is the federal member for Wills and the parliamentary secretary for schools.
Courtesy of

What are some of the main environmental challenges for Wills? Kelvin highlights the proposed East West Link and potential damage to the Moonee Ponds Creek and residents of Royal Park as a significant concern. Opposed to the project since 2007/08, Kelvin suggest that rather than spending money on transport infrastructure, we should be spending money on unmet public transport needs such as the rail line along the eastern freeway, rail link to Monash University and Melbourne airport, the Epping corridor and public transport connections.

Another area of concern are public open spaces. There have been significant good work that has been done by friend’s groups in some of the parkways, these parkways can be used (if not already being used) as wildlife corridors. Planning so private open spaces do not disappear is also a concern. Smokey highlights an important aspect, does sustainability require higher density living? Not necessarily due to high eco footprint and lifestyles of those whom live in high-rises. Rather than focus on the lifestyle choices of high-rise dwellers compared to their suburban counterparts, Kelvin moves toward higher energy self-sufficiency in households.

Are we switching to a carbon trading scheme too soon? Kelvin doesn’t think so as being part of a scheme will mean that we have a greater capacity to reduce carbon and become more effective in cutting electricity consumption. Switching sooner will also provide better assistance to people in households and reduce the pressure of high energy prices. Smokey doesn’t necessarily agree Kelvin, highlighting the high cost of infrastructure as a major contributor to rising energy cost. What do you think?

What about the manufacturing future in Australia? Kelvin highlights that there needs to be a future in Australia for manufacturing, manufacturing provides steady and reliable jobs for the middle class. Manufacturing also brings about research and development, however there needs to be a shift in how we conduct our manufacturing business. We need to find new sources for their products or transiting to other areas of manufacturing with a strong local focus.

Despite the lack of environmental focus from both parties during this election, Kelvin highlights that there are still strong public interest in environmental issues and that climate change and renewable energy continues to be important issues. Kelvin notes that some of Labor’s environmental achievements to be carbon pricing, the renewable energy target, clean energy finance corporation, plans for water for the Murray Darling Basin, Marine national parks, blocking of the super trawler MV Margiris, and ongoing work with Tasmanian forest. 

Recently Abbott referred to the election as a referendum on the carbon tax, do you agree with this statement? Whether or not you agree, we at Environmentality share Kelvin’s sentiments that the results of this election will have serious consequences to not only whether Australia will continue to be one of the global players in climate change mitigation, but also existing environmental policies such as the marine sanctuaries.

It was a jam packed show with lots of topics discussed, we unfortunately could not cover it all in the blog but to hear more about Labor’s environmental policies including what we’ve blogged today, the national deposit scheme, high speed rail, planning and population growth, tune into the podcast.
Thanks to Kelvin for agreeing to come on the show!

Tracks player today:
Sam Buckingham- Shackled
Better than the Wizards- Coming back your way
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds- Into my arms

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