Talk:Ballarat candidates debate climate at election forum

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Reporter's notes[edit]

I write this about 40 minutes after the forum has ended on the train back to Melbourne, so apologies for any errors that are currently present. I’ll try to rectify them before submitting for review. I have fairly extensive notes below, stream-of-consciousness and typo-laden they may be somewhat. There should be a live stream on BREAZE’s Facebook page which reviewers may refer to for fact-checking, I most likely will for explicit quotes.

Also re: climate protest — BREAZE, alongside some other groups, participated in a climate protest before this outside the Civic and Town Hall. I attended (not participated) and took plenty of photos but didn’t take notes, so unsure if it’ll be suitable for an article here.

Arrived at the Ballarat Tech School at 15:12 after walking from the climate protest (which I attended to photograph, and didn’t actively participate in). Was let in by organisers at 15:40. Was told by organisers that apologies were given from Ben Green (LIB) and Julia McGrath (LDP).
By start at 16:00, 3 candidates were present — Catherine King, John Barnes and Alex Graham. Mary Debrett of BREAZE opened with an acknowledgement of country and introduction of candidates, also adding that Kerryn Sedgman of AFP may still show up. Repeated apologues for Green and McGrath. Debrett explained that the focus of the forum was on climate and added notes on forum etiquette and rules. Sedgman showed up while Debrett was speaking at 16:03.
Candidates were given 3 mins each to summarise policies on climate crisis. Barnes spoke first, referencing the Greens’ all-blak Senate ticket. Said he was active for 45 years in Ballarat civic life, saying he was worried about the legacy being handed on to children and grandchildren and he couldn’t stand by. Said Greens have most ambitious program on addressing climate change and said last decade was lost due to bastardry of LibNat coalition — emphasised time is running out and Greens in balance of power will try to get Labor to act. “They may be the party of Whitlam, but the Greens are the children of Whitlam.” Greens propose no new coal or oil in Australia from now on, LabLib flirting with 100 new approvals — not good enough. By 2030 Greens aim for 75% reduction in Aus emissions. Concluded by saying Greens are by far most ambitious, and is a race against time.
Alex Graham ind was next to speak, said he was passionate for environment and claimed to have best policy. Said he didnt intend to stand until 3 weeks ago but wants to run to introduce a referendum to allow govt to create its own money supply. Says he has stood on 3 occasions in Ballarat. Says everyone he talks to knows banking system is a scam. Says government would write money into existence just like banks do, and saying we’d have money beyond the pale to restore environment. Says we need to love this environment. Claiemd to have access to most profound.
ALP candidate commited to implementing Uluru statement from the heart, and said that t was telling that very few climate forums across the country had been attended by Libs. Said topic had been very frustrating for many, and that Parliament has been unable to deal with these issues. Mentioned CPRS, and said Labor work in govt was dismanled by Libs in 2013. Mentions Powering Australia ALP policy, which she claims has been approved by Minerals Council and Farmers Federation as well as some enviro groups. Says it will grow jobs, increase renewable energy and bring emissions down. Also mentions Rewiring The Nation policy. Says this is the election in which we have to act. Emphasises difficult task Labor has to win government, claims they’ve only done it three times since WW2.
Kerryn Sedgeman says she hasnt been involved with politics until her nom was approved in April. Says she will do her darndest in next three weeks to speak to community and represent community. She says it isnt about her opinion but rather opinion of community. Emphasises it doesn’t mean majority rule. Says that carbon is not the enemy, toxic pesticides are true enemy. Says N20 (nitrous oxide) is twice as worse as carbon, calls it an ozone destroyer. Calls it key AFP policy.
Opened to audience questions afterwards. First question asks what top two priorities are for climate action. John says prompt action and Greens propose 75% cut by 2030, carbon neutral by 2035, 700% renewables to transform Aus economy. Alex says if Australia had limitless supply of money would not have a climate change issue and become a model for our world. 1. money supply, says EVs are not the answer, 2. new tech. Catherine says first will be getting more renewables into the grid, second will be increasing renewables. Says Barnaby Joyce does not believe in climate change, will add climate section to Infra department and build EV stations on highways. Kerryn says more than two, says soil regeneration is critical aspect of carbon sequestration. Says concern is about our generation and immediate approach. Calls for education and community hubs. Says she was at Franklin Dam standing in front of bulldozers and says she can’t see a difference between then and now, wonders what the hell has happened to producing green environment. Spruiks book Soul, Soil and Society. Reiterates most important aspect is soil regeneration, agribusiness and helping farmers.
Second Q is for King, asks what Labor have done to lift 90-year suppression orders of alleged pedophiles in Australia. Organiser says he is in the wrong, King calls him a QAnon conspiracy theorist.
Third Q says she is concerned about wind turbine energy being delivered, asks what will be done to help Victorians to protect food bowl from proposed huge towers of overhead transmission line from Belganna to Bacchus Marsh. Alex says noone wants overhead power lines but we need power, says that money supply should be created to put it underground to put it under the Western Freeway. Emphasises we shouldn’t let money interfere with saving the planet. King says that the transfer station location is problematic, issue is with regulatory process for approval of transmission networks. Says there is no way to account for horticultural land and community amenities. Says Chris Bowen has met with groups on the Central Highland power lines and will work with state and territory government to reform regulatory process. Kerryn says campaign is incredible, and that she has a lot of questions for OzNet. Not fully familiar with the background. Says she says she would like to speak with the people and discover pros and cons. Says she doesn’t know about it, can’t comment, but wants to find out about it. John says OzNet consultation hasnt been good and says EES is now required for their planning permit, and says one hopes it will give time for parties to talk about all issues caused. Says Minister for Planning has “total discretion” on whether to take advice from advisory panel, and hopes it can be done sensitively, quickly and cost-effect. Says OzNet claims underground will cost 13x, shire of Moorabool 5x more.
Man asks question for John and Catherine, asking for positions on transmission lines. John calls it state planning issue. Organiser moves them on.
Asks question for John and Catherine, says carbon emissions have continually increased bar the GFC, and that we are past the point of no return. Asks what candidates will do about technology for direct air carbon capture. John says best way to sequester carbon is not to release it, second best to utilise plants. Says this is not an area where there is a lot of good science on, mechanical removal of CO2 probably a pipe dream but don’t close your mind on it. Says we need to address dangerous levels of CO2 in atmosphere. Alex says he is prepared to ask his friend if he could do it jokingly. Catherine says tech is a fair way off, says $3bn reserved in Powering Aus plan for looking new tech for decreasing emissions. Kerryn says elephant in room is deforestation, mentions concern about Wombat Forest conservation. Says she would like to know why is deforestation still happening at extraordinary rate.
Question asked says will candidates commit to no new coal or gas infra. Catherine says not part of ALP policy, not interested in taxpayer funds going towards coal and gas stations though. Alex says as someone who has worked in industry, he would close down every coal fired power station ASAP and allow no new one to be built. Promised to close down coal mines and ban fracking. Says we dont need to be using coal and gas. John says Greens take energy agency advice seriously, and propose no new coal and oil, and close down all coal stations by 2030 to be replaced by renewables. If we go beyond 1.5 every possibility we will get runaway climate change.
Question asks what we can expect if Labor majority/balance of power with Greens what candidates would do. Catherine says that power doesnt require legislation in Aus, and says Labor would legislate 43% targets and net zero by 2050 but that legislation isnt necessary for Labor to achieve. John says Grns wants Labor to be more ambitious on climate change, and emphasises the need to compromise if balance of power, but says Greens will play hardball on addressing climate emergency.
Questioner mentions fossil fuel exports and asked what candidates think of BZO plan to make northern Australia battery of Asia. John says projects like this are the way of the future, Aus could become energy superpower and areas of regional Aus could be opened up for renewables. Says with right govt policy market can work with us. Catherine says absolutely agree, over 600k jobs can be created, one of 6 in regional Aus. Says we are so far behind where we should be, Aus should be renewable energy superpower. Need a government who believes in climate change is.
Final question asks how govt can help Hunter Valley et al communities to transition better. John calls for basic universal wage to all people. Kerryn asks who in Aus is eligible to get jobs with the cirrent mandate conditions. Catherine says she doesnt talk about transition, most trading partners have goals of net zero by 2050, jobs are changing. Says good jobs in production of hydrogen and renewables, emphasises we need to start now. Says we cannot leave that group of workers behind, if we do they don’t get jobs again. John says Greens have $19b pver next 10 years to fund transitions for effected communities by the transition from mining and fossil fuels, wants renewables running our power system by 2030. Promises retraining programs and maintenance of incomes by 2030. Promises not to vilify coal miners, must have transition that allows them to maintain their dignity.
Concludes with open letter presentation. Some reps from Environment Victoria speak briefly, says letter was published in Ballarat Courier. 125 signatories.

--LivelyRatification (talk) 07:49, 1 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

OK, it's now the following morning. I've added information in from the debate. Any reviewer should mainly be able to use my notes, but I would recommend looking over the cited livestream as well to verify direct quotes, which is about an hour long. Please do ask me to rectify any issues here if they exist or if you have any questions, this is uncharted territory for me so I've likely made a few mistakes. But submitting for review now! --LivelyRatification (talk) 22:24, 1 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Also forgot to disclose this, but as said on my user page, in this coming federal election, I am volunteering for, and have previously been a member of, the Victorian Socialists political party. I have also previously been a member of the Australian Greens, who's candidate in Ballarat has been covered quite extensively in this article. Apologies for all the changes post-review! --LivelyRatification (talk) 00:49, 2 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Review of revision 4676345 [Passed][edit]

Thanks very much for putting in the time for this one! --LivelyRatification (talk) 00:58, 8 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
No worries. --RockerballAustralia contribs 01:01, 8 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]