SSF – Embrace the Renewal

During this COVID-19 pandemic we’ve had the opportunity to assess what is valuable in our lives, and how we can best protect the vulnerable from danger.

The State Government’s focus on the health and welfare of all it’s citizens and a slow and steady approach has been inclusive in it’s requirement for all of us to unite in a common cause. We have assisted at our own local level, to avert what could otherwise have been a total disaster.

In a similar way global climate change, with its escalation of horrific weather events, requires us to unite in a common cause, at a local level, to protect vulnerable communities everywhere.

It is heartening to see the State Government also help protect us from the threats of climate change by announcing it will repower the State’s schools, hospitals and metropolitan train network with renewable energy by building 600 megawatts of new wind and solar projects. This will create jobs at this critical time.

Coal fired power stations are likely to close earlier than expected as coronavirus has reduced demand for electricity, making them even less competitive with solar and wind. The reduced impact of coal emissions will only benefit our capacity to sustain.

Tony Wolfe who works in the coal industry says that the Loy Yang complex produces “4000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every hour,  24 hours a day, every day of the week”, he says that ‘coal is on the nose’ and he can see no role for coal heading forward (you can see Tony in the ‘Coal Power Cut’ video on face-book,  produced by the Climate Council).

Here in our neck of the woods, we have the opportunity to embrace the role of renewables in the recovery from Covid by working with the Delburn Wind Farm Community Development Fund.

The consultative committee could decide to invest monies in solar panels on public buildings in our towns or solar lighting (like they have in Yinnar). We could invest in our natural assets (such as the Rail Trail link between Yinnar and Boolarra and the Morwell River parks) – these natural assets attract tourists and bring joy to our community.

Creating a sustainable future for our Strzelecki bioregion is about reducing pollution and choosing energy sources that cause minimum harm to our precious water, earth and air.  Embracing the benefits of this renewable opportunity that helps build a clean pollution free future and a resilient economy is going to make us stronger in the long run.

In the face of a call for a nuclear plant in the Latrobe Valley, Strzelecki Sustainable Futures is calling with renewed vigour for a transition to Renewables and the positive benefits of the Delburn Wind Farm are well worth celebrating.

Catheryn Thompson,
Strzelecki Sustainable Futures

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