Climate change a hot election topic, say Greens

The Greens candidate for Ballina, John Bailey, hosted a tea party in the shallow waters of Clarkes Beach last Friday to highlight the issue of climate change and launch his election campaign.

Award-winning Mullumbimby author John Bailey chose global warming as the hot issue to highlight while launching his campaign to try and win the state seat of Ballina for the Greens in March next year.

He said climate change was one of the most dramatic challenges of our time and the impact of global warming in northern NSW would mean a retreating coastline, increased floods and higher salinity in low lying areas.

Rising seawaters will create havoc in the Ballina electorate, he said. Im not an alarmist or a doomsayer. No-one is suggesting this will happen in the next 10 years, but we need to plan now. We need to change now.

He said a co-ordinated approach was needed.

The Greens are the only party that have been talking about managing resources carefully, investing in public transport and other infrastructure and opposing the corporate takeover of our community, he said. 10 years ago these policies were considered radical. Now they are central to the political debate.

He said planning in NSW seemed to be focused around the interstate freeway and a desperate grab for resources to keep Sydney going.

The Labor Government has overridden our planning controls, taken away our railway and carved a major freeway through our shires. Instead, lets bring back the railway and extend it through to the Gold Coast.

Mr Bailey said former US vice president Al Gores film The Inconvenient Truth has done a lot to boost awareness around the issue of global warming, however, he was distressed by John Howards reaction to it.

He has finally accepted that climate change is an issue, but says it is grossly exaggerated and to do anything constructive about it would mean a blow to the economy, Mr Bailey said. And I dont see anything better coming out of the Labor Party, nor anything constructive emerging from either of the two parties at the state level.

John Bailey is the author of The White Divers of Broome and Mr Stuarts Track. Both books have been widely released and critically acclaimed. He has also won a number of awards for his contribution to history and literature.

For more information on John Bailey go to

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