12 November 2021

Canberra Liberals 'won't play politics with climate change', will write to PM calling for action

| Lottie Twyford
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Elizabeth Lee

The Canberra Liberals, under the leadership of Elizabeth Lee MLA, have forged a very different path from their federal counterparts on climate action. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

With party leader Elizabeth Lee in Glasgow in attendance at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the Canberra Liberals have spoken in support of a motion that highlighted the importance of phasing out gas in the Territory by 2045, and they’ve committed to writing to their federal counterparts to call for faster national emissions cuts.

Yesterday, the Liberals supported a motion moved by Greens MLA Jo Clay which endorsed the Territory’s agreed-upon emissions reductions targets and required each ACT party leader to write to their federal party leader.

Ms Lee will have to write to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to advocate for stronger emissions-reduction targets at a national level.

Ms Lee last week told a GLOBE forum at COP26 that she believed everyone wanted action on climate change.

“In my home city of Canberra, it is always a top-five issue when it comes to what people want from their political leaders,” she said.

“But nobody wants their electricity bills to go up, their lights to go out or for their jobs to be at risk.”

Elizabeth Lee

Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee addressed a forum in Glasgow. Photo: Screenshot.

Ms Lee said while technology may have the answers to achieving a decarbonised economy that did not deny people opportunities, including those in developing economies, getting there would require “leadership and political will”.

Ms Lee also told the forum she believed legislators in sub-national jurisdictions had a responsibility to leverage policy elements under their control, such as housing, transport, heating, lighting and urban infrastructure development.

When her trip to Glasgow was first announced, Chief Minister Andrew Barr had said Ms Lee should use her trip to lobby Mr Morrison for a set of more ambitious climate targets.

Ms Lee shied away from Mr Barr’s suggestion at the time.

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Opposition spokesperson for emissions reduction Leanne Castley, who spoke in support of the motion yesterday, said the Canberra Liberals are “fed-up with climate change being a political issue”.

Ms Castley quoted Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, saying it was time to show young local environmentalists that politicians are not all “blah, blah, blah”.

She said the government needed to have stronger plans in place to reduce emissions.

“The Canberra Liberals want to see accountability and transparency with clearly defined measures to achieve our targets,” she said.

“Why can’t we show [young people] that we not only have tripartisan support for ambitious emissions reductions targets but a tripartisan agreed-upon plan on how we will get there?”

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Presenting her motion to the Assembly, ACT Greens MLA Ms Clay invoked elements of the summer of 2019/20 in which Canberra was first engulfed by heat and smoke from bushfires and then hammered by a hail storm, saying this was a taste of what’s to come if immediate climate action is not taken.

Ms Clay said while she was proud of the response to climate change at a Territory-level, faster national action than was committed to by the Federal Government is also required.

“ACT climate policy has been based on science and action for a decade. We’ve cut 60 per cent [of our emissions] over the last nine years.

“Meanwhile, the Federal Government has made no cuts, none,” Ms Clay told the Assembly.

She said she no longer trusted the Federal Government to take any action unless they were pushed into it, but believed the ACT Legislative Assembly was well-placed to do so.

“We can turn this around,” Ms Clay said. “We will only manage it if we have a commitment from every level of government.”

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“so what we’ll do the three of us, is resurrect a three month old story and all write in about how terrible and loony left the Canberra Libs are. Nobody will suspect a thing”.

Capital Retro7:03 am 11 Jan 22

The Liberals are 100 miles offshore and still drifting. This swing to the loony left will cost them more votes than they will gain.

More concerning is that Elisabeth Lee has fallen for the nonsense that was presented at Glasgow.

I can see a lot of informal votes at the next election.

The Canberra Liberals’ decision to support the Greens’ motion that called for each party leader to write to their Federal counterpart, shows just how impotent the Canberra Liberals really are.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t be putting pressure on their Federal counterparts (they should), but to be taken seriously, the Canberra Liberals need to have their own voice and not simply a mouthpiece of the Government they wish to replace.

Job application for a staffer of a Canberra Liberal MP. Wanted – short term contract for a position of concession speech writer for an ACT Liberal Politician

HiddenDragon6:36 pm 14 Nov 21

After an entirely predictable outcome (for all but the fantasists and realpolitik denialists) at Glasgow, if the ACT Liberals bother writing to anyone on this subject, it should be the Chinese Embassy and the Indian High Commission.

Mitigation is now a far more pressing issue for sub-national jurisdictions than tokenism and posturing – particularly vegetation management, and that includes taking a very hard look at ACT laws which pretend that trees on leased land magically become less of a fire risk when they reach arbitrary size criteria.

way to go HD!
Where do I go online about tree sizes?
We have three relatively large gum trees, two big gums – one a sport – almost on the road.

And – a Euc. Sideroxylon – red flowers. And a River Peppermint.

Then there’s a Canada Maple (Acer Rubra) and a Silver Birch out the back (Nth side) shading our big, wide and deep, clear-roofed deck. The deck also has its own 91% shade cloth under it – and 70% on the East and West sides.
We use evap. cooling for most of the house. With reverse-cycle A/C for the music/sound room – it has electrostatic speakers in it and ‘stats fire off in humidity.
We did invest in getting to ~ R4.0 in the ceiling and R2.0 ? in the outer BV walls. Plus there’s laminated (T&G plus foam) flooring. All of that got done before 2000.

Added the maximum allowed number of PV (solar) panels, too. Subsidised by ACT, ACTEW & Feds.

Elizabeth Lee + Free trip = Climate Change epiphany!!

Not happy at how things went at the last election the libs are trying to go left. However we already have two of those.

Libs don’t have a tram plan…

Looking forward to the v8 returning to Canberra.

Canberra Liberals – you can’t out-left the ALP and Greens. Another four years in opposition for you, where the main pastime is remembering the failed leaders names of which, their number exceeds the players on an AFL team. You need to do better. Rates, Rents, Roads. There’s a start.

I’m sorry Futureproof, rates, rents and roads and that bloody Tax truck at every ACT election driven by a bunch of entitled and snotty Young Liberals will keep these Canberra Libs out for years! Oh and not to forget the party being dominated by Conservative, Religious intolerants (look at the deputy leader), as well as Zed, Josh and the Young Libs on the sidelines, this mob will never get into government in the ACT!!

Hi Jack D.
Scoff if you like, but there are a significant number of Canberrians who are hurting through the escalation of their Rates, Land tax and Rent. (Land Tax being 150% of Rates, increases on Rents).
There are a lot of Canberrians frustrated by Roads and Health and the Government’s obsession with all things Light Rail.
Ask Canberrians their opinion when the Government starts Stage 2A roadworks and creates traffic bedlam for all Canberrians traveling south.

Canberra Liberals and the Federal equivalent are seperate entities, with different personalities and policies. People are smart enough to known the difference. That said, regardless of who is leading the Liberals on the big hill, the current Canberra Liberals need to engage with Canberrians if they want to be successful, rather than trying to out left the left.

It seems some people in newer suburbs I have seen have taken the view that if there is no room for gigantic trees then why even try?
Some put down turf then after a year realise a bowling green on their verge is not maintainable in Canberra’s usual hot Summer so they throw up their hands and choose green furry plastic or else a stony desert. None of that does anything for heat islands (or wildlife) either, and it costs more than sensible things too.
There are such things as (native) bushes, small to medium trees, hardy grasses, which will help reduce heat island effects, capture water run-off, support everything from tiny insects to avian dinosaur-descendants; and even look good with only a modicum of planning and quite modest maintenance.

There was an interesting article out of Melbourne in the last couple of days that talked about how the locals were concerned about how the removal of the tree canopy had caused an increase in their summer daytime temperatures.
The irony of the article was that the absence of tree canopy was put down to the reduction in house block sizes and urban infill.
It sends an Interesting message. If you want trees, you need bigger blocks and maybe less infill.

Capital Retro7:59 am 13 Nov 21

Surely that’s only comment from climate change deniers. The science is settled remember, it’s only man made carbon dioxide that is increasing the temperature.

I am a Rabbit™11:33 am 13 Nov 21

A few token trees and critters don’t do much for the environment – it’s been proven in several studies that higher density urban infill is far more environmentally friendly that building endless huge blocks of suburbia, even if they have a few mature large trees on them.

Aahhhh….that’s probably why the grass isn’t being cut – (1) it’s absorbing all that terrible man-made CO2 and (2) the governments solar powered mowers don’t work on cloudy days

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