The founder of a community action group that has initiated the Goulburn Wetlands, the Community Energy 4 Goulburn solar farm, and Tesla supercharge station believes innovative technology enterprises from all across the world can establish in the city.
The Goulburn Group president, Urs Walterlin, says the city has everything needed for sustainable industries – blue-collar and white-collar workers; wonderful infrastructure; and one of the best locations between two big cities in Australia.
However, Goulburn’s federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor is dead against the idea.
“He is blocking these kinds of initiatives on a national scale,” says Urs.
He is advocating a group working well beyond politics on a plan of how to become a centre for innovation.
Urs says it has everything to do with sustainable living and sustainable industries. He sees numerous possibilities for water and conservation-related enterprises.
“We have to change course,” he says. “Look at places such as Europe, it’s worth doing. It is actually really valuable economically and extremely interesting to fight against climate change. At the moment, we are doing the opposite. Angus Taylor is fully behind the coal and gas industries. In Hume, we will not profit from that.”
Since June 2021, The Goulburn Group has been questioning Taylor about his ministerial portfolio; why he is insisting on building an emissions intensive, polluting, gas-fired power station; the transition to electric vehicles; and asking him to elaborate on his emissions solution, ‘technology not taxes’.
It should be noted The Goulburn Group’s actions are unrelated to the Vote Angus Out campaign.
A neighbour of Mr Taylor’s in the Goulburn district, Urs says the Member for Hume has ignored 12 questions from The Goulburn Group. The first five questions received a brief proforma letter from Mr Taylor’s office referring to ‘Ms Walterlin’, as The Guardian pointed out in a news story at the time.
Mr Taylor’s office sent a copy of the same letter to Region Media, and a second one, dated 27 September, saying, “I enjoyed reading our recent exchange in the media.”
Mr Taylor holds Hume comfortably and increased his margin at the last federal election.
Urs says the local MP thinks he does not need to be accountable.
“But his responsibilities have direct consequences for the wellbeing of our electorate, as well as for the rest of the country, and in fact the world,” he says.
He predicts Taylor will soon back the ‘net zero by 2050’ target but will continue to push coal and gas, and support failed technologies, such as Carbon capture and storage, instead of supporting clean energy.
“I want to add that I do my community work only because I love and cherish this region, this country and my home,” says Urs. “I do it for my children, and their children.”
In his letter to Urs, Mr Taylor said Australia’s emissions are more than 20 per cent below 2005 levels, and are at the lowest levels on record. He said there is more work to be done, but data shows the government’s policies are working.
Mr Taylor is sticking to the ‘technology, not taxes’ solution to reduce emissions.
“We see the power of technology to transform industries and reduce emissions, not just here at home but around the world,” he said.
“And to do so in a way to grow economic opportunity and jobs, rather than imposing taxes that destroy industries and the jobs and livelihoods they support.
“Every country has a role to play which is why we are focused on practical solutions that will work not just for Australian heavy industry but also in our region’s large and growing economies.
“Getting these technologies to cost parity will mean countries won’t have to choose between growth and decarbonisation.”