This page is about Sydney’s elected officials and how they’re supporting the climate at City Council, in the New South Wales Legislature, and at Parliament House in Canberra.
1. Clover Moore, Lord Mayor, Sydney
2. Gladys Berejiklian, Premier, New South Wales
3. John Barilaro, Deputy Premier, New South Wales
4. Zalli Steggall, Sydney Native, Member of Parliament
5. Kerryn Phelps & Jess Miller, Sydney City Councilors
Photo of Sydney citizen Kerryn Phelps, was a member of the Sydney Council in 2017 – 2018 , an a member of Parliament from 2018 – 2019. She is a pop-culture physician popular throughout Australia.
1. Lord Mayor of Sydney says Angus has failed Australia.
“We still have many politicians and levels of government in Australia still denying climate change, so it’s a fairly hostile environment for action … I’m not the only mayor who’s having terrible problems with state and federal government simply not doing what needs to be done.” – Lord Mayor Clover Moore of Sydney, talking about climate solutions in cities, at a Climate Mayors Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“[Angus Taylor] is the minister responsible for addressing global warming, and he has failed … Cities around the world are doing their bit to address global warming; it’s our national governments that are failing us.” – Lord Mayor Clover Moore of Sydney, Dec 2019
“In most countries it isn’t acceptable to pursue emission reduction policies that add substantially to the cost of living, destroy jobs, reduce incomes and impede growth. The same is true in Australia.” – Angus Taylor, Energy Minister of Australia, Dec 2019
National Newspaper: The Guardian / Australian Associated Press. Sydney lord mayor says climate change is the issue, not New Year’s Eve fireworks. 30 Dec 2019. The Guardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/31/nsw-premier-gladys-berejiklian-has-mixed-feelings-about-sydneys-new-years-eve-fireworks
NGO conference video: “C40 Stories: Lord Mayor Clover Moore of Sydney, Australia” YouTube.com/watch?v=ZwcWpIrZOYM
National Newspaper: The Australian. We should be proud of our climate change efforts editorial by Angus Taylor 31 Dec 2019 TheAustralian.com.au/commentary/we-should-be-proud-of-our-climate-change-efforts/news-story/0dec56da908b04a1a55c69f1631c1b52
Photos: The Daily Telegraph (Taylor); Sky News (Moore)
2. Now, “Gladys the Koala Killer” accepts climate change – but admits no link to monster bushfires.
Gladys Berejiklian has been Premier of New South Wales (NSW) since 2017. Soon after her election, Berejiklian ordered NSW’s already dry bushlands to be drained of water. The water, which kept the bushland moist enough to prevent out-of-control fires, was piped to farmlands. Then, Berejiklian cut funding for rural fire services, the very people who need more funding to protect property from bushfires. And, like most provincial premiers in Australia, Berejiklian has failed, as of 2020, to initiate a climate action plan for NSW. Now that the 2019–2020 mega-bushfires are over, people in NSW are realizing how Berejiklian’s decisions and inactions helped make the bushland more burnable, and more difficult to extinguish.
After the fires, Berejiklian ordered an official inquiry into the apocalyptic blazes. Under greater public scrutiny of government handling of climate policy, the Premier pledges that the inquiry will “leave no stone unturned.” The inquiry is being led by two people – a former NSW Police deputy commissioner, and a former NSW chief scientist. The NSW bushfire inquiry process includes no public hearings and no means of public comment.
“Climate change is a reality and we have accepted that as a government …. Of course I accept the fact of climate change, of course I accept that all governments around the world have to play a part in addressing these extreme weather conditions…” – NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, to the Sydney Morning Herald, Dec 11 2019.
Popular YouTube comedian friendlyjordies (Jordan Shanks) is tagging Berejiklian a “Koala Killer” for refusing to acknowledge that the mega bushfires of 2019–2020 are caused by the changing climate. Friendlyjordies is fundraising for fire recovery thru the sale of his Koala Killer T-shirts.
Metro Newspaper: The Canberra Times. NSW fire inquiry to look at climate change by Heather McNabb, Jan 30 2020. Canberratimes.com.au/story/6605378/nsw-fire-inquiry-to-look-at-climate-change/?cs=14231
Metro Newspaper: The Sydney Morning Herald. Climate change one factor’ in bushfires and smoke haze, say ministers by Alexandra Smith, Tom Rabe and Lisa Visentin, Dec 11, 2019. Canberratimes.com.au/story/6605378/nsw-fire-inquiry-to-look-at-climate-change/?cs=14231
YouTube Channel: friendlyjordies. Koala extinction: why it’s happening by Jordan Shanks, Dec 1, 2019. Youtube.com/watch?v=WVJRAV6bBWs
3. You want to talk about climate? You’re a bloody disgrace!
“It is an absolute disgrace to be talking about climate change while we have lost lives and assets. For any bloody greenie or lefty out there who wants to talk about climate change [during the mega-bushfires], they are a bloody disgrace.’’ – John Barilaro, Deputy Premier of New South Wales, November 2019
Metro Newspaper: The Sydney Morning Herald. Deputy Premier says climate change talk amid fire crisis a ‘disgrace‘ by Alexandra Smith and David Crowe, November 11, 2019 smh.com.au/politics/nsw/deputy-premier-says-climate-change-talk-amid-fire-crisis-a-disgrace-20191111-p539ig.html
4. Zalli goes for the gold with Australia’s (possibly) first-ever Climate Plan.
Sydney native Olympic gold-medalist Zali Steggall marks a possible shift in hyper-polarized Australian politics. The new member of Parliament (May 2019) is proposing legislation that would align her country with energy transition goals of most other nations… to achieve zero net emissions by 2050.
The National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation (Climate Change Bill) would be modelled on the national climate frameworks of similar industrial nations.Under the plan, Australia would make 5-year plans for reducing its carbon spew, and for making the nation more resilient to inevitable changes in the climate.
Steggall, an Independent Member of Parliament hopes her legislation will unite members from both sides of parliament around climate policy. Asking MPs for their buy-in, she said, “Now is the time for a rational approach to climate change…It is time to take the party politics out of climate policy. It is a matter of principle that we should all be committed to a safer future.” Parliament will vote Seggall’s proposal for a Climate Change Bill up or down on March 23, 2020.
Industry News: RenewEconomy. Independent Zali Steggall eyes end of ‘climate wars’ with zero carbon bill by Michael Mazengarb, 10 February 2020. RenewEconomy.com.au/independent-zali-steggall-eyes-end-of-climate-wars-with-zero-carbon-bill-42929/
5. Sydney City Councillors see climate action as a local thing.
“In the absence of climate change action by the national government it really is falling to the cities to do even more” – Kerryn Phelps, Sydney City Councillor, 2019
“We can stop fiddling around with talking about new coal mines because no one wants to fund them … government policy needs to establish a foundation for business to invest in renewables for our future and to protect our environment. That is something the Australian people are saying they want.” – Kerryn Phelps, Sydney City Councillor, 2019
“Change happens at a local level.” – Jess Miller, Sydney City Councillor, 2019
News Blog: Vice. Sydney Has Officially Declared a Climate Emergency, by Gavin Butler, June 24 2019. Vice.com/en_au/article/bj9anw/sydney-has-officially-declared-a-climate-emergency.
News Blog: The New Daily. Kerryn Phelps zeroes in on climate change and Peter Dutton’s eligibility, by Paul Karp and Anne Davies. Nov 4 2018. TheGuardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/05/kerryn-phelps-seeks-urgent-briefing-on-peter-duttons-eligibility
Photos: Semipermanent.com/profiles/jess-miller; SMH.com.au/politics/federal/is-she-a-superwoman-kerryn-phelps-to-juggle-parliament-and-council-20181022-p50b4w.html; TheNewDaily.com.au