How will Ley save finch?
Back in 2006, federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell (Liberal) overruled a Victorian government (Labor) proposal to build a 52-turbine wind farm on Victoria's south-east coast on the basis that the turbines might pose a risk to the endangered Orange Bellied Parrot.
The evidence he relied on was very sketchy and did not conclude that the turbines were a danger, just that there was so little information that it wasn't possible to say they were not a danger. Back then you could say the Liberal party was particularly interested in saving endangered species, or perhaps it was simply that they didn't like renewable energy, or they didn't like anything the Victorian Labor government proposed.
Fast forward 13 years and the endangered Black Throated Finch is almost certain to become extinct if the Adani mine goes ahead, but this seems not to trouble the recent Environment Minister Melissa Price. She appeared quite relaxed about a coal mine extinguishing the last Black Throated Finch.
It will be interesting to see what the new Environment Minister and member for Farrer Sussan Ley plans to do to save the Black Throated Finch.
Graham Parton, Beechworth
Hardly the minority
Apparently he is not aware that the "rabid minority" includes the Australian Energy Market Operator, the government authority that controls the whole of the electricity network on the eastern side of Australia. Last year the AEMO produced the Integrated Systems Plan setting out the way forward for the electricity industry for the next couple of decades.
The ISP is explicit about several things. The first is that its recommendations are for the least-cost path. Next, that existing coal-fired generators should continue operating until the end of their operational life. Finally, that coal-fired generators can be most economically replaced with a portfolio of large-scale wind and solar, pumped hydro, battery storage, rooftop solar, gas-fired generation (2 per cent only), and transmission investment. There is no place for coal in the future energy mix and except for the 2 per cent gas, none of our electricity will come from fossil fuels. Readers are encouraged to look through the ISP to see how AEMO proposes to have a low-cost, reliable electricity system that does not include coal.
Bruce Key, Wodonga
Don't be fooled
Attention all workers - take note that on the same day penalty rates are cut, Scott Morrison will receive an $11,000 a year pay rise. Don't be duped into thinking cuts to penalty rates create more jobs.The only thing it does is continue the destruction of our weekend culture and causes hardship to honest everyday workers. This is just greed.
Chris Mannion, Boorooma
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