When the State Parliament resumes in February, the NSW Government will continue its pursuits amend our planning laws, in a desperate attempt to override our courts and independent planning bodies to make it easier for new coal mines and extensions to be approved without proper consideration.
This Bill is a sloppy, knee-jerk reaction to a scare campaign run by the NSW Minerals Council, it was introduced into Parliament without any prior community consultation.
A former supreme court judge has described the changes as a "dangerous retrograde step". The Environmental Defenders Office says they could have a number of unintended “chilling effects”.
LEAN firmly believes that NSW Labor should not support, or be seen to support, any policy that reduces the protections already in place around the impact of greenhouse gases from mining.
We’re asking Labor branches and branch members to do two things:
- Pass the below motion at your January or February branch meeting.
- Personally, write a brief email to your local Labor MP (or duty MLC) expressing your concern with this legislation. Members in Liberal and National Party electorates should also email their local MPs. Talking points below.
This branch calls on NSW Labor to oppose the NSW government’s proposed ‘Territorial Limits’ Bill. NSW Labor should not support any policy that reduces the protections and considerations already in place around the impact of greenhouse gases from coal mining.
This Bill is unnecessary and would limit the ability of the courts and independent planning bodies to properly consider the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions of projects in NSW.
At a time when NSW has just experienced its worst bushfire season on record, and most voters are calling for stronger action on climate change, this Bill is a step in the wrong direction.
This branch calls on NSW Labor to;
- Oppose the governments proposed ‘Territorial Limits’ Bill;
- Continue to develop ambitious climate change policies, including public investment in renewables and economic resilience plans for frontline communities; and
- Propose reforms to make our planning laws climate-ready, including by embedding proper consideration of climate mitigation and adaptation in the NSW planning system.
Please send a copy of your branch’s motion to;
- Jodi McKay, NSW Labor Leader: [email protected];
- Adam Searle, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy and Shadow Minister for Planning and Better Living: [email protected];
- NSW LEAN (so we know who has passed the motions); [email protected]
- And your branch’s local Labor MPs or duty MLC.
Some suggested points to include in your letter to MPs:
- At a time when NSW has witnessed its worst fire season on record, this is not the moment to be weakening our planning laws and caving in to a campaign from the NSW Minerals Council.
- This summer’s drought, bushfires and blanketing smoke hazes have struck a chord with middle Australia. 2/3 Australians now believe we are facing a climate emergency and should mobilise all of society to tackle the challenge. The reality of climate change is sinking in, voters are listening. A political window is open right now to advocate for a comprehensive climate action policy, not take a step in the wrong direction.
- This Bill seeks to inappropriately restrict the consideration of impacts of emissions from burning overseas of Australian coal mines. NSW Labor should not support, or be seen to support, any policy that reduces the protections already in place around the impact of greenhouse gases from coal mining. Whether and how far overseas impacts are an Australian responsibility should remain able to be argued on the basis of evidence, not excluded by shoddy legislation.
- NSW Labor must begin to develop a suite of policies, working with unions, frontline communities and environmental groups that will encourage investment in renewables and sustainable materials, assisting to spur a new manufacturing boom, whilst reducing emissions. It should follow QLD Labor’s move to create a publicly-owned renewable energy generation company ‘CleanCo’, which can create jobs and provide low-cost electricity.
- We know that a healthy environment and a prosperous economy are not mutually exclusive. As Anthony Albanese has recently outlined in his ‘Jobs and the Future of Work’ vision speech, Australia can continue to be an energy superpower, and spur a new manufacturing boom, and all the jobs that come with that, if we get the policy settings right.
Who to send your email to:
- Your local Labor MP (or duty MLC), find their details here.
- Jodi McKay: [email protected]
- Adam Searle: [email protected]
UPDATE: The NSW Upper House has concluded its inquiry into the bill, and recommended that the Bill not proceed in its current form. Read the SMH article here and the committees report here.
Further Reading and Background Information:
- SMH: 'Beggars belief': NSW planning changes criticised amid fire crisis
- The Guardian: Witnesses fight back tears at NSW inquiry into 'anti-climate' scope 3 emissions law
- Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) Briefing Note on the Bill.
- The NSW Nature Conservation Council’s Submission on the Bill.
- Lock The Gate’s Submission on the Bill.
- SMH: 'NSW should be alarmed': Former judge slams planning laws.
- EDO’s Climate-Ready planning laws for NSW Recommendations Summary.
What else can I do?
- Sign the NSW Nature Conservation Council's Petition here.