The Maroondah Climate Change Action Group has sent a questionnaire to all council candidates to confirm their views on climate change. The questions and my responses were as follows:
1. Do you support Maroondah Council:-
a. becoming carbon neutral by 2012?
1a. Yes, I do support council becoming carbon neutral by 2012 but it is critical that council achieves this target through reducing its energy usage and not by merely offsetting its emissions.
b. informing residents and businesses of practical ways to reduce their carbon footprint
b. I certainly agree that council needs to be an environmental leader and educate the community on steps to reduce carbon emissions and increase urban sustainability. I also believe that council must lead by example through using public transport, cycling and walking rather than its car fleet.
2. In what ways do you see the Maroondah Council supporting environmental sustainability?
2. Council needs to undertake community education programs while also reducing its own emissions. Council needs to supplement its energy fund so that it can meet a 2012 target and also reduce its dependence on car based transport. Councils such as Knox provide council Metcards to encourage public transport usage, given that Maroondah is better served by public transport than Knox it could be easily be done here.
Likewise Council needs to advocate for better public transport to build on the removal of zone three fares, through campaigning for an accessible and safe Ringwood Station and better bus services.
Footpaths and cycling paths are also required to encourage walking and cycling.
Likewise council needs to ensure a higher standard of development that meets urban sustainability guidelines. This is particularly important given the Eastland redevelopment.
3. How highly do you place the priority of climate change as an issue to be dealt with by the Maroondah Council?
3. I view climate change and sustainability, alongside accountability and accessibility, as the top three priorities for council. I have been a long committed environmental and public transport advocate and I certainly plan to continue this.
4. Are you attending the Eastern Region Climate Forum on the 18th Nov?
4. Yes I will be attending the forum.