Labor will introduce a Renewable Energy Target for NSW.
Labor will introduce a Renewable Energy Target for NSW. Labor’s Renewable Energy Target will be set in law as part of a new Climate Change Act.
Labor’s Renewable Energy Target will require NSW to generate:
- At least 50 per cent of our state’s energy from renewable sources by 2030; and
- As close as possible to 100 per cent of our energy from renewable sources by 2050.
Labor will develop interim targets in government to meet these goals. This will include an interim target for 2025
Labor will require the NSW Government to obtain all of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.
Labor will require the NSW Government to obtain all of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.
Labor believes the NSW Government should lead by example. However, only 6 per cent of the NSW Government’s electricity is currently purchased from renewable sources.6
Labor will conduct an audit of all NSW Government buildings to identify suitable opportunities for roof-top solar installation.
By switching the NSW Government’s energy use to renewable sources, Labor will take another step to establish a reliable level of demand for renewable energy in NSW. This will provide certainty, which will assist renewable energy suppliers to make long-term investments.
Labor will deliver cleaner and cheaper energy
To achieve Labor’s renewable energy goals, Labor will make the largest investments in renewable energy in the history of Australia.
Labor will deliver a total of 9 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030
Labor will deliver a total of 9 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030. Labor will deliver:
- 6 gigawatts of renewable energy through reverse auctions;
- 2 gigawatts of renewable energy through roof-top solar panels; and
- 1 gigawatt of renewable energy through the activities of a new State Owned Corporation.
Labor’s plans to deliver new renewable energy through roof-top solar panels will:
- Help an additional 500,000 households install roof-top solar panels, taking NSW to over 1 million solar households and
- Help these households save up to $1000 per year on their electricity bills.
Labor’s plans to deliver new renewable energy through reverse auctions and a new State Owned Corporation will:
- Create enough renewable energy to power more than 3 million homes - equivalent to the current number of NSW homes;7
- Put downward pressure on household electricity bills;
- Supply up to nearly 27 per cent of the current demand for electricity in NSW;
- Create more than 13,000 direct jobs across regional NSW;
- Create $9.5 billion of new infrastructure investment; and
- Create an additional $5 billion of economic benefits.8
Labor’s plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 18 million tonnes per year. This is:
- 14 per cent of current emissions from NSW;9 and
- Equivalent to taking 5.7 million cars off the road - more than the total number of cars currently on the road in NSW (4.2 million).10
Labor will support the roll-out of electric cars
Labor will support the roll-out of electric cars in NSW.
- Require 25 per cent of the NSW Government’s car fleet to use electric vehicles by 2025; and
- Allocate $10 million to support the roll-out of new fast-charging stations across NSW.
Labor’s plan will prevent NSW being left-behind other jurisdictions. The Government of California is on-track to have 25 per cent of its car fleet comprised of electric vehicles by 2020.11
Labor will support renewable energy jobs
Labor will support job creation in the renewable energy sector by:
- Making TAFE free for courses relating to renewable energy;
- Requiring 20 per cent of work on major NSW Government construction projects to be allocated to apprentices, trainees, Indigenous Australians and people who have been long-term unemployed
- Investing $11 million to help train and accredit 4,500 electricians to install and maintain solar panels and batteries; and
- Introducing a Solar Industry Guarantee to allow businesses who manufacture or assemble solar technology in NSW to enter into long-term supply agreements with the new State Owned Corporation.
Labor will work to extend the Solar Industry Guarantee long-term supply agreements to companies participating in the reverse auction process. This will:
- Provide certainity for solar industry businesses to hire new workers;
- Help businesses in the solar industry secure financing;
- Ensure the NSW Government provides support to local businesses as a reliable customer; and
- Assist the solar industry in NSW to grow so that it can expand into other Australian states and overseas.
Labor supports the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050
Labor supports the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
This goal means that, by 2050, NSW would only emit as much carbon as could be absorbed through natural processes or otherwise removed from the atmosphere.
Labor will put NSW on the path to achieving net zero emissions by making the largest investments in renewable energy in Australia’s history.
Labor will also achieve this goal by:
- Convening a Climate Change Response Summit;
- Developing a Climate Action Plan; and
- Introducing a Climate Change Act.
Labor will hold a Climate Change Response Summit
A Daley Labor Government will hold a Climate Change Response Summit in its first year in office.
The Climate Change Response Summit will provide an opportunity for people to come together and develop the pathway NSW will take to achieve the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Labor’s Climate Change Response Summit will bring together:
- Scientists, engineers, economists and other experts;
- Members of the community;
- Representatives from different industries;
- Representatives from regulatory bodies; and
- Representatives from the Commonwealth Government and local councils.
Labor will develop a Climate Action Plan and introduce a Climate Change Act
The outcomes from the Climate Change Response Summit will be used to develop a Climate Action Plan. This plan will specify the actions NSW will take to achieve the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
Labor will pass a Climate Change Act to enshrine the Climate Action Plan in law. This will provide long-term certainty for industry and the community regarding the actions NSW will take to achieve the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
Labor will protect and support our National Parks
Labor will restore integrity to our National Parks
Labor will restore integrity to National Parks in NSW by prohibiting any of the following activities from occurring:
- Commercial logging;
- Amateur hunting; and
- Grazing of hoofed animals.
None of these activities are appropriate with the environmental protection goals of National Parks, however all of these activities have been proposed, trialed or implemented by the Liberals and Nationals during the last eight years.
Labor will nominate the Royal National Park for World Heritage Listing
Labor will nominate the Royal National Park for World Heritage Listing.
The Royal National Park was created in 1879. It is:
The oldest National Park in Australia; and
The second oldest National Park in the world after Yellowstone National Park in the United States.12
The Liberals and Nationals have planned to build the F6 motorway through the Royal National Park.13 Labor:
Will not allow the F6 to be built through the Royal National Park; and
Will recognise the Royal National Park by nominating it for World Heritage Listing.
Labor opposes the flooding of the Blue Mountains National Park
The Liberals and Nationals are planning to raise the wall of Warragamba Dam. This will flood as much as 50 square kilometres of the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains National Park.14
The Liberals and Nationals’ plan to raise the wall of Warragamba Dam:
- Will threaten native species in the Blue Mountains National Park; and
- Appears motivated by the Liberals and Nationals’ plans to allow more development in Western Sydney.1
- Labor opposes the flooding of the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains National Park as part of the proposal to raise the Warragamba Dam wall.
Labor will maintain the integrity of the Blue Mountains National Park.
Labor will negotiate to add the Radiata Plateau to the Blue Mountains National Park
The Radiata Plateau is the last remaining undeveloped peninsula-plateau in the upper Blue Mountains and it is home to threatened plants and endangered species. However, it has been threatened with potential property developments.16
Labor will negotiate the purchase of the Radiata Plateau for reservation within the Blue Mountains National Park.
Labor will protect Kosciuszko National Park
In 2018, the Liberals and Nationals passed the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act 2018.
This law places the protection of wild horses in Kosciuszko National Park above all other environmental considerations.
Wild horses are not native to Australia, and they are a source of significant environmental harm. Wild horses:
- Cause damage to soil and water quality in the Snowy Mountains;
- Threaten unique alpine species which exist nowhere else on earth, the Corroboree frog and the Mountain Pygmy Possum.
Labor opposed the introduction of the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act 2018. Labor will repeal this law if elected.
Labor will have further announcements before the election in relation to Kosciuszko National Park.
Labor will expand the Tomaree National Park at Fishermans Bay
The Tomaree National Park was established by the Wran Labor Government in 1984 and expanded by the Carr Labor Government in 1996.17
A Daley Labor Government will expand the Tomaree National Park to help protect the endangered koala population in the Port Stephens area.18
Currently, the NSW Government owns four blocks of land which adjoin the Tomaree National Park. These blocks are knowns as 21, 23, 25 and 27 Fishermans Bay Road.
A Daley Labor Government will transfer these blocks of land to the Tomaree National Park. This will:
Labor will create a National Park for the koalas of south-west Sydney
Around 300 koalas live along the Georges River in South Western Sydney.
This koala colony is the largest in the Sydney Basin.
Unlike other koala populations, the koala’s of south-west Sydney are free from chlamydia, a disease which can cause infertility and death.19
The koalas of south-west Sydney are threatened by urban development and traffic on local roads.
Labor will protect these koalas by:
- Establishing a new National Park;
- Building infrastructure in the surrounding area to protect koalas including fencing, overpasses and underpasses on key roads; and
- Investing $3 million to establish a koala care centre in the Macarthur region.
The new National Park will run along the Georges River between Glenfield and Appin.
Labor will work with the local Georges River Koala Network, local councils and local koala carers to establish a new koala care centre in the Macarthur region. This centre will be based on the successful models of koala care centres in Lismore and Port Macquarie.
Labor will protect our state’s wilderness areas
Labor will protect our state’s wilderness areas by:
- Identifying wilderness areas suitable for protection, particularly in Western and Central Western NSW; and
- Prohibiting activities like horse riding in declared wilderness areas to preserve these unspoilt environments.
Labor will return Me-mel (Goat Island) to the Aboriginal people of NSW
Me-mel is an island in Sydney Harbour near Balmain. Following the arrival of Europeans, Me-mel became known as Goat Island. For most of the 20th Century, the island was used as a shipyard.
In 1993, Me-mel became part of the Sydney Harbour National Park. It is currently managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.20
Labor will hand Me-mel back to the Aboriginal people of NSW.
Labor will protect our land, our wildlife, our trees and our soil
Labor will protect and improve our biodiversity
Biodiversity is in decline in NSW.
The latest NSW State of the Environment report (2015) shows that this decline is continuing with 1,000 species of plants and animals and 108 ecological communities listed as threatened under NSW Legislation.
Clearing of native vegetation and the associated destruction of habitat is the single biggest threat to biodiversity in NSW.
Only 9 per cent of NSW native vegetation is considered to be in good condition. NSW soils are continuing to deteriorate, with 74 per cent of priority soil units being rated as poor or very poor. New South Wales continues to lose much of its soil to erosion at the same time as salinity and acidification continue to rise.
Labor will establish a biodiversity taskforce to make recommendations to remake the Local Land Services Act 2013 and the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.
Labor is committed to reinstating protections to maintain and improve biodiversity that were lost under the Liberals’ and Nationals’ biodiversity conservation reforms.
Labor will work with scientists, farmers, environmentalists, and other landholders to return the biodiversity conservation laws of NSW to laws based on science and capable of stopping deforestation.
Labor’s review will ensure that, longer-term, we can re-establish a robust regulatory system to protect the environment, save threatened species from extinction, ensure healthy soil and water for food production and habitat, and enhance carbon storage to reduce the impacts of climate change.
Working with our colleagues in Federal Labor and their recent commitment to establishing a new Australian Environment Act to replace current national biodiversity laws, NSW Labor will work to actively protect our unique natural environment with laws informed by the best available scientific advice.
The Biodiversity Taskforce will be asked to prepare legislative and policy advice that will seek to:
- Reinstate the ‘maintain or improve’ tests;
- Include greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impact;
- Limit the discretion of the minister;
- Include no go zones where offsetting cannot occur;
- Ensure offsetting follows the ‘like for like’ principle;
- Prohibit mine rehabilitation sites for use as offsets;
- Close loop holes that allow reduction in offsets;
- Ensure consistency between Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Local Land Services Act 2013;
- Reinstate licensing arrangements for harming native wildlife;
- Ensure that double-dipping on offsets cannot occur;
- Ensure that voluntary stewardship agreements are recognised as such and not as offsets;
- Reinsert the deleted provision of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 that allows listing of local populations; and
- Examine the mapping and codes.
In addition to the $240 million invested in the Biodiversity Conservation Trust, the review will also provide options for increasing investment in biodiversity conservation on private and public land.
Labor will invest $50 million to wage war on weeds and pests
Labor will invest $50 million to wage war on weeds and pests.
Labor’s investment will:
- Help eradicate weeds and pests on public land, including National Parks and Crown Lands;
- Create jobs in rural and regional areas; and
- Help farmers in their fight to eradicate weeds and pests.
In addition to causing environmental harm, weeds and pests are estimated to cost the economy more than $1 billion every year.21
Labor will also implement key recommendations of the Natural Resources Commission’s Weeds review by establishing:
- An independent NSW Weeds Committee and Chair which will report to Parliament on the NSW Government’s efforts to tackle weeds; and
- A ‘permitted list approach’ to species management in NSW.
Labor will double funding for Landcare, Bushcare, Rivercare and Dunecare groups
Labor will invest $32.5 million to support Landcare, Bushcare, Rivercare and Dunecare groups in NSW.
There are 3,000 volunteer Landcare, Buscare, Rivercare and Dunecare groups in NSW.
Labor’s investment will:
- Double the current funding provided to Landcare NSW, the umbrella organisation for Landcare, Bushcare, Rivercare and Dunecare groups; and
- Allow Landcare NSW to deploy more front line and regional co-ordinators to assist volunteer groups across NSW.
Around 60,000 volunteers participate in Landcare, Bushcare, Rivercare and Dunecare groups across NSW. These groups perform important work, including:
- Environmental rehabilitation;
- Addressing salinity and soil erosion;
- Weed control; and
- Improving the health of creeks and rivers.
Landcare, Bushcare, Rivercare and Dunecare volunteers are estimated to contribute at least $500 million worth of work to NSW each year.
Labor will crack down on wildlife crime
Labor will implement a five-point plan to crack down on wildlife crime. Labor will:
- Create a specialist squad to investigate wildlife crime, including staff from the NSW Police Force, NSW Fisheries and the Office of Environment and Heritage and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA);
- Make wildlife crime a reportable crime in NSW;
- Deliver tougher penalties by creating a new indictable offence of Wildlife Crime;
- Establish a state-wide database to record all incidents of wildlife crime; and
- Launch a Partnership for Action against Wildlife crime (PAW).
Labor’s PAW initiative will raise community awareness of wildlife crime. It will bring together representatives from:
- Relevant government agencies, including the Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Fisheries and Taronga Zoo;
- Non-government organisations, including the RSPCA; and
- Community members, including landowners and law abiding hunters.
Labor will hold a koala summit
There are currently less than 20,000 koalas in NSW. If the current decline in the koala population continues, it is estimated koalas will be extinct in NSW by 2050.22
The summit will bring together experts and stakeholders concerned with koala protection to design and deliver an effective recovery plan across the state. The last Koala Summit was held in 1988.
Labor will buy-back the Mambo Wetlands koala habitat
Labor will buy-back the Mambo Wetlands near Port Stephens.
The Mambo Wetlands is a 6 hectare site which supports some of the 200-500 koalas estimated to live around Port Stephens.
The Liberals and Nationals sold the site in 2016. The Liberals and Nationals have since described the sale as a “mistake”.
Labor will buy-back the Mambo Wetlands koala habitat. If necessary, Labor will compulsorily acquire the site using s. 145 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NSW).
Labor will deliver cleaner air
Labor will adopt higher standards to limit air pollution
Labor will adopt higher standards to limit larger particles in air pollution. These larger particles are known as “PM10”.
PM10 particles typically include:
- Dust from roads; and
- Particles associated with construction activities.
- Can be inhaled;
- Can irritate the eyes and throat; and
- Can cause people with existing heart or lung conditions (including asthma) to experience an increase in symptoms, including wheezing and difficulty breathing.23
In 2015, the National Clean Air Agreement was adopted by the Commonwealth and all states and territories. This agreement included an annual average PM10 standard of 25 micrograms per cubic meter. However, Victoria and the ACT opted to implement a stricter threshold of 20 micrograms per cubic metre. The stricter standard adopted by Victoria and the ACT is consistent with the recommendation of the World Health Organisation.
Labor will bring NSW into line with the World Health Organization recommendation of 20 micrograms per cubic metre for PM10 air pollution.
Labor will complete the load based licensing scheme review
The load-based licensing scheme has operated since 1999. This scheme:
- Requires certain environment protection licensees to pay part of their licence fees based on the load of pollutants their activities release to the environment; and
- Aims to achieve better environmental and economic outcomes by setting clear minimum standards for environmental performance, using incentives for ongoing pollution reduction, increasing regulatory transparency and the tracking of emissions reductions.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is currently reviewing the scheme.24
Labor acknowledges there are complexities with applying the scheme to coal mining. Labor will:
- Undertake further consultation with a broad range of stakeholders; and
- Make decisions which are informed by the best available science and expertise within the industry.
Labor will improve air quality monitoring in the vicinity of coal fired power stations
Labor will improve air quality monitoring in the vicinity of coal fired power stations with new ambient air quality monitoring stations.
While there currently exists an air quality monitoring network in NSW, locations of air quality monitoring stations are not always within close vicinity of the state’s five coal fired power stations. For example, the nearest air quality monitoring station for Lithgow’s Mount Piper power station is 62 kilometres away in Bathurst.
Labor will review the locations of air quality monitoring stations near coal-fired power stations for their effectiveness in understanding and managing the potential health impacts of emissions on the community. Labor will establish new monitoring stations in the vicinity of coal fired power stations where no adequate monitoring currently exists, in consultation with affected communities.
Labor will finalise a 10-year strategy to improve air quality
In 2016, the Liberals and Nationals issued a consultation paper for a strategy to improve NSW air quality. While a period of consultation followed, no final strategy was ever produced.
Labor will finalise a 10-year strategy to improve air quality. Labor will integrate this strategy with its initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and increase the supply of clean, renewable energy.
Labor will improve the health of NSW waterways
Labor will save the Barwon-Darling river system
The Barwon-Darling river system is located in the north and west of NSW. This river system is approximately 1,600km long, and makes up 13 per cent of the Murray-Darling Basin.25
The Liberals and Nationals have mismanaged this river system. In January 2019, one million fish were killed as a result of the Liberals and Nationals neglect.26
Labor will establish a Special Commission of Inquiry to examine all aspects of the mismanagement of the Barwon-Darling river system. The Special Commission of Inquiry will examine issues including:
- The 2012 Water Sharing Plans; and
- The $500 million Wentworth to Broken Hill pipeline.
Labor will also implement a comprehensive plan to improve the health of the Barwon-Darling river system.
- Restore low and medium flows to the Darling River by reinstating the “Cease to Pump” rule. This will ensure river flows are protected during periods of drought or low rainfall.
- Ensure inspectors conduct compliance checks on water users. This will provide confidence in the integrity of river management.
- Stop the NSW Government’s decommissioning project at Menindee which will destroy the Menindee Lakes and place the river system under greater stress.
- Increase the number of outreach officers from Fisheries NSW to work with communities.
- Establish a community consultative committee so members of the local community can be involved in the management of the Menindee Lakes and river systems.
Labor will restore the Streamwatch program
In 2018, the Liberals and Nationals announced they would cut Streamwatch.
Streamwatch was established in 1990 to monitor quality of water running through Sydney’s waterways and creeks.
Currently, around 200 volunteers are involved in testing water quality at 160 sites around Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.27
Labor will restore Streamwatch to ensure the health of waterways in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra continues to be monitored.
Labor will protect and enhance our urban environment
Labor will plant 6 million trees in Greater Sydney by 2030
Labor will invest $50 million over the next four years to deliver more green spaces across Greater Sydney.
Labor’s investment will fund programs that assist local governments, state government agencies, community organisations and private land holders to restore and enhance green spaces.
Labor’s investment will fund programs including:
- Tree planting and preservation;
- Planning to protect trees and enhance the tree canopy; and
- Land acquisition for environmental, social and recreational uses.
Labor will target our investment toward Western Sydney and other areas which currently have poor tree cover.
Labor’s investment will allow more than 500,000 trees to be planted each year. In total, Labor will plant 6 million trees across Greater Sydney by 2030.
Labor will create a public inventory of environmental assets
Labor will create a publicly available inventory of environmental assets. This inventory will help to protect existing assets and guide the development of more green spaces.
The inventory will include:
- Golf courses;
- Street trees;
- Walking and cycling transport corridors;
- Urban agriculture; and
- Green roofs and green walls.
The inventory will be made publicly available online as data files and maps.
Labor will amend the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) to require consideration of the inventory for all planning decisions.
Labor will invest $10 million to restore Callan Park
Labor will invest $10 million to restore Callan Park. Labor’s investment will deliver:
- $5 million to establish a public Trust to manage Callan Park; and
- An initial grant of $5 million to allow the Trust to undertake repairs, restorations and safety upgrades.
The Trust which Labor will establish for Callan Park will operate in a similar fashion to Trusts for other major parks in Sydney, such as Centennial Park and Parramatta Park.
Labor will also:
- Reverse the Liberals and Nationals’ decision to evict Callan Park Film Production Services; and
- Support the Balmain Para-Rowing program, including providing the program with facility access in Callan Park.
Labor will repeal the Liberals and Nationals’ anti‑protest laws
Within the first 100 days of office, a Daley Labor Government will repeal the Liberals and Nationals’ anti-protest laws which prevent making their voice heard by engaging in peaceful protests.
In March 2016, the Liberals and Nationals passed the Inclosed Lands, Crimes and Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment (Interference) Act 2016.
This law contained provisions designed to prevent legitimate, peaceful protest by law-abiding members of the community.
Labor opposed the introduction of this undemocratic law. Labor even took the extraordinary step of lodging a protest to the Governor.
Labor will repeal the Liberal and Nationals’ undemocratic anti-protest laws within 100 days of taking office.
Labor will oppose the Nationals’ push for nuclear power in NSW
The Nationals’ plan for nuclear power in NSW
The Leader of the Nationals, Deputy Premier John Barilaro, has called for the introduction of nuclear power in NSW:
Nuclear power on the agenda in NSW as Deputy Premier claims ‘we’ve been led by fear and mistruths’
New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro has put nuclear energy on the agenda, arguing it would help secure the state’s power supply in the future.Mr Barilaro, the leader of the NSW Nationals, will address his party’s annual conference in Broken Hill today, where he will make the case for a nuclear debate.
ABC News, 19 May 2017
Mr Barilaro has described the introduction of nuclear power in NSW as “inevitable”:
John Barilaro to push the nuclear power button
Acting NSW Premier John Barilaro will declare nuclear power “inevitable” in a speech that slams “ignorant, 1970s” thinking for preventing development of the nation’s uranium reserves and condemning residents to blackouts.
The speech by the state Nationals party leader, seen by The Australian and to be delivered on Wednesday night at an energy policy forum in Sydney, calls for small modular reactors, likely imported from the US, to reduce dependence on high-emission coal and gas-fired power over the next five to 10 years.
The Australian, 17 April 2018
Labor opposes nuclear power in NSW
Labor opposes the Nationals’ plan to introduce nuclear power in NSW.
- Maintain a ban on uranium exploration, extraction and export in NSW; and
- Oppose any plans to develop a nuclear power industry in NSW.
Labor calls on the NSW Nationals to tell the people of NSW:
- Where in NSW they intend to build nuclear power plants; and
- How the Nationals would deal with nuclear waste and other hazards associated with nuclear power.
Labor will oppose the Nationals’ push for nuclear power in NSW.