South West residents in Margaret River and Balingup will this week have the opportunity to join Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert and Greens candidate for Forrest Nerilee Boshammer to talk about what issues are important for them in the community.
“We have spoken to thousands of people in WA over many months and the overwhelming response is that they want action to tackle climate change and a plan to transition to clean, renewable energy and all of the jobs and training opportunities that this transition would bring,” Australian Greens senator Rachel Siewert said.
“Last week we announced our plan to create more than 24,165 jobs for Western Australia by rapidly transitioning to clean energy. More than 24,000 full-time jobs a year would be created in Western Australia under the Greens plan to rapidly transform Australia’s energy system to renewables by 2030.
“As a former Agriculture Scientist I know how important farming is to the South West region. Australia needs a viable, long-term agricultural industry. But to have it we need to ensure that we address climate change.
“The Greens will make available $80 million a year in direct agricultural subsidies for farmers to improve per-hectare yield without degrading the land. We will also fund a large scale rollout of the Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation Program. The Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation Program is an Australian-first, developed by farmers in conjunction with Greening Australia. It’s an entirely voluntary program that allows farmers to repair degraded or cleared paddocks over 10 hectares of size through the planting of a broad range of native trees and shrubs in widely spaced belts across the land. The paddock is ‘rested’ by excluding livestock for a period of five years. Unlike other land restoration programs, this involves no land lost to production. Instead, payments are made to farmers in return for ‘renting’ the land for five years while a mix of native trees and shrubs are established.
“We also support carefully directed environmental subsidies to encourage farmers to reduce fertiliser use, improve land productivity, reduce water consumption, end land clearing and improve gross yields per hectare. It’s better for the farmer, it’s better for the planet.
“We’ve also announced our policy for universal mental health services with a particular focus on youth mental health. People in the South West should be able to get easy access to treatments in the same way they would for a broken leg or the flu.
“The Greens are the only party who have made an election commitment to increasing Newstart and Youth Allowance. I’ve introduced four private members bills to increase Newstart since I’ve been in Parliament.
“The community know it is not acceptable that this payment hasn’t been raised for 25 years. Both major party leaders keep going on about a fair go. But no one gets a fair go when they are forced to live in poverty on $40 a day looking for jobs that are simply not there.
“We want to hear from the community about what’s important to them.”
Nerilee and Rachel will be a Fairharvest in Margaret River from 5:30pm this evening and at the Balingup Tavern from 5:30pm tomorrow Wednesday 24th April.
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180