Local Labor recognises the unique environmental features of the Inner West and the global environmental issues that our community cares about. The effects of climate change, the quality of our waterways and the prospect of intensive urban development require concerted action at all levels of government.
The failure of national governments across the globe to adequately respond to the climate challenge has thrown the responsibility for action to regional and local governments. Local Labor is prepared to act in the absence of leadership at the national and state levels. We are committed to addressing three major environmental challenges in the Inner West – leading on solar energy, declaring war on waste and caring for our waterways.
1. Leading on solar
2. War on waste
3. Caring for our waterways
In addition to these three core commitments, Local Labor will continue its proven track record of supporting local initiatives to protect our biodiversity, consult with our community, and support local community groups in their efforts to protect our local environment.
1. Leading on solar energy
Local Labor will:
- Sign up the Inner West to the Cities Power Partnership – with a focus on pledging actions focused on solar and renewables leadership.
- Make the Inner West Council 100% carbon neutral by 2023 including reducing the need for offsets, and work towards making Council’s investment portfolio 100% fossil fuel free. (Currently, 70% fossil fuel free by June 2018.)
- Make the Inner West Council a leader in Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy by:
- Ensuring all new Council-owned developments are fitted with Solar PV cells.
- Working towards the retrofitting of all Council-owned buildings with appropriately sized Solar PV cells – potentially through a bulk tendering process – where possible.
- Establish an Office of Renewable Energy Innovation (REI) to make the Inner West community a leader in renewable energy innovation by:
- Setting targets and timeframes for the take up of renewable energy and energy conservation solutions, including benchmarks for new developments.
- Leading the investigation into our best options for adopting solar and renewable energy in our area.
- Helping drive community renewables ownership by supporting community energy organisations in the Inner West.
- Providing support to help home owners and commercial property managers install/manage solar technology – with a goal for the installation of Solar PV cells on all eligible roofs.
- Providing a brokerage service to help organisations looking to invest in community energy projects to identify potential partners with suitable roof space.
- Investigating the viability of transitioning the Inner West Council vehicle fleet to an electric fleet.
- Prioritise a solar innovation pilot run by REI, which may include a Council/Commercial Solar Power Purchase Agreement, investment in a regional solar farm partnership, and/or a local solar farm pilot.
2. The Inner West War on Waste
To reduce pollution and waste going to landfill, and to reduce, reuse and recycle resources Local Labor will Work towards a waste-free Inner West Council by 2030 by:
- Initiating strategies for Council to stop using plastic bags and bottles, and campaign to make the Inner West plastic bag, bottle, and disposable coffee cup free.
- Increasing targets for the proportion of household and industrial waste to be recycled, and investigating new technologies for resource recovery in line with the NSW Waste Avoidance + Resource Recovery Strategy.
- Widening the trial of food waste collection at multi-unit residential properties across the Inner West, and investigating extension of food waste collection from residential homes.
- Expanding the current trial of community compost “hubs” to support residential composting in small homes and apartments.
- Providing an electronic and chemical waste pick-up service.
- Hosting a “slow fashion” clothes swap fair across the Inner West Council area.
3. Caring for our waterways
Local Labor will protect and restore the health of our precious waterways by:
- Installing gross pollutant traps on all stormwater drains to prevent waste entering our waterways
- Building or maintaining wetlands to improve the quality of water entering waterways from local creeks and canals – e.g. Peter Bulger wetlands in St Peters.
- Supporting the Cooks River Alliance to ensure a healthy Cooks River.
- Making the Parramatta River swimmable by partnering with the Parramatta River Catchment Group, and providing funds to produce a site activation plan for Iron Cove with a costed plan for improving the health of this vital waterway.