Thank you to the Singleton community for being such great hosts for the delegates and Members of Parliament who attended Labor’s Country Conference last weekend. Leaders Jodi McKay and Anthony Albanese both delivered strong speeches of support for regional communities and the coal mining industry. Welcoming delegates, Deputy Mayor Tony Jarrett didn’t miss the opportunity to talk about Singleton’s attributes and to demand more funding from Government for projects like the Singleton by-pass.
Happily, those who attended the Conference brought their money with them and provided a good boost for the local economy.
Cessnock has a wonderful public swimming pool. It boasts heritage significance, a rare central location, and is always pristine. I know how good it is because I’ve been a regular user of both it and other pools around the country. None match Cessnock’s character or water quality.
That said, Cessnock’s pool is not perfect. It needs an upgrade and a greater variety of attractions. That takes money. In recent years we’ve been chasing grants to fund the necessary works. Sadly, we’ve not been successful. I thought we were there when I was able to secure a commitment from Federal Labor prior to the last election but alas, Labor lost the electoral contest.
You can imagine how angry I was then when I learned Scott Morrison had allocated $10 million for an upgrade of a swimming pool in North Sydney, one of Sydney’s wealthiest suburbs. To rub salt into the wound, the money came from a fund designed to upgrade regional facilities. There have been many other controversial allocations from the same fund.
We don’t need $10 million; much less would suffice. Like me, every sporting group leader in the Hunter Region who unsuccessfully applied for grants, is also entitled to be angry.
Net zero emissions means putting no more Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere than we are taking out. How do we take it out? In part by enhancing nature’s natural cycle, which may include planting more trees and improving soil health and carbon retention levels. Also, by using science that is already well advanced, methane emissions from cattle can be reduced in each beast.
How do we put less in? In part with technology: like those which enable us to capture carbon and return it underground where it came from; by putting more electric cars on the road; and also, by allowing markets to do what they are already doing, and that is generating electricity from less carbon-intense sources like gas, solar, wind and, hopefully soon, hydrogen. These measures need not involve any economic harm or job losses. It’s happening now, not just on a commercial scale but on roof-tops everywhere.