Latest News and Media Releases - Illawarra Greens

Port pool still closed - and no word on how long until it's back in use

Works had also been underway this year to remove large amounts of sand which have been being washed up next to the surf club, hindering access.

In June Ward 2 Councillor Cath Blakey called for the sand shifting work to halt until it could be properly evaluated whether the solution was working.

Much of the east coast of Australia is experiencing more sand than usual, because of atypical weather patterns and a lack of heavy seas to shift large amounts of sand.

"Currently, along the entire east coast there is a high volume of sand, mostly concentrated at the northern end of beaches," a council spokeswoman said.

Read the article by Ben Langford in The Illawarra Mercury, 12 December 2019.

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Wollongong Council takes steps to a carbon-free future

Wollongong Council voted unanimously in favour of a target for zero emissions. Greens Councillor Mithra Cox said council voted for "getting started on making the immediate and deep cuts to emissions that we need in order to get there in time to solve the climate crisis."

Watch the WIN Illawarra News, 11 December 2019

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How Wollongong council will begin cutting emissions under new 2030 target

Under their new targets, the council's own operations will be carbon neutral by 2030, and the rest of the city - including residents and big polluters in the industrial sector - would have net zero emissions by 2050.

With bushfire smoke blowing in to cloud the view from the council chambers during the debate, Greens councillor Mithra Cox said it was vital for the council to show leadership on the complicated issue of cutting emissions in an industrial city.

"The fires we can see outside are the result of pollution that went into the atmosphere 20 years ago, so no matter what we do now we will continue to warm for the next 20 years," she said. "We are fast running out of time. [But] this motion gives us a framework to begin reducing our emissions, and we can begin tomorrow."

Greens Cr Cox said some countries were already making moves towards zero emissions steelmaking, with Germany running a blast furnace using hydrogen power.

"If we are truly a city of innovation, we should be racing against the clock to make the world's greenest steel because we are going to need steel to build wind turbines, railways and solar panels to make this transition," she said.

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 11 December 2019.

Read the article by Glen Humphries in The Illawarra Mercury, 10 December 2019, about an initiative that might help.

See the WIN News Illawarra item about the sort of initiative in the Illawarra that can help.

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Wollongong, Australia's steel city, commits to be carbon neutral by 2050

Wollongong has set itself the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The city council has committed to an even more ambitious operational target of zero net emissions by 2030. It is the 26th council in Australia to adopt a timeline for a whole-of-community reduction.

 Greens councillor Mithra Cox said the commitment was welcome but overdue.

"I am glad we are here, but it is not just six months too late, it's 30 years too late," she said. "Our city unfortunately, is one of the highest emitters in the country, however, it does mean that we have considerable scope to reduce our emissions. When you come from a high base like that, you have a greater capacity to make a difference than if you were already low."

The initial target will equate to a reduction of 2.7 per cent — 74,251 tonnes — per year for its carbon-intensive economy. Council expects to achieve almost half of its savings through landfill gas capture, but it will likely have to invest in hundreds of thousands of dollars in offsets to achieve the goal.

Read the article by Kelly Fuller from ABC Illawarra, 11 December 2019

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Southern Phone sale approved by Wollongong council, despite concerns about 'fishy' deal

A majority voted to approve the sale of the council's two shares, which will rake in about $875,000 for the city budget. But Greens councillors Mithra Cox and Cath Blakey voted against the deal.

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 19 November 2019.

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No light rail for Wollongong -- yet

Greens councillor Mithra Cox spoke in support of Liberal Councillor John Dorahy's idea of light rail, saying Wollongong needed a range of better transport measures to become more sustainable and support businesses in the CBD.

"Retail is not dead, retail is dead in Wollongong because we don't have a really good integrated public transport network," she said.

"People are just absolutely limited by our lack of imagination. i think it's absolutely a false argument to say that just because our other public transport is crap - that our train is infrequent, and the government cut funding to the free bus - that we shouldn't even bother talking about this."

Read the article by Kate McIlwain in The Illawarra Mercury, 29 October 2019

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New recycling plant in Wollongong could help ease crisis gripping industry

Cr Cox wants Wollongong to tap the $20 million announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison for innovative recycling projects, and will move at Monday's meeting for Wollongong City Council to express its interest.

Read the article in The Illawarra Mercury, 24 October 2019

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Waste recycling project in Wollongong?

The state's recycled waste could be headed to the Illawarra for processing, if a push to invest in large scale waste management projects gains traction.

It comes as councils grapple with rising rates of general waste production and illegal dumping.

Greens councillor Cath Blakey is urging Wollongong to make large scale recycling operations happen here in the Illawarra. And Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba wants to see councils working together on this.

Watch the report on WIN News, 23 October 2019.

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Light rail 'too costly' for Wollongong's future transport plan

"I definitely support advocacy about transport infrastructure, so that Wollongong can get its fair share of funding from the NSW Government," she said. "I think we need to deal with the infrequency of services on the South Coast rail line, and I think investment there, into heavy rail, would deliver more quick wins for the city."

Read the article by Kate McIlwain, The Illawarra Mercury, 21 October 2019

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Climate Strike

More than 3000 people -- maybe 4000 -- filled central Wollongong on 20 September. We were led by the young people. We sang, we played music, we marched, we blocked a junction, and there were speeches.

There are lots of films and news reports, but this is way the best -- almost like being there.

We thought the council was on our side. But just 3 days later, Wollongong Council voted against setting a target to control its own emissions. Don't the views of all these people matter? Don't they care about science?


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