Latest News and Media Releases - Illawarra Greens

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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Snap protest at Wollongong Council

ABC Illawarra Report on the snap action in front of Wollongong Council, to protest the council's decision not to approve its own report on setting targets for carbon emissions,

Watch the film.

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How dare they: climate protesters hit out at Wollongong Council

Others protesting outside Wollongong City Council's premises on Thursday were angry at the "gall" of the council to take such action weeks after declaring a climate emergency and just days after thousands of people hit the streets of Wollongong demanding climate justice.

Chanting "listen in Mr Brown, keep that carbon in the ground", most of the protesters' frustration was aimed at Labor councillor David Brown.

It was Cr Brown who drove the deferral at Monday night's council meeting, saying he supported a council emissions target but wanted to ensure residents were supportive. Wollongong will now miss the deadline for setting an emissions target under its 2017 agreement with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy; it was required to set a "science-derived" target by August/September.

This has angered many in the community, including activists from the Youth Environment Alliance (YEA) and climate strike organiser Martin Cubby.

Read the report by Agron Latifi in The Illawarra Mercury, 26 September 2019.

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Coniston Football Club defends charging Illawarra Stingrays $12k to use fields

In her successful campaign to convince councillors to find a home ground for the premier women's team, Ms McDonogh told councillors that JJ Kelly Park, where the team plays most of its "home" games, was leased out by the council for just over $600 a year. This was then subleased, she said, to the Stingrays at a cost of about $12,000.

Mr Karayiannis confirmed that the Stingrays paid Coniston $12,454 per year, for five match days or 55 games per year.

At the previous meeting, Wollongong councillors had expressed surprise about the subleasing arrangement, which is allowed within the council's lease terms, and also said it was vital that the council take action to find the Stingrays a home ground.

In particular, Greens councillor Mithra Cox said there was "a ring of sexism" about the council's inaction over more than a decade, while Labor Councillor Janice Kershaw said she was "shocked" by the subleasing arrangement.

Read the report by Kate McIlawain, The Illawarra Mercury, 24  September 2019.

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