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Questions for the candidates
in the Federal Electorate of Macquarie
in the 2013 Federal Election
We asked the 8 candidates 4 questions on the environment.

Candidate Party Response
Tony PiperChristian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) response
Louise Markus Liberal no response
Susan TemplemanLabor response
Teresa ElaroDemocratic Labour Party (DLP) no response
Philip MaxwellPalmer United Party no response
Matt HodgsonAustralia First Party response
Danielle WheelerThe Greens response
Mark LittlejohnSex Party response
The Federal Electorate of Macquarie includes the Blue Mountains and the Richmond/Windsor area, and covers much of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

Using details from the Australian Electoral Commission, the candidates were emailed the questionnaire - with a reminder sent out several days before the closing date.

The candidates who hadn't responded and who had provided the EAC with a phone number were phoned as a further reminder.

The candidates are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot paper.

The Responses

The candidates full response is provided in the table above.

To compare responses, the response for each question is provided below.

The Society did not evaluate the responses, nor does it make a recommendation - that is the reader's domain.

The Society thanks the candidates for participating in the questionnaire.

Our Comments

A Comparison of Responses

Detailed below is a comparison of the candidates' responses. The responses are unabridged and unedited.

Q1. Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act the Commonwealth has various environmental protection powers.

Do you support maintaining the Commonwealth's role in environmental protection?

Tony Piper  Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
Given that the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation, providing a legal framework to protect and manage important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places, I unequivocally support the maintaining of these protection powers. The Christian Democratic Party holds that Creation is an eloquent expression of God’s glory and wise stewardship of our environment is encumbent on all mankind.

Susan Templeman  Labor

Matt Hodgson  Australia First Party

Danielle Wheeler  The Greens
We would like to see this role enhanced. It is vital that there is a level of environmental protection above the State Government. The deal between the O"Farrell Govt and the Shooters and Fishers to allow shooting in National Parks, currently on hold, shows how vulnerable our National Parks are. Mining presents another very real threat, especially in the Mountains.

The Greens will push for National Parks to be included under national environmental laws so that the federal Environment Minister would need to provide approval before environmentally damaging activities could occur. We have tried to get this legislation through before but the Labor and the Coalition said no. We will continue to fight to protect our National Parks and the biodiversity they house.

Q2. Do you support the Commonwealth having a role in the new Blue Mountains Local Environmental Plan (through requiring a "strategic assessment" of the impacts of the new plan on the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and Commonwealth listed flora, fauna and endangered ecological communities)?

Tony Piper  Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
Christian Democrats hold that creation must be respected and stewarded by the people who inhabit it.
The Commonwealth “strategic assessment” requirement could only be supported if it empowers a proper stewardship & custodial function of these areas.

Susan Templeman  Labor

Matt Hodgson  Australia First Party

Danielle Wheeler  The Greens
Yes. The Greens are very concerned that the "one size fits all" approach of the Standard LEP does not give adequate consideration to the unique features and importance of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and its surrounds. We fully support an immediate strategic review of the full impacts of the Standard LEP and action from the Environment Minister and Blue Mountains Council to confer protection.

Q3. In your opinion, how bad is human induced climate change?

Tony Piper  Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
The Christian Democratic Party accepts that the scientific debate around climate change is not settled, and in that sense the CDP remains agnostic in respect to the scientific modelling , assumptions & interpreation of the climate change debate.

Susan Templeman  Labor
There is no scientific doubt that the impact of human induced climate change is serious. We do need to act, and putting a price on carbon, providing funding to assist high-energy users reduce and source their energy from renewable sources, and increase the use of renewable energy are urgent prioirities.

Matt Hodgson  Australia First Party
Overpopulation is a massive problem, along with csg and destruction of agricultural land for other forms of mining

Danielle Wheeler  The Greens
It is catastrophic. We must act urgently to prevent a 4 degree warming. Currently warming levels will have massive and irreversible negative impacts on the Blue Mountains National Park, the Great Barrier Reef, river ecology, biodiversity, agriculture, water, refugees, human health and quality of life and the economy. The Greens want to see a return to a safe climate of 350ppm CO2 or less. Early action on climate change will ultimately be more cost effective than if we delay.

The Greens Clean Energy Policy outlines a renewable energy target of 90% by 2030. Subsidies to the fossils fuels industry must be immediately transferred to renewable energy options, including research and development. As a wealthy country, we must take the lead on actions against climate change and assist neighbouring countries in doing the same.

The Greens do not accept the use of coal seam gas or nuclear power as transition fuels.

The Greens' Climate Change policy can be found here:

Q4. What three initiatives would you actively support to improve the environment and conserve biodiversity in the electorate of Macquarie?

Tony Piper  Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
The Christian Democratic Party encourages the development of economic alternatives to fossil fuels and cleaner coal mining technologies and would actively support initiatives facilitating this end.

The CDP supports a forestry policy that balances sustainable environmental practices with the interests and long term viability of rural and regional forestry communities.

An immediate moratorium on the development of any further CSG leases pending full environmental, economic & health reviews of local communities. In addition, ensuring a quarantine zone is in place that mandatorily prohibit CSG leases being given within range of any residential areas, sensitive eco systems, food production areas, aquifers and listed parklands.

Susan Templeman  Labor
Transition to greater use of renewable energy
Oppose any moves that would undermine the World Heritage status of the Blue Mountains’ national parks, provide additional support for research and continue to invest in our national parks
Oppose any Coal Seam Gas exploration or mining and support the retention of the expanded Commonwealth environmental protection laws to include the effect coal and coal seam gas has on underground water.

Matt Hodgson  Australia First Party
No sandmining the Hawkesbury-Nepean, no new planning laws for the lower mountains and exotic tree and weed species to be banned for nursery resale( ie. Cotoneaster spp, Camphor Laurel etc)

Danielle Wheeler  The Greens
1. National Parks to be added as a new matter of environmental significance under our national environment law – the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

2. Transition to 90% Renewable Energy by 2030

3. Abolish the Standard LEP in areas of environmental and agricultural significance.

 © 2015  Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc.