"I am standing as an Independent for Climate Action in the Australian Senate.
I will represent Victorians' interests, not vested interests. I will generally support the elected governments policy platform as taken to the election. I will respect their mandate, just as I expect them to respect my mandate in the Senate for stronger action on climate!"
LIST OF ISSUES
Transition to a zero emissions future
The IPCC's Paris Agreement is a global agreement to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius (2°C) above pre-industrial times, and as close to 1.5°C as possible. Achieving the Paris objectives involves decarbonisation of the global economy by 2050.
The shift to a zero emissions future will focus on 6 areas:
Energy: 100% renewable energy transition
Buildings: reduce emissions in new buildings and retrofit existing
Transport: electrification of transport
Agriculture: land use practices to mitigate and sequester emissions
Industry: Developing zero and low emissions technology
Exporting Renewable Energy: Undersea links with near neighbors and developing a hydrogen export industry
Investing in clubs & community groups
Clubs, associations and community groups are the core of the local community. They are the hub of community life creating stronger, healthier, happier and safer communities.
Clubs, associations and community groups are places where people can make new friends, connect with like minded people, learn new skills and share some of their own.
I will support increasing the funds available to clubs, associations and community groups to build or renovate their club rooms to improve their energy efficiency. This includes new buildings, solar energy systems, battery storage, insulation and double glazing.
The increased funding will include a ‘buy local’ provision to ensure local contractors are engaged to do the work in their local clubs.
Corruption in Government
Australians have lost faith in the political process. This lack of faith is a result of decision making that does not reflect either the will of the people or their best interests.
Last year the Liberal, National and Labour parties accepted more than $1.25m in donations from the fossil fuel industry in the last financial year (Market Forces). Meanwhile, in government that are subsidising the fossil fuel industry to the tune of nearly $12b annually (Market Forces).
Currently there is no independent umpire to ensure that decisions are being made in Australians' best interests. People are rightly concerned that decisions are being impacted by political donations.
To address the loss of confidence in government Paul will support policies including:
Create a wide ranging Independent Commission on Corruption (ICAC).
Support legislation to stop corporate donations to political parties and politicians.
Read more about the corruption here.
We need to electrify our transport system and power it with renewable energy. Currently we are lagging way behind other countries with uptake of electric vehicles.
To speed up the transformation of our transport industry we need:
A National Electric Vehicle Strategy.
Tax subsidies for electric cars, trucks and busses.
A sunrise date for the sale of internal combustion engine cars.
Mandated targets for the government fleet.
Tax concessions for EV manufaturers.
100% Renewable Energy Transition
The lights will stay on… we will work within government to create targets, policies and source funding to drive market regulators, energy suppliers, retailers and consumers to move rapidly to 100% renewable energy.
This will include the strategic deployment of transmission infrastructure, renewable capacity and hydro, molten salt and battery storage to create a sustainable energy system to meet the residential and industrial energy needs of Australia. (https://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2018/Annual-update-finds-renewables-are-cheapest-new-build-power)
This transition will be led by policies to:
Manage the phasing out of coal fired power stations and other non-renewable systems to guarantee supply during the transition.
Increase the mandated Renewable Energy Target to 100% by 2030.
Provide additional funding for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
Reduce red tape surrounding development of transmission infrastructure.
Stop tax deductions for fossil fuel exploration.
Stop export grants for fossil fuel exporters.
Read more about the transition to 100% renewables here.
Managed Phase Out of Fossil Fuel Industry
Science tells us that we cannot mine all of the existing fossil fuel reserves. Burning this fuel would release CO2 which will lead to irreversible climate change.
Approving new mines or new exploration licences will threaten existing jobs and the economic viability of existing mines. New mines will also exacerbate the economic turmoil created in financial markets caused by stranded assets (fossil fuel reserves that appear on company balance sheets yet cannot be mined).
The fossil fuel industry needs to be phased out in a managed way to guarantee energy supply and support employment in regional communities supported by the fossil fuel industry.
Effective management of the transition will include:
No new fossil fuel mines including stopping Adani.
Stop tax subsidies for fossil fuel use and exploration and remove export grants.
Fund retraining and relocation for affected workforces.
Fund economic development in affected communities.
A free and accessible healthcare system is the cornerstone of a modern society. Paul Wittwer will reject any diminishing of the Medicare system and work to improve access to free healthcare, particularly in remote and regional Australia.
Climate change is placing enormous stress on regional communities. Specifically the impacts of climate change on farm productivity is resulting in serious mental health issues and high suicide rates in farming communities.
Improvements to regional healthcare are essential to support communities who do not have the same level of support as their city cousins. Additional funding is required for:
Mental health services in regional Australia.
Improved incentives for regional healthcare professionals.
Improved staffing ratios in remote and regional healthcare facilities.