I’m writing to you today because NSW has a gas problem. NSW households use just under half of the state’s domestic gas for heating homes, hot water and cooking food.
Methane emissions from gas warm our climate 83% faster than carbon dioxide in the short term. Gas burned in our homes and public spaces can have serious health consequences, contributing to asthma, some cancers and reproductive health issues. Billions of taxpayer dollars go to propping up the gas industry despite providing very few jobs and paying almost nothing in taxes or royalties – and gas prices for domestic users in Victoria have just gone up again.
The pressure is on - NSW risks being locked into the damage to soil, water and climate caused by 850 gas wells drilled around Narrabri and a gas fired power station at Kurri Kurri if we don’t urgently switch off the gas in the coming decade. And householders like me can’t stay tied to volatile gas prices that keep rising and rising.
We can’t afford gas and we don’t need it.
The good news is that renewables are ready to electrify most things we use gas for. Local governments have a powerful role to play in the transition towards electrification, and some are starting to put in place plans to switch away from environmentally damaging gas.
I write to ask you to make a positive difference to our gas demand by:
- Transitioning all gas appliances in Council facilities at the end of their useful life with renewable powered electric appliances
- Drafting a planning scheme amendment to ban new gas connections across the municipality
- Write to the State Energy Minister requesting a rapid transition from gas statewide, the equitable planned retirement of the gas network and an expansion of the energy upgrade program to help us switch off gas forever
I request that you table the above requests as motions at the coming Council meeting where these are not currently part of an active Council plan.
As your constituent, I hope you will represent the best interests of our community in taking this practical, sensible and easily achievable action.
I look forward to hearing from you about what steps Council will take or is taking in response to my request.