CANDIDATE STATEMENT FROM KEITH HUGHES

I have represented The Greens on the Bega Valley Shire Council for the past 2 terms, working hard to introduce principles of sustainability and social justice into council decisions.

 
I successfully sponsored motions to make Bega a “Welcome Town” for Refugees and to make the Bega Valley a GE Free Shire.

 
Like many councils, BVSC is struggling to finance basic services and I am fed up with ratepayer subsidies to the woodchipping industry and will keeping working to end the rates exemption for Forests NSW production forests. Ratepayers should not have to carry this burden while woodchipping is getting a free ride.

 

Our region has many natural advantages in producing clean, renewable energy. The Greens will work hard to develop local clean renewable energy but this does not include burning our native forests in a furnace to generate electricity. These are worth far more as carbon stores.

 

Native forests attract visitors and protect catchments and water supplies and give shelter and nurture to wildlife. Intensively logging native forest is not green or renewable whether for fibre or for electricity; it is a major polluter globally and locally. We don’t want it here.

 

I want to see the Bega Valley become a zero waste shire. Landfill is not the answer, but to achieve life long responsibility for packaging and manufactured goods we need the co-operation of other levels of Government, not knee jerk criticism. Other states, shires and cities aspire to zero waste. Why not the Bega Valley?

 

The Greens believe in caring for the earth and caring for others.
We make no apology for being a political party. We believe it is important to be completely open and honest about what we stand for. Our policies are published and available for anyone to read. We have a strict code of conduct to promote honesty, transparency and respect in public life. Our links with other Greens at other levels of Government help us to work for solutions to local problems
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I am delighted to have two such excellent candidates standing with me. Bega needs more Greens councillors.

29 August 2008