Pages tagged "campaigns"
To protect the climate and our health, we need to get off gas.
Gas is a polluting fossil fuel, just like coal, and is a leading cause of the climate crisis. Gas isn’t just fuelling climate change, it’s also expensive and bad for our health. Research shows using gas in our homes causes up to 12% of childhood asthma. Around 450,000 South Australian homes are currently locked into this expensive and dangerous fossil fuel.
Providing rebates to support homeowners and landlords to replace old gas appliances with new efficient electric ones will help ease the cost of living while also tackling climate change. These rebates and loans should cover some of the replacement cost of gas heating, cooking, hot water, and rewiring for items such as reverse cycle air-conditioners, solar/heat pump hot water heating, induction cooktops, and rewiring costs. Studies have shown that going gas-free could save South Australian households up to $5000 on energy bills over ten years.
Cities and countries around the world, including the Netherlands, Norway, New York City, Quebec and a new suburb in the ACT, are going gas-free. In July 2022 the Victorian Government committed to removing requirements forcing all new homes to connect to gas by 2025.
Fixing our homes and making them all-electric by removing gas will save households money, help our health, and make a big dent in South Australia’s emissions. The Greens will introduce a bill to ban gas connections to new homes from 2025 so owners aren’t locked into using a polluting fossil fuel.
The South Australian Government should be doing all it can to support consumers to transition away from gas, but instead the Malinauskas Government has axed both the Switch for Solar program and Home Battery Scheme in the 2022 State Budget. The Greens are calling on the State Government to:
- Back the Greens’ bill to ban gas connections to new homes from 2025
- Provide rebates to support homeowners, including landlords, to replace old gas appliances with new efficient electric ones
- Restore the Switch for Solar program and Home Battery Scheme to support homeowners to transition away from gas
 Climate Council, ‘Kicking the Gas Habit: How Gas is Harming our Health’, https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/gas-habit-how-gas-harming-health/#mr
 Energy Networks Australia, https://www.energynetworks.com.au/resources/fact-sheets/reliable-and-clean-gas-for-australian-homes-2/
 Grattan Institute, ‘Flame out: the future of natural gas’, https://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Flame-out-Grattan-report.pdf
South Australia is in the middle of full-blown housing crisis. While thousands remain on the waitlist for social housing, rent prices have continued to spiral out of control. We desperately need to invest in public housing and reign in soaring rent prices.
A Fair Go for Renters
In 2023, the State Parliament supported the biggest reforms to renting in a generation which were negotiated between the Greens and the Government. Key measures included:
- Ending no-cause evictions by introducing prescribed grounds to terminate or not renew a tenancy.
- Extending the notice period to end a tenancy from 28 days to 60 days.
- Limits on inspections to 4 times per year.
- Making it easier to rent with pets.
- Ensuring rental properties comply with minimum housing standards.
- Making it easier for victims of domestic violence to break a lease.
- A new independent tenant’s advocacy service that will stand up for tenant’s rights and represent the interests of tenants.
You can watch my speech on the rental reform bill here.
These changes bring SA into line with other states and offer long-overdue protection for renters — but this isn’t the end.
Property prices continue to surge to record highs, and Adelaide is one of the least affordable cities in Australia when it comes to renting.
The Greens are campaigning to:
- Cap rents in line with inflation to stop prices skyrocketing out of control.
- Provide renters with the same Cost of Living Concession as homeowners to help them through the cost-of-living crisis.
- Introduce energy efficiency standards for rental homes so that renters stay comfortable through hot summers and cold winters.
Action on Homelessness
The Greens have been leading the charge for investment in public housing.
We’re campaigning to:
- Significantly boost public housing
- Apply a tax on vacant property to encourage development
- Give the government the power to activate vacant land to provide temporary housing
- Restore the role of the Housing Trust as a housing provider
- Regulate short stay accommodation
- Establish a public builder to undertake construction of public and affordable housing
You can read more about my work on the housing crisis here.
For too long our state governments have been addicted to roads and ribbon cutting, often at the expense of simple, sensible public transport and active transport solutions that are better for people and the planet. The Greens want to get SA moving by promoting public transport and active transport.
At a time when public transport and active transport are being taken up in greater numbers all around the world, South Australia is lagging behind. Our state spends millions on roads but has the lowest rate of investment in cycling infrastructure in the country. In 2015-16 we spent just $4 million on cycling infrastructure out of a $569 million roads budget — that’s 0.6%.
We’ve seen over and over how this vital infrastructure can hit disappointing roadblocks at different levels of government. That’s why we’re calling for free public transport, a major upgrade of South Australia’s public transport and active transport infrastructure, and the establishment of an independent Walking and Cycling Commissioner to champion active transport. You can read more about my Bill for a Walking and Cycling Commissioner here.
In 2022 the Greens secured a parliamentary inquiry into the availability and quality of public transport, and the role of government in encouraging cycling and walking and the future of e-scooters. The Committee heard overwhelming evidence that SA's public and active transport infrastructure has been neglected, particularly in the regions. Some of the key recommendations of the Committee included:
- an increase the frequency of buses in metropolitan Adelaide and in regional centres
- a trial of passenger train services from Mount Barker to Adelaide;
- enabling privately owned e-scooters and other personal mobility devices in public spaces
- developing a state-wide integrated separating cycling network.
Privatisation has been a bipartisan sport in South Australian politics for far too long. From selling off the state’s public housing and power network, to handing over the keys to our buses and trains, this decades-long fire sale has short-changed the people of South Australia who are often left with poorer services at higher prices.
In 2021 the Greens secured a parliamentary inquiry into this endless privatisation. The inquiry shone a light on the damning effect privatisation has had on our public services and made a range of recommendations for the future that would improve the accountability of private corporations running public services and safeguard against the sell offs our public services without due consideration of the impact. Importantly, it recommended that a moratorium be placed on all future privatisations – until the recommendations in the report are actioned.
To download a copy of the full majority report click here
I introduced a bill to prevent the privatisation of public assets without the consideration of a parliamentary committee and approval of both houses of parliament. You can watch my second reading speech here. In September 2022 the Bill passed the Upper House and will now go to the Lower House before becoming law.
If passed, the Bill will provide an important safeguard, ensuring that no State Government is able to sell off our key public assets without seeking approval from the parliament. It will be the first time a state jurisdiction has moved to safeguard public assets in this way.
We will continue speaking out against the privatisation of our vital public services.
The Greens are campaigning for a Green New Deal for SA to tackle the climate crisis and fight growing inequality.
Over the last few years we have seen the devastating effects of climate change and South Australia has been hard hit by drought and bushfire. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the inequality that exists within our society and the growing gap between rich and poor. South Australia continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
Now is not the time for business as usual. We need a new plan for our state’s future.
We need a Green New Deal - a plan of investment and action to create jobs, invest in emerging and innovative industries, and rebuild our public and social infrastructure.
We’ve moved a motion in the Legislative Council calling on the Marshall government to:
- Adopt an innovative jobs growth plan through investing in publicly-owned renewable energy and storage projects
- Invest in more social housing to help end homelessness
- Employ more educators, healthcare workers, nurses and social support workers to ensure all South Australians have access to the care they need
- Expand our public transport network to reduce congestion and emissions
- Support the revival of our CBD precinct and the local businesses that make it
- Embrace and support our creative industries and the arts
- Care for country and culture.
Watch my speech to learn more about a Green New Deal and what it means for SA.