Parramatta to host climate change conference

The Climate Commission found that climate change is already much worse in Sydney's western suburbs.

Environment activists, academics, politicians, trade unionists and resident groups will gather in Parramatta Town Hall on May 11. They will discuss and plan actions around some of the many environmental and social issues facing the population of western Sydney.

Climate change and the fossil fuel industry will be a big focus of the conference, after the Climate Commission report, The Critical Decade, found that climate change is already much worse in Sydney's western suburbs than anywhere else in New South Wales.

Fred Fuentes, a conference organiser, said: “Since the first Climate Change-Social Change conference held in Parramatta last June, the problems confronting the people of western Sydney have worsened under state and federal governments that seem determined to compound the social and environmental disasters that impact especially hard on the western suburbs.

“Living costs, especially for basics such as food, electricity, water and transport, continue to rise; state funding for public education, health and social services has been slashed; coal seam gas exploration and drilling has become a major issue for residents, and now the state government plans to turn Sydney’s west into a radioactive waste dump.”

The conference panels and workshops will include: Beyond the carbon price: confronting the climate crisis today; No radioactive dump in western Sydney; the case for free public transport; breaking the fossil fuels addiction: towards a zero carbon Australia; and the campaign to stop coal seam gas mining.

Speakers include Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon; NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham; Simon Butler, Green Left Weekly environment reporter and author of Too Many People? Population, immigration and the environmental crisis; Tony Oldfield, Auburn councillor and campaigner against the nuclear waste dump in Lidcombe; Michelle Tormey, the Greens’ Penrith councillor; Jess Moore from Stop CSG Illawarra; Zane Alcorn from the Newcastle Coal Terminal Action Group; Graham Matthews from the Socialist Alliance and a Beyond Zero Emissions representative.

Hosted by Green Left Weekly, the conference will run from 12noon to 6pm. To register or for more information, email ccscparramatta@gmail.com, or phone Fred on 0412 556 527 or 8070 9331.

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