Renewable power to the people

Judith Cullity, Greens, Stirling


Image supplied.

Greens Candidate Judith Cullity

Perth could run solely on renewable power by 2030 under an ambitious strategy proposed by Greens candidate for Stirling, Judith Cullity.

After consultation with engineering and energy experts, she said she drafted the renewables-based plan which would “not cost any more than continuing with coal-fired power plants.”

Ms Cullity has a long history in the scientific community, having spent  more than 20 years as a research assistant in the field of physics and neurophysiology.

She said aimed to use this knowledge to bring a more academic perspective to politics.

She said her background in physics gave her a better understanding of energy production and motivated her to campaign for strong action on climate change, which she described as “the most important issue in the world.”

Ms Cullity said, based on independent research, if the South-West were equipped with wind turbines or solar panels, it would be one of the best places in the world for generating energy.

She said renewable energy was a “no-brainer for Western Australia” based on the State’s climate conditions.

To put her plan into perspective, Labor’s proposed energy plan would see 50% of power come from renewables by 2030.

Labor candidate for Stirling, Melita Markey, had no problems with Judith’s plan, saying it would be “great if achievable.”

Ms Markey highlighted the need to train people from the old systems to work in the renewables sector.

“We need to take people with us, not leave them behind,” Ms Markey said.

Based on 2018 research conducted by Roy Morgan, Stirling was one of nine electorates where climate change was the issue of most concern.

More than one third of residents raised concerns of climate change, compared to the national average of 26%.

Australian Futures Project executive director Ralph Ashton said the public’s concerns were not in line with the parties who represented them.

Ms Cullity is a local Stirling resident, having been born and raised in the area, and has volunteered with various environmental groups in the past.

She said it was her love of WA’s unique native environment and dedication to protecting it which drove her into politics.

“Being involved with protecting our forests is what got me into the Greens movement,” she said.

“I didn’t want Perth to go the way other big cities had.

“Our native flora and fauna are found nowhere else on Earth and we’re obliviously destroying it. It’s appalling.”

This is one of the reasons why preventing urban sprawl and property development is a major priority to Ms Cullity.

She said she aimed to do this through increasing the amount of “green spaces in residential areas, limiting high-rise construction and focusing future infrastructure around the installation of a light rail network, which would run from Glendalough train station to Scarborough beach through Scarborough beach road.

“The plan is to target development around main transportation corridors and to grow our public transportation system, so we don’t need to rely on cars as much.”

She said it would also attract more people to the area and help local businesses.

She said the Greens also hoped to utilise newly-developed technology which would use painted-on magnetic strips for light rail as opposed to regular tracks, which she estimated could be done for a quarter of the cost of traditional methods.

Ms Cullity said she planned to offset all carbon emissions produced by her campaign vehicles by holding a tree-planting event over Easter.