Voting in council elections can be difficult. Even long term residents can find it hard to find candidates that they can confidently say represent their values or policy views.
With this in mind, the Mackay Conservation Group surveyed all 21 candidates running for election in the Mackay Regional Council about their views on key climate change issues.
The survey asked council candidates to share their views on three questions all related to climate change. Candidates were asked to respond by indicating their level of support.
The questions were:
- Do you support Mackay Regional Council declaring a climate emergency?
- Will you support Mackay Regional Council planning for a zero net emissions regional economy by 2050?
- Do you support the diversification of the Mackay region’s economy and a just transition for workers in thermal coal mines?
Of the 21 candidates, five candidates responded to the survey, a further five candidates declined to participate.
Participating candidates received a score depending on their responses out of a possible score of 15. 1 being least support and 15 being most supportive.
- Russell Seymour scored 12/15
- Alison Jones scored 11/15
- Jo-Ann Clout scored 11/15
- Shane Hamilton scored 10/15
- Laurence Bonaventura scored 8/15
- All other candidates scored 0/15
We commend the candidates who responded to the survey but it is disappointing that many candidates did not respond. Election time is when candidates should be upfront about their policies, especially critical issues like climate change.
We gave all the candidates many opportunities to respond but most chose not to share their policies with the electorate.
Our members and supporters want to know whether candidates understand that climate change is already making conditions worse in the Mackay region. They also want to know what candidates plan to do about it.
Last year, for example, was Australia’s hottest and driest year on record. In 2018 unprecedented wildfires burnt 110,000 hectares of rainforest and bushland around Eungella and the Great Barrier Reef is under extreme stress.
Dangerous climate change will be a disaster for the Mackay region, this is not an issue our council can avoid.
|Candidate||Support declaring a climate emergency||Support net-zero emissions regional economy||Support diversification and just transition||Total Score|
|Belinda Hassan||No Response||No Response||No Response||0|
|Karen May||No Response||No Response||No Response||0|
|Pauline Townsend||No Response||No Response||No Response||0|
|Ian Christensen||No Response||No Response||No Response||0|
|Jeff Keioskie||No Response||No Response||No Response||0|
|Justin Englart||No Response||No Response||No Response||0|
|Frank Gilbert||No Response||No Response||No Response||0|
|Craig Menkins||No Response||No Response||No Response||0|
|Ross Gee||No Response||No Response||No Response||0|
|Greg Fisher||No Response||No Response||No Response||0|
|Tony Borics||No Response||No Response||No Response||0|
|Greg Williamson (Mayoral candidate)||No Response||No Response||No Response||0|