Josh Frydenberg, Minister for the Environment and Energy – I wrote you a letter….

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Josh is the guy that gets to sign off on the Environmental Impact Statement for the Western Sydney Airport.  If the rumour mill is correct that date is coming up thick and fast, November probably or just over a year since this whole thing hit the fan again.

If you are for the airport that’s great, good on you.

I’m not for it. I think it’s a terrible idea for lots of reasons but this time I hit Josh up with this one.

I am trying to be the best citizen I can be and this airport won’t help me or families like mine in achieving that goal.2015-04-24 07.22.04.jpg

In his first speech to parliament in 2010 Josh said he wants to see an Australia where each citizen has the opportunity to be the best they can be so I thought this was a valid place to start a discussion.

See I’ve just completed a carbon audit for myself and my family.  I run a business, a small but profitable one and one that has me serving a variety of customers all over Australia and beyond.  Travelling to see these customers is something that I do limit and that is mainly because I am worried about my carbon footprint.

Being a small business (only me at the moment) every day I’m on the road is a day that I’m not directly making money.  Therefore taking the train (10-14 hours) or driving (8-12 hours) to Melbourne or Brisbane on a regular basis would lose me 2 productive days each trip – well, I guess I could write my blog posts on the train or even do some research but still, it’s a big chunk out of my week.  It’s just not practical really so I try not to do it. When I do do it I mostly fly unless I can rope someone else in to sharing the driving (reducing the chances of me actually dying at work thanks to fatigue).

The Badgery’s Creek airport will not make it any easier for me to see my Melbourne or Brisbane customers without racking up a big carbon bill.   Fast rail could allow me to do these trips in the same time it currently takes to get a flight and for practically zero carbon depending on how the electricity for the trains is generated.  Attractive?  You bet!

Aside from all of the other reasons why I think the Badgery’s Creek (or Western Sydney Airport) is a bad idea this one is pretty important to me.  I am gutted that there is no fast rail in this country – a country so huge that it is bordering on physically impossible to get between major centres in one business day.  To ‘invest’ in a future that just gives us more of the same reminds me of the classic Henry Ford comment that you can have any colour you want as long as it is black.

Air travel is essential, especially in a country as far away from everywhere else as Australia – our nearest foreign neighbours are at least 3 hours flight away whereas in Europe I could be overseas in what seemed like no time at all – by car or by plane.  So I’m not saying that we should ban air travel and nor am I saying that air travel can’t become more sustainable.  Indeed, it was only last week that the aviation industry agreed to try to curb Co2 emissions so progress is possible, but in a time when zero emission transport ALREADY EXISTS it seems mightily irresponsible to ignore it, especially when high-speed rail is a proven and safe alternative with broad public support.

So, I wrote to Josh Frydenberg today in the hope that he would see some benefit in helping me and other people like me to become the best citizens we can be AND to grow our businesses in the meantime.  Surely that’s a win, win for Australialand?

Interested in putting your ideas across to Josh?  There is a public meeting being held on 15th October in Glenbrook, Blue Mountains. Please do consider coming along. Click on the image below for a link to the event on Facebook.

meeting

Amanda x

PS: If you are reading this and thinking ‘yes but High Speed Rail is so expensive’ I’d answer that by asking if you have really factored in the cost of global warming.  If global warming isn’t something you subscribe to please leave me alone. I have no energy to argue with that in this day and age. My approach to Global Warming is this ‘if we can do better, we should do better for no reason other than the fact we should and we can’.

 

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