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Hydrogen picPrime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent announcement on the Central Coast that his government will spend a total of $539 million on five hydrogen hubs and carbon capture projects will not be sufficient to handle the climate emergency.

Climate Future Chair, Mr Richard Weller, said “We do need a hydrogen industry and other new green products and energy to stay relevant in the new carbon-free economy and we must support the idea of finding new employment for those currently working in the fossil fuel industry.

“But Mr Morrison's proposal won’t be sufficient to handle the climate emergency,” Mr Weller said.

“US President Joe Biden has set a target of 50% emission reductions by 2030,” he said. “The UK is even more ambitious at 78% below 1990 levels by 2035. Many countries have targets of net zero by 2050.

“The current policies of our Government are simply not enough. Since 1990, Australia’s emissions have risen from 425 MtCO2e/y to 555, up 25% (not including land use and forestry).

“Our emissions rank us 15th of all the world’s nations while per capita we are worse, emitting more per person than any other major developed country. These numbers do not include what we export, such as our coal which is burned overseas.”

Mr Weller said Australia produces more CO2 than the UK which has 2.5 times our population.

“They have reduced their emissions by 45% since 1990 (800 to 450 MtCO2e/y) while we stood by and claimed special treatment.

“If we don’t take urgent action this decade, we will be left behind by the rest of the world with a stranded economy and collapsing employment. We have the best solar resources in the world and could be the largest energy producer of renewables - a ‘powerhouse’ if you like – but this requires the right support by our government for the necessary investment.

“To keep up with the USA, we would need to replace our entire energy production system with renewables by 2030 and electrify our transport fleet as well,” Mr Weller said.

This is still feasible according to Climate Future, a committee of the Community Environment Network (CEN) formed to promote action on climate change.

“If we start immediately, we can minimise the disruption to our economy but we need the Federal Government to drive this change”, said Mr Weller. “Neither of the major parties currently have sufficient ambition for the change necessary and we as voters need to galvanise this ambition.

“The scientists are saying that time is running out. Urgency should be the call of the day. The world has a carbon budget and we are fast using it up. Each year we delay means the targets must be harsher.

“If we don’t start till 2025, the target for 2030 must be much tighter again. This is the legacy of our governments' decisions over the last 30 years.

“We must convince our representatives – our federal parliamentarians, Lucy Wicks, Emma McBride and Senator Deborah O’Neill - that even more action is needed.

“The consequences of not taking action are already with us and will escalate with each year. COVID will be nothing compared to the impacts of more than 2C of warming if we continue to fail to act.”

CEN News Headlines

  • Refusal of Springfield subdivision welcome

    The Community Environment Network (CEN) supports the Central Coast Council’s recommendation to refuse an application for a four-lot subdivision on environmentally valuable land at 35 to 45 Clarence Road, Springfield. “CEN hopes the Local Planning Panel adheres to the recommendation and refuses this proposal when it meets on Thursday,” said

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  • CEN will continue to campaign against community and environmental asset sales

    The Community Environment Network (CEN) has thanked Central Coast Council Administrator, Mr Rik Hart, for making it clear that he will not be reclassifying Community Land as part of Council’s asset sales program “unless absolutely necessary”. “Those were Mr Hart’s words and CEN will do our best to hold him

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  • List of Council-owned assets in order of suitability for sale

    CEN has ranked the operational assets that Central Coast Council has put forward as potentially for sale from most suitable to least. Read here for the full story. Page 1                                          

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  • Plant a tree this World Environment Day

    Saturday, June 5, is World Environment Day and the Community Environment Network (CEN) is inviting all Central Coast residents to do something positive for the environment by planting a tree. It may shock the community to learn that each month locals make applications to Council to remove around 40 trees

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  • Walk to celebrate World Environment Day

    Join Central Coast Waterwatch on Friday, 4 June 2021 at 10am to celebrate World Environment Day. Come on a guided walk along the Berkeley Vale foreshore and learn about your local waterway and wetland ecosystems with Central Coast Council’s Estuary Management Officer. Learn about the work being done by Council

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  • VEGETATION LOSS DUE TO JOHN WHITEWAY OVER-DEVELOPMENT WILL BE ‘DENUDING AND UNSIGHTLY’

    Proposed amendments to the State Significant Development (SSD) at 89 John Whiteway Drive, Gosford, although welcome, will not address the excessive bulk and scale of the proposal or the substantial loss of vegetation, according to the Community Environment Network (CEN). “The developer has argued the former quarry on the site

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  • CEN calls for Local Planning Panels to monitor excessive variations to planning standards

    The Community Environment Network (CEN) has called for audits and penalties to stop excessive development variations through over-use of Clause 4.6 of the Standard Instrument LEP (NSW’s uniform planning tool). In its submission to the Review of Clause 4.6 of the Standard Instrument LEP, CEN said the use (and abuse)

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  • NSW Government must make pollution and health data available for clean air strategy to be credible

    The Community Environment Network (CEN) has urged the NSW Government to integrate National Pollution Inventory (NPI) data with known rates of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTI) on the Central Coast to measure the full impact of power station fallout on the local population. CEN Executive member, Mr Mike Campbell OAM,

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  • Hydrogen hubs and carbon capture no fix for climate - Climate Future

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent announcement on the Central Coast that his government will spend a total of $539 million on five hydrogen hubs and carbon capture projects will not be sufficient to handle the climate emergency. Climate Future Chair, Mr Richard Weller, said “We do need a hydrogen industry

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  • Planning Minister must refuse proposal to rezone environmental land

    The Central Coast Community Better Planning Group (CCCBPG) and the Community Environment Network (CEN) have urged NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, The Hon Rob Stokes MP, to refuse a planning proposal from Central Coast Council. Chair of CCCBPG and Executive Member of CEN, Mr Gary Chestnut, said he

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  • Battle to save community land begins now

    The Community Environment Network (CEN) has welcomed the decision by Central Coast Council to give the community three weeks to provide feedback on its plan to reclassify, rezone and then sell off 27 lots of community land. “This proposed land sale includes parcels from Norah Head and Toukley in the

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  • Community Better Planning Group calls for action on coal ash inquiry findings

    The Central Coast Community Better Planning Group (CCCBPG) has called for a review of the population growth projections for the northern area of the Central Coast due to recommendations from the NSW Legislative Council’s report Costs for remediation of sites containing coal ash repositories and the limited water exchange of

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  • CEN supports Conservation Agreement for Porters Creek Wetland but wants maps clarified

    CEN has made the following submission to Central Coast Council regarding its recent exhibition of maps related to a proposed Conservation Agreement with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) which should see the wetland protected permanently. CEN has been advocating for the permanent protection of Porters Creek Wetland for the

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  • CEN's submission on mountain biking in COSS

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Unlawful and substantial environmental damage - illegal mountain bike activity in council-owned reserves is causing substantial environmental damage that needs to be addressed but we do not believe that opening up reserves as sanctioned local or regional mountain bike facilities is the answer. Discussion paper omissions – not enough information

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  • Call for nominations - CEN 2020 BAT Awards

    Do you know somebody who has… stood their ground at the crease...deflected the assault from their opponents...and remained steadfast in protecting their wicket…. all in the interests of the environment? Then we would like to acknowledge them as part of the team. CEN is calling for nominations for the following

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  • Mountain Bike Feasibility Study Discussion Paper Submissions

    The Central Coast Council's consultation for the Mountain Bike Feasibility Study Discussion Paper closes on Monday, 22 March, 2021. It's not too late to make a submission. If you feel strongly about the need to protect biodiversity in Central Coast Council's reserves, particularly in COSS lands, use our submission template

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  • Is it suitable to have mountain bike trails in COSS?

    The Community Environment Network supports mountain biking but we are concerned about its suitability in the Coastal Open Space System (COSS). That is why we are urging our members, supporters and the broader community to oppose, via Central Coast Council's Your Voice Our Coast website, any plans to build new

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  • Volunteer and paid opportunities at CEN

    The CEN is an alliance of community and environment groups from Lake Macquarie, Wyong and Gosford. We are a non-profit organisation working to protect and improve our local environment. The aims and objectives of CEN are as follows:• to increase effectiveness of community groups • to be a regional voice on

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  • Join the Friends of COSS

    The Coastal Open Space System (COSS) is a network of reserves supporting natural vegetation that are managed by Gosford Council for a number of environmental and community values. COSS lands provide important ecological habitats (or homes) and essential linkages (wildlife corridors) for diverse fauna and flora. These natural areas are

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  • Chair's Update - The Three CCC's

    Whenever I go into the CEN office located at Ourimbah campus, to attend meetings or catch up on tasks as the volunteer in chief, I am always greeted by the wonderful energy of community members in our centre.  It is great to catch up with staff and the inspirational work

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