Member for Lyne vows to deliver real environmental improvements

Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie (centre), Jim Pearson and IGE Solutions chairman Paul Dickson at the Jim Pearson Transport depot in Taree recently, discussing the truck company's potential use of recycled diesel.
Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie (centre), Jim Pearson and IGE Solutions chairman Paul Dickson at the Jim Pearson Transport depot in Taree recently, discussing the truck company's potential use of recycled diesel.

In a statement released today, Wednesday, February 19, Dr Gillespie said he was "disappointed by these reports because they were untrue."

"I do support a move to renewables as part of our energy-generating mix, and I actively practice it at home, with my own solar system, as many households across the electorate do," he said.

Dr Gillespie pointed out what he saw as Australia's positive track record on cutting its greenhouse gas emissions.

"Since 2005, Australia's emissions have fallen 12.9 per cent compared with two per cent in Canada and a rise of four per cent in New Zealand," he said.

"In that time China's emissions have risen 67 per cent and India's 77 per cent."

While these figures might be true, Dr Gillespie failed to mention that Australia was the leading exporter of coal to China, which significantly contributed to its CO2 emissions.

A 2019 report by the Australia Institute ranked Australia as the third biggest fossil fuel exporter in the world, behind Russia and Saudi Arabia.

But Dr Gillespie believed the coalition government was more than doing its part to increase renewable energy production.

"Australia leads the world in per-capita investment in renewable energy," he said.

"It almost doubles the level of second-placed Japan. The Commonwealth Government invested $1.6 billion in solar rooftop panels in the past 12 months alone."

Dr Gillespie said the percentage of renewable energy contributed to the National Electricity Market had risen significantly since 2013, when the coalition government came into power.

"In 2013, renewables contributed 13.7 per cent of electricity in the National Electricity Market, in 2019, this grew to 22.7 per cent," he said.

"According to the Australian Government's 2019 emissions projections, renewables are expected to contribute 27 per cent of Australia's electricity sent out in 2020."

Dr Gillespie said the Australian government was also supporting innovations in clean energy technologies by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

But he also maintained it was important not to neglect the needs of major industries.

"It is important that we ensure baseload power whether that be clean coal technology, gas, hydro or new generation nuclear energy technology currently in the development phase," Dr Gillespie said.

"Big employers across the region like Tomago Aluminium and WesTrac rely on affordable and dependable electricity, as does our agriculture and renewable forestry industries.

"Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said action on climate change should not come at the expense of jobs and industries, we won't be bullied into higher taxes and higher electricity prices."

Dr Gillespie concluded his statement by pledging to "continue working with local communities to deliver real environmental improvements."

Australian Community Media contacted Dr Gillespie's office to clarify whether he accepted the science of human-induced climate change.

A spokesperson for Dr Gillespie said he was unavailable at the time but confirmed a response would be forthcoming.