IT WAS standing room only at this week’s climate election forum where candidates in Cowper and Page were quizzed on their climate policies.
Hosted by the Coffs Coast Climate Action Group, the forum had close to 150 community members pack the C.ex Club’s Rainbow Room
While some views differed, all candidates agreed that action on climate change was essential.
Organiser Sarah Wood noted that “there are significant differences in the scale, speed and depth of policies they are advocating – that will make a difference to how well we weather the climate crisis”.
Participating candidates were Greens candidate for Page, Kudra Falla-Rickets,, Labor candidate for Cowper, Damian Wood, the two Cowper independents, Rob Oakeshott and John Arkan, and Senate candidate for the Health Australia Party, Andrew Patterson.
John Vernon stood in for the Greens Cowper candidate Carol Vernon.
The notable absence was Cowper incumbent Nationals’ Luke Hartsuyker whose chair was instead filled with a life-size Luke-doll.
It refused to answer questions, but did pose for selfies with amused community members.
Topics covered included the transition to renewable energy, protection for forests, phasing out coal and gas developments, political donations from the fossil fuel industry, climate science jobs at CSIRO and funding for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef.
The event also launched a new regional campaign Voices for a Safe Climate.
It is a joint campaign between Coffs Coast Climate Action Group and Port Macquarie’s Climate Change Australia, aims to showcase a range of local people having their say on climate change.