Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Commerce Matters

Greens Unveil Vision for a Resilient South West

Greens Statement

The Greens have unveiled a vision for the South West that would see a diverse mix of sustainable small-scale industries powered by renewable energy forming the basis for a robust regional economy.

The vision is designed to make the most of the South West’s natural assets including its fertile soils and unique forests.

Greens MLC Giz Watson and Australian Greens leader Christine Milne released the vision in Bunbury this morning.

Ms Watson said the vision aimed to help buffer the South West from the worsening impacts of climate change by encouraging diversity, innovation, food security and clean energy forms of employment.

She said biological farming and the use of forests as carbon sinks would replace current agricultural and forestry practices as the region transitioned to a more sustainable future.

“The Greens see the diversity of the South West as a key to its resilience and ability to thrive in a drying climate,” Ms Watson said.

“While government policy is trying to make the region just like everywhere else the Greens will be working with communities to utilize and develop the South West’s differences and thereby its strengths.”

Senator Milne said the South West like many other regions around the nation was growing in population as an increasing number of Australians realised the value of living in close proximity to nature.

She said climate change had the potential to alter the natural and economic landscape dramatically and it made good sense to start to prepare for those changes in the South West.

“The South West is at the forefront of combating and adapting to climate change in WA and is already feeling the impact of a drying climate,” Senator Milne said.

“The Greens’ vision for the South West will help prepare communities for the changes ahead by building in resilience and adaptation and providing alternative forms of income.

“It will help build food security by encouraging local markets and will assist communities to adapt to change by preserving assets like forests that can then be used as income generators as carbon stores and tourism.”

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