Energy goes into campaign

Canning by-election candidate Vanessa Rauland.
Canning by-election candidate Vanessa Rauland.

The Curtin University lecturer, renewable energy advocate and small business owner plans to draw on her background and research in low carbon urban development to help create affordable and sustainable housing in the electorate.

�When we talk about low carbon or sustainable housing in cities, we�re talking about ensuring that the houses which are built are connected to public transport,� she said.

�Public housing is not just about putting a cheap house on the edge of a city or the edge of a suburb. It�s making sure there are options for people to be located in really well-serviced areas with shops and amenities around them. All these factors contribute to affordable housing.�

Dr Rauland said the Greens would boost investment in research and development in renewable energy and for new industries in manufacturing.

�I think there�s going to a bit of a boom in manufactured housing and pre-fabricated modular building. It�s a much more efficient way of building and constructing houses, which reduces the amount of waste and time needed.�

She said the creation of jobs � especially in the renewable energy sector � was a focus of their campaign

�In WA, where we are seeing the mining boom slowing down, it�s time the Government starts to invest in post-boom industries and jobs.

�That�s where I see my role fitting in � to help promote some of those 21st century jobs which will be in the renewable energy industry and in science and technology.�

Dr Rauland said almost 50 per cent of households in Canning had already embraced solar technology for power and hot water, but the Government�s �anti-solar agenda� was costing jobs in Canning.

�The reduction in the renewable energy target has a direct relation to how many jobs there are and how much solar and other renewable energy is needed in the economy, so that puts a halt on jobs,� she said.

�These are the sorts of jobs we should be supporting for our long term prosperity and sustainability.

�If you are a renewable energy expert or engineer and your country is not supporting you, you�ll go off somewhere else and it�s such a shame for us.�

Dr Rauland said Australia was putting itself on a �destructive path� environmentally and economically, especially when the rest of the world was moving away from coal as an energy source.

She criticised the Government�s decision to stop the funding of small-scale solar and household projects under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), which the Green party helped establish and would continue to support.

Dr Rauland said as a university lecturer she would campaign against proposed university fee increases.

�Having worked across education at all levels, I’ve seen how important it is for young people to have the opportunity to grow their skills, learn about their world and have access to better jobs,� she said.