Labor’s candidate for The Gabba ward, Rachel Gallagher says she is committed to working with local residents, businesses, community organisations and experts “to tackle our carbon emissions and waste.”
“Many locals have told me that they want to see council do more to reduce carbon emissions and waste. This should be core council services.” said Ms Gallagher.
Ms Gallagher, who is an urban researcher, says that if she is elected in March, she is committed to an independent audit to analyse emissions across the Gabba ward. She says she plans to work with local residents, businesses and experts to develop location specific action plans, even down to a street and building level.
Ms Gallagher admits that the plan is ambitious, “But given the summer our country has experienced, I believe that we have to be carbon neutral. In the absence of any tangible action by the Federal Government I believe that all other levels of government have got to step up and do whatever we can”.
Ms Gallagher’s idea is that “Local champions” will work together with the ward office to come up with creative and innovative solutions to become carbon neutral by the end of her first term.
“I believe that 4101, 4102 and 4169 are well positioned to make the transition, given our proximity to transport and services, and the fact that we have a strong sense of community”.
“Transport is an area where council can make a lot of improvements. Most trips inside The Gabba ward are still made by car, because other options aren’t safe, convenient or accessible. Council can do a lot in this space by fixing the black spots in our pedestrian and cycle network and improving access to public transport,” Ms Gallagher said.
“A lot of individual households are doing amazing things to lower their own emissions. I believe that the local councillor can be doing more to facilitate and resource these local initiatives, and enable people to see how their individual actions fit into a larger community commitment to carbon neutrality,” Ms Gallagher said.
“Reducing the amount of concrete through more greenspace, tree planting and verge gardens can also see significant reductions in the heat of the urban environment and could potentially offset some of our emissions.”
Ms Gallagher says she has also committed to working with local businesses to become Queensland’s next Plastic Free Place is a program by the Boomerang Alliance, partly funded by the Queensland Government. She says that she inspired by the work of Plastic Free West End.
“Many of our local businesses are already plastic free. By following the example of Noosa, we can all work together to further reduce our plastic consumption. These policies are both related as reducing consumption and waste also reduces emissions.”
Participation in the Plastic Free Places scheme is voluntary, with businesses signing up to eliminate single use plastics.
“I believe that through greater resourcing and support we can eliminate single use plastic across the ward. I wouldn’t want to detract from any existing schemes, but instead support and extend where possible,” Ms Gallagher told The Westender.
The Council elections will be held on Saturday the 28th of March.
The Westender looks forward to bringing more stories and profiles of all Gabba Ward Candidates in coming weeks.