WATCH members have repeatedly expressed concerns about the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC), particularly the large proportion of NCCC members who are affiliated with the fossil fuel industry and the Commission’s intent to focus on a gas-driven economic recovery. Well done to Jill Coghlan for her submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the NCCC and The Border Mail for this article by Shana Morgan on 14 July 2020:
Rebuilding with Renewables
COVID-19 RESPONSE: Jill Coghlan from WATCH said in her submission that the National Cabinet appeared to have unclear lines of accountability.
The integrity of the federal government’s response to coronavirus has been questioned by a Border climate group.
Jill Coghlan wrote a submission to the Parliament’s COVID-19 inquiry on behalf of Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health.
One of her main issues was the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission advice that gas be the driver of the country’s energy response to the pandemic.
WATCH has long been a supporter of renewable energy.
NCCC chair Nev Power told a Senate inquiry that he would “stand by my view that we should be looking at competitive gas supply for its potential as a raw material for both existing and new manufacturing industry to preserve and create jobs”.
He is also an executive director of Strike Energy, but said he would not attend board meetings while in his role with the NCCC to prevent any conflicts of interest.
Ms Coghlan said that did not solve the problem.
“A large proportion of members of the NCCC are affiliated with the fossil fuel industry that’s often described as a dinosaur industry as its product becomes outdated and devalued,” she said.
“WATCH would like to see a recovery from COVID-19 that invests in climate solutions and opportunities for regional Australia.
“Regional Australia should be the heartland of turning agricultural commodities into products to export around the world.
“Central to this would be an investment in wind, solar and grid stabilisation that would lower emissions, deliver new jobs and make electricity cheaper.”