Albany candidate backs plan for regions as WA Greens vow ‘rapid’ action on climate

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Albany Greens candidate Nelson Gilmour.
Camera IconAlbany Greens candidate Nelson Gilmour. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

Transforming WA into a “renewable energy export powerhouse” and creating a “world class” regional transport system are among the WA Greens’ plan to support the regions ahead of the State Election.

With voters heading to the polls on March 13, the WA Greens this week revealed their plan to tackle climate change, support rural health and create 55,000 new jobs across green industries.

South West MLC Diane Evers and Albany Greens candidate Nelson Gilmour unveiled their agenda for the South West at The Track in Albany on Sunday.

Mr Gilmour said health care, the region’s housing crisis and transforming Albany into a renewables manufacturing and servicing hub in response to climate change were his priorities ahead of March 13.

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“The regions are the frontline of climate change. All of the action that needs to happen is here in the regions,” he said.

“All of the jobs, all of the opportunity in confronting climate change happens in the regions and the Greens understand that and they are going to pump the money into it.

“If the Greens won government this would be a massive, rapid, on-the-ground transition — making sure that no worker is left behind.”

The WA Greens have pledged $22 million to upgrade nature trails, signage and visitor centres in WA’s national parks; $60 million over five years to expand the State’s Indigenous rangers program; and $10 million towards the development of five regional Aboriginal cultural centres in tourist hotspots.

The party has also vowed to put $125 million a year into a nature fund to support Natural Resource Management organisations, $125 million a year into a future farming fund to help farmers tackle climate change and $270 million a year towards mental health services.

Mr Gilmour said he was committed to securing funding for a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in the Great Southern if elected.

“Drugs are a health problem, not a crime problem. If you approach it as a health issue it works, rather than stigmatising people,” he said.

“I would do whatever it takes to get the funding.”

The Greens WA have also reaffirmed their support for the reopening of the Tier 3 rail network and committed to establishing a “world-class” regional transport system if elected.

Under the plan, the party aims to increase rail and bus services to improve regional public transport.

The transport plan includes establishing a “pilot program for a tourist passenger rail service between Perth and Albany”.

Mr Gilmour will contest the seat of Albany against Rebecca Stephens (Labor), Scott Leary (Liberal), Delma Baesjou (Nationals WA), Michelle Kinsella (One Nation) and Mal Dodson (Liberal Democrats WA).

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