Digital democracy

CORONAVIRUS killed off their public forum, but Labor pollies Josh Wilson and Patrick Gorman did their best to keep climate change on the agenda by having a crack at an online talkfest last week.

The Perth Future Forum: Future of Climate Action featured MPs Gorman and Wilson (who’s Labor’s shadow assistant minister for the environment) along with Bayswater deputy mayor Filomena Piffaretti and climate engineer Zanetta Macharenhas on a Facebook Live feed.

Mr Gorman said it was disappointing the live event, expected to draw about 100 people, wasn’t able to go ahead, but they’d followed the best advice available.

“The future of democracy is in the digital space, and events such as the Perth Future Forum will soon take place online,” Mr Gorman said.

“While I am sceptical about this flowing through to electronic voting, the reality of our situation means we must explore all options available in the digital world.”

• Josh Wilson and Patrick Gorman at this year’s Clean Up Australia Day in Maylands.

Cr Piffaretti outlined Bayswater’s aim to be using 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and zero carbon emissions by 2040.

“In the short term (three years) we will be implementing immediate actions to reduce our energy costs via initiatives such as solar panels, trialling electric vehicles and undertaking an energy efficiency program to push down the city’s costs,” she said.

“In the medium term (five years) we will be developing a plan with individual business cases.

“This may include building a solar farm or purchasing renewable energy through aggregated buying power.”

Cr Piffaretti said Bayswater’s power bills were $26 million over 10 years.

In order to be prepared for a changed climate, the council was working to green the city, protect bushlands and wetlands, developing policies to better manage the interface between the built and natural environment, and had put together a team of experts to help develop a framework to guide the city’s growth with an in-built climate resilience.

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