I am pleased to see the Nationals coming out with a policy to have a “Green Army” of 15,000 across Australia even if it is only a token gesture.(EGN 16/1) Such an “army” should be at least ten times this size and soak up unemployment around Australia.
As to activities for the “Green Army” I can suggest starting on Bob Hawke’s “one billion trees” as the only effective method of carbon capture and storage or making safe towns and communications routes from the increasing threats of extreme weather events or installing permanent members of emergency services such as the CFA in remote local communities. The list of possibilities is a long one.
The problem with the Nationals is that they are yet to recognise the dire threat of global warming. This is complicated by the fact that coal miners are a major donor to the National Party – more than $75,000 in 2010-11. Without tackling the problem of CO2 from coal exports and electricity generation the Nationals are condemned to remain the “flat-earth” party of our political system.
Eventually Mr Chester and the Nationals will have to decide whether they represent coal miners such as Nathan Tinkler or ordinary farmers and the people of Gippsland