Blue Mountains Conservation Society say Libs are 'silent on the environment

The Blue Mountains Conservation Society said the community is in the dark about the local Liberal candidates' positions on key environmental issues.

The Society has released the responses to its local government candidates' questionnaire and said "for the first time no Liberal candidates responded".

It asked the 14 lead candidates across the four wards 19 questions on key environmental issues in the region. Nine responded.

"Of the five candidates who did not respond, four were the lead Liberal candidates [Kevin Schreiber, Jo Bromilow, Roza Sage and Brendan Christie] in each ward and one was an Independent [former Liberal Daniel Myles]," said Society president, Tara Cameron.

"It is especially disappointing that no Liberal candidate across the four wards responded."

Pre-poll voting started on Monday [November 22] and Ms Cameron said it it meant across the four wards "residents will have no information on the views of any Liberal candidates, representing a major political party, on critical issues such as increased urban development, ensuring protection of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and climate change."

Ms Cameron said it was the lowest response rate for a local government election questionnaire since the Society commenced this initiative. The Society started the election candidate questionnaires for local, state and federal elections at the federal election in 2010. The first council questionnaire was in 2012.

"At the last local government election, 18 out of 19 candidates responded to the Society's environment questionnaire, including lead candidates from all major parties."

Ms Cameron called their questionnaire a community service which "assists in ensuring greater transparency and accountability, for both our elected council and residents".

All candidates who responded supported stopping inappropriate development, including protecting the unique character of villages and opposing the 'Wildlife Park' at Bodington Hill, Wentworth Falls.

There was also support to work with the state government and not-for-profit sector to increase affordable housing as well as retaining the Katoomba Golf Course as a publicly owned community area.

Areas of disagreement included an idea to increase council's environmental budget to at least 5 per cent of the overall budget, and council following the lead of other local governments and developing a policy of prohibiting gas appliances in new residential developments in the Mountains.

Candidates who responded expressed strong commitments to environmental and related social justice issues. Responses are at www.bluemountains.org.au. Liberal candidates were contacted for comment and elected not to comment.

Disappointed by response: Blue Mountains Conservation Society president Tara Cameron said residents will have no information on the views of any Liberal candidates.

Disappointed by response: Blue Mountains Conservation Society president Tara Cameron said residents will have no information on the views of any Liberal candidates.