He's a clean, green MP
HE is clean and green – and this boy from Bundaberg will be the face of a national campaign to be launched on Australia Day, to persuade MPs across the country to take the lead in looking after the environment.
When Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey answered a series of questions on how green he was in Tuesday’s NewsMail, he little thought it would take him to national prominence.
But Mr Dempsey’s answers attracted the attention of the man who set the questions, environmentalist and Australian of the Year nominee John Dee.
Mr Dee contacted Mr Dempsey, and by the end of their conversation the Bundaberg MP had committed himself to a set of actions that will save him thousands of dollars a year and keep tonnes of carbon out of the atmosphere.
Among the actions Mr Dempsey will take is changing all the light bulbs in his house to the new energy-saving ones, an action that will cut his electricity bill by $40 a year for each one.
He will also change his car for a cheaper one that uses less fuel, cutting his petrol bill by an estimated $3500 a year.
And he will offset the emissions from his flights, which will cost him 56 cents for flying between Bundaberg and Brisbane.
He is also looking to generate all the electricity his house uses from solar energy.
“As MPs, we are leaders in the community and this is a way of showing by example,” Mr Dempsey said.
“Hopefully it will catch on.”
Mr Dempsey said he wanted to encourage people to be more aware of the environment, and to see that they could change their patterns.
“For me it’s about common sense and practicality,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what political environment you come from, it’s all about simple measures.”
Mr Dee was so impressed by Mr Dempsey’s actions he is using him as the example to point to when he launches a national campaign on Tuesday, challenging all MPs right across the country to follow his example.
Mr Dee, who was at a lunch for Australian of the Year nominees in Sydney yesterday, said he had talked to several senior NSW politicians, using Mr Dempsey’s name in every conversation, and was close to getting them to follow his lead.
“I’m really grateful to Jack for stepping up,” Mr Dee said.
“He’s a really great example. Jack symbolises the kind of politician who is prepared to actually take some action.”
Mr Dee said Mr Dempsey was the benchmark other MPs across the country would have to measure themselves by.