Labor leader lobbies for ‘daylight saving be shortened to help combat climate change’
By Kylar Loussikian
Labor leader Jodi McKay has lobbied the NSW government to consider a request made by one of her constituents that daylight saving be shortened to help combat climate change.
In the letter sent by the Strathfield MP to Energy Minister Matt Kean, Ms McKay writes that her constituent “advises that daylight saving time in NSW had made last summer too hot for walking in Hammond Park, her local park, at 8pm as the temperature at that time remained at the 40°C mark”.
A man walks across the open space in Hammond Park in Ashfield, Sydney. CREDIT:KATE GERAGHTY
“[The constituent] has requested the duration of the daylight saving period in NSW be shortened as it has a significant impact on climate change,” Ms McKay wrote on October 11. “I await your consideration and response on this matter.”
Daylight saving has been a fraught issue since being introduced in 1971, with multiple referendums in Queensland and Western Australia rejecting the arrangement.
Over the years, critics have attributed the change of time to a fall in robberies, increased petrol sales, a jump in heart attacks, less milk being produced by cows and faster fading curtains.
A man under the entrance as he leaves Hammond Park in Ashfield, Sydney.CREDIT:KATE GERAGHTY
There are also various studies that show the change in time leads to higher or lower energy use.
A spokesman for Ms McKay said it was not her view that daylight saving should be changed.
“Strathfield has a diverse community with a wide variety of views,” he said. “It is the job of the local member to represent those views to government without judgment … she will never apologise for making sure that members of her community have their concerns heard.”
Despite the Strathfield electorate resident’s concern, and numerous university studies, there appears to be no strong connection between daylight saving and climate change.
A 2011 study published in The Review of Economics and Statistics found daylight saving time increased the social cost of pollution emissions by up to $US5.5 million that year. Another paper, published in the journal Energy Policy in the same year, found energy had been saved in southern Norway and Sweden.
Earlier research by two University of California, Berkeley, academics — which focused on Sydney during the 2000 Olympics — decided there was no effect on energy consumption whatsoever.