Dr Vanessa Rauland (centre) with the Greens' Scott Ludlam and Rachel Siewert.

Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute’s Dr Vanessa Rauland has announced she will be the Greens candidate for the upcoming Canning by-election in Perth.

Ms Rauland’s thesis on the role of urban development in decarbonising cities was the basis for a number of The Fifth Estate articles last year. She was also a guest of our Greening the West Surround Sound in Perth, and contributed an article to our ebook on Creating Sustainable Precincts.

Dr Rauland told The Fifth Estate that while membership to the Greens had been relatively recent, she had been a supporter of the party for many years, having worked with them extensively through her role at CUSP.

The Greens, she said, had a great relationship with the property sector in Western Australia, with CUSP also having worked on the Transforming Perth document along with the Property Council.

The next stage of that project was currently being shaped up, she said, and would look at “design, delivery and deliberation” – how to implement the plan and financing options among the subjects tackled.

On the federal seat of Canning, Dr Rauland said renewables would be her “number one campaign issue”.

Canning has gained much media attention recently, with the Australian Solar Council launching a campaign targeting the 50 per cent of households benefitting from solar PV and solar hot water.

“For me it is very clear that [the electorate is] very supportive of solar and renewable energy,” Dr Rauland said.

Other key issues will be affordable housing, which is linked to the research she has done on low carbon living, and focusing on skilling people for a low carbon economy, with job creation in advanced manufacturing and prefabrication some of the opportunities for the built environment sector.

Her own status as a small business owner, of sustainability consultancy SimplyCarbon, was “a perfect example of the types of new jobs that will become available if we can support this sector a little more”, she said.

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