After running in two Federal elections, Tim Murray is no stranger to politics.
Murray has turned his priorities to Waverley Local Council and will run for the Bondi ward on Saturday September 4. He hopes the area will adopt a wide-spread renewable energy roll out in the upcoming term.
For Murray, his ambitious renewable energy plans date back to childhood. It’s been what gets him out of bed for a long time.
“My parents were hippies and their friends had very early solar panels and wind power,” he explained.
“I’m most passionate about alternative energy use. Solar and strata is the key thing I’m interested in,” Murray told City Hub.
Murray says that though most local voters list climate change as their biggest political priority, Wentworth (of which Waverley Council is part of), had some of the lowest solar uptake levels in the country.
“One of the reasons for this is that there’s a lot of apartments in those areas. About 60% of people in the area live in apartments. There’s a huge amount of technical and legal issues from the roof of a strata building to the consumer of the power inside the building,” Murray said.
He wants to see more than just individual households taking up solar. Tackling this needs to be a community event.
“I’d like to work on community batteries… and that means creating community networks.
“If we took an aerial photograph of Waverley Council now and then took one at the end of the three years… I’d like to see maybe 50% of those apartment buildings going from having no solar panels to solar panels.”
Renewable resources roll-out
After forming an ad hoc group of lawyers, technicians and Strata experts, Murray saw local council as the best way forward. Waverley resources could place solar panels in a commercial capacity, including to power the Eastgate shopping complex.
And the plan has gained council traction. Waverley Council just became one of the first organisations in Australia to declare a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Murray said current Labor Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, who is running for another term, fully backs the plan for solar panels on strata buildings.
Masselos said Council will be able to meet the new target by purchasing 100% renewable energy, phasing out gas and switching to electric vehicles, whilst ensuring ongoing energy efficiencies.
The “cutting edge” policy also fits “hand in glove” with Federal Labor plans to roll out better renewable energy.
“If we can be elected back to [a Labor-led Waverley] Council and if we start working on this, should the Labor party be elected federally, we’ll be ready to go as soon as they put in their plan to put renewable batteries in,” he explained.