Port Augusta’s Solar Mayor Dies

Many in Port Augusta and elsewhere are mourning the passing of the City’s firebrand Mayor, Joy Baluch, who lost her battle with cancer on Tuesday. 
  
Port Augusta City Council is flying the City’s flags at half mast as a mark of respect for the Mayor; who was the City’s leader for almost thirty years.
  
A larger-than-life figure, Mayor Baluch was a driving force behind the push to rid the area of coal fired power and embrace solar thermal energy based electricity generation.
  
According to AdelaideNow, Ms Baluch’s husband died 16 years ago from lung cancer. While he was not a smoker, he had worked in the Port Augusta power stations. The health impacts of the coal fired facilities were an important motivator in Mayor Baluch spearheading the campaign for the area’s coal-fired stations to be replaced by solar.
  

 
Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said a fitting tribute to Mayor Baluch’s memory would be to fulfil her dream of repowering Port Augusta with solar energy.
  
Port Augusta City Manager Greg Perkin said the city has lost its most passionate and fearless supporter.
 
“Mayor Baluch has been a tireless supporter for not only Port Augusta but for the region and she will be sadly missed. She has very much been a Mayor who has been heavily involved in the community, always making herself available to attend events, even as she battled ill health.”
 
Born Nancy Joy Copley in Port Augusta, October 10 1932; Ms. Baluch served 11 years as a councillor before she was elected as Mayor in 1981, serving 29 years all told in that capacity.
 
“The health of the people in Port Augusta has been affected by this coal-fired power station for the last 40 years and statistics prove this… We need to see solar thermal energy developed in South Australia and for us to become world leaders in this renewable energy. Certainly gas is not the answer.” – Mayor Joy Baluch, 2012
   
“We have paid the price for the state’s cheap energy” –
Mayor Joy Baluch, May 2012