Councillors declare a climate emergency
WITH Bellingen Shire Council declaring a climate emergency last night, the push is on to get Coffs Harbour City Council to follow suit.
Members of the Coffs Coast Climate Action Group were in the packed public gallery for last night's vote on the motion from mayor Dominic King.
The motion which declared: "we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including by local councils" was supported by councillors Dominic King, Steve Klipin, Jennie Fenton and Toni Wright-Turner. It is part of a growing trend with almost 400 councils in Australia and overseas declaring climate emergencies.
Councillors Desmae Harrison and Steve Jenkins voted against it.
Fiona Morgan from the Coffs Coast Climate Action Group, which has members from Nambucca to Woolgoolga, was there to speak in support of the motion.
"We are thrilled to see one of our local councils being part of the groundswell of local governments taking action. This is demonstrating how politics should be about leadership looking at the long view,” Ms Morgan said.
"Thank you Bellingen Shire Council, there has been too little of this in politics in our country.
"Next we will be talking to Coffs Harbour councillors about also declaring a climate emergency,” she said.
In passing the motion, Bellingen Shire Council will commit to holding a Climate Emergency workshop by the end of the year to examine how their community strategic plan, works program and planning documents can address the climate emergency.
They will also call on State and Federal Governments to declare a climate emergency and back this up with legislated programs to drive emergency action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the lower of the Paris Agreements at 1.5 per cent.