Councillors, I believe on Tuesday 13th August there is to be a debate on whether we as a community should declare a climate emergency. While you may think the language to be hyperbolic it comes from the frustrated reaction of not only concerned local residents but people from around the world to the apathy, lack of any meaningful action and leadership over decades to address what has now become an emergency situation. I am a primary producer and have a role in education and mentorship to many young market gardeners around the country. Collectively we are all struggling with inconsistency in seasonal patterns, extended dry periods, volatile weather conditions especially in Spring, extreme and in some cases unprecedented rainfall events all “significant changes in regional climatic patterns” and all predicted from as far back as 40 years ago after a paper Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment, also known as the Charney Report. 40 years! Farmers around Australia and the world have listened to the science, they are continuing to experience the effects and many of us are already implementing ways to adapt and mitigate their exposure to the inevitable risk. Right now we’re doing what we can with what we’ve got. It’s time for you to do what you can with what you’ve got. If you as councillors do not decide to declare a climate emergency at the very least heed the warnings and create a framework in which each and every council department considers carbon emissions as a priority. Prioritise energy efficiency, set emissions targets, minimise consumption, investigate closing waste loops, consider adaption strategies, localise our energy, food and waste systems and engage with the concerns of the community all of which can only benefit the Shire’s economy, environment and community regardless. Fraser Bayley Old Mill Road Turlinjah.
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