SAGE supports motions to declare climate emergency in the Eurobodalla Eurobodalla Shire Council – NOM19/ 004 CLIMATE EMERGENCY
Public Forum presentation by Cath Reilly on behalf of SAGE in support of NOM19/004
Good morning Mayor Innes, Councillors, Dr Dale, staff, members of the gallery and people reading this.
I present today on behalf of the SAGE Management Committee. SAGE stands for Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening Eurobodalla. SAGE strongly supports Cr McGinlay’s Notice of Motion and we urge Councillors to vote in support of all three motions.
SAGE is a not-for-profit community-based organisation whose mission is to create and support a NSW South Coast sustainable fair food economy and food sovereignty for local communities.
SAGE delivers several projects including the SAGE Farmers Market in Moruya, community education programs, Market Garden Internships, the Veggies for All project, and emerging enterprises such as SAGE Seed Savers, a collaborative Institute of Sustainability, and the Stepping Stone Farm initiative.
SAGE believes that we are living in a time of climate emergency that requires focused and strategic actions at a local government level. We congratulate Cr McGinlay for putting forward these motions for the community.
SAGE acknowledges and thanks Council for the work already being done to mitigate the effects of climate change, but we believe a greater effort is now needed.
SAGE supports all three motions put forward by Cr McGinlay as a conduit to Council more actively helping to increase local food production and sustainable small-scale agriculture, to mitigate the significant impact of climate change on the availability, cost and quality of food to our community.
Increasing local food production will deliver positive outcomes such as more jobs, affordable food, local food security and more carbon in the soil. We ask you to help ensure that everyone can access local, affordable and healthy food in the future.
SAGE along with many other organisations and skilled individuals in Eurobodalla are ready to help. Today we ask you to step up and take a leadership role on behalf of the community.
Councilors are required under the Local Government Act 1993, to represent the collective interests of residents, ratepayers and the local community. You have already received many emails in support of the motions, and we hope you have been following the widespread discussions online, on air and in print media that show majority support for the motions. The presentations being made to you today, and the number of people who have come to the meeting today is further evidence of broad community support.
Some of you may not believe that addressing climate change is a local government matter. To this we say that Council is already addressing it and SAGE congratulates and thanks Council for the work to date. But more is needed.
For some of you, the motions may not represent the ideology of the political party you align yourself with. To this we ask you to reflect on the oath or affirmation you took when you were elected, which said in part, that you will act in the best interests of the local community, and impartially carry out your functions. In addition, the Local Government Act requires you to consider the long term and cumulative effects of your decisions on future generations.
We suggest that when you make your decision on this matter, you should consider the community response as reflecting strong support for all three motions.
We urge you to support these motions, and genuinely collaborate and partner with the community to develop workable solutions.
SAGE offers that we are ready to contribute positively to any collaborative actions Council resolves to pursue when these motions are carried today.