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Protests build around Council's denial of Climate Emergency insisting it "variable and changing"

The group School Strike 4 Climate are calling on the community to join in a Sit Down outside the Council offices on Friday November 29th from 1:30pm to 2:30pm. Presently there is a weekly Friday Climate Sit In with grandmother Russelle Wannell who began her sit in several weeks ago to protest the failure of the local council to recognise the need to declare a climate emergency.

Russelle says of her sit-in “I am a grandmother who thought of an idea to sit at the roundabout in front of council chambers to express my concern, sitting every Friday morning between 9.00 – 11.00 am, a place where I thought I would be visible. Many of those who attend the sit-in are disappointed that Council remains self focused and congratulatory on what they do to reduce carbon emissions, plastics and waste control as if they play no part in the bigger picture across the shire where Council appears to feigns any responsibility. "Council's recent attempts to reduce lot sizes in rural areas while ignoring RFS advise is ongoing testament that they have not embraced the new paradigms and that the region is under climactic threat which is unprecedented" one of the sit-in members told The Beagle. "Their obstinance and the embarrassing response given by Council to not accept a Climate emergency saying climate is "variable and changing" is pathetic, especially in light of the recent catastrophic bushfires up north. This is not the opinion of anyone who might consider themselves a civic leader". On August 13th this year Council refused to acknowledge a climate emergency and humans’ contribution to it, avoided the term ‘climate change’ and rejected Councillor McGinlay’s assertion we’re at a ‘critical’ juncture on climate issues. This week will see Council attempt to embrace a wider narrative when they invite members of the community, under pressure from a resolution by Councillor McGinlay, to a workshop on Nov 21st to consider additional input to help Council "fully realise the plan’s objectives and identify potential new actions for emissions reductions by Council, business and the broader community". "Just look south to see real leadership with Bega Valley's Mayor, Kristy McBain. While our Mayor has her head in the sand Mayor McBain has a draft Climate Resilience Strategy that has a whole-of-Shire scope," said one of the southern sit-inners. "The Bega document being put our for community feedback and input recognises the need for a coordinated climate change response across the Bega Shire, and identifies actions their council and their community can all take to mitigate the effects of global warming and adapt to unavoidable changes in our climate. 

"They want to focus on building a strong community driven foundation that looks at protecting natural systems, preparation for natural disasters, focusing on how to establish safe, active, informed and inclusive communities and looking at energy and food security." "Meanwhile all our Mayor does is poo-poo the Greens and declare there is no emergency and let's have another workshop", said the Friday sit-in supporter.

The Sit Down organised for Nov 29th by the School Strike 4 Climate will no doubt bring the youth of the region back to the Eurobodalla Council forecourt where it is speculated that only Councillors McGinlay and Mayne will meet the students while the other seven councillors, including the Mayor, The general Manager and senior executives will remain in "The Bunker". School Strike 4 Climate representatives are clear in their message saying "Our Government’s inaction on the climate crisis is contributing to catastrophic fire conditions. People are hurting. Communities are being devastated. And summer hasn’t even begun. "But rather than take real action on the climate crisis, all our Government offers is their thoughts, prayers and more support for coal, oil and gas projects. "Our Government has repeatedly ignored Indigenous leaders and firefighters’ warnings of a spiralling bushfire crisis. And they have failed to provide the support needed to manage country and bushfires in a time of climate crisis. They need to be held to account. "On November 29, join all of us at Solidarity Sit-Downs to demand increased support for Indigenous land management and the Rural Fire Service and real climate action"

"Together, we’ll sit shoulder to shoulder outside the offices of our Councils across Australia and hear from those on the frontline of the climate crisis. "Bring a cushion, and together let’s show solidarity with everyone on the frontlines of the climate crisis."

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