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Thomson signs call to recognise costs from climate fuelled weather : but why not the Mayor

SEVENTEEN mayors and councillors from New South Wales and Queensland have called on the government to recognise the spiralling costs to communities from climate-fuelled extreme weather, and do more to protect communities from costly and disruptive climate shocks.

The mayors and councillors, from regions including Tweed and Shellharbour in New South Wales to Douglas Shire in Queensland, have today released a joint statement calling for urgent action to protect their communities from worsening climate change.

Above: a true believer and activist: Clr Jo Dodds of Bega Council, president of Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, delivers a message, "This is Climate Change" outside Parliament House in Canberra. Photo © Dean Sewell / Greenpeace Surprisingly, instead of the Mayor, Liz Innes, the statement has been signed by Clr James Thomson of Eurobodalla Council supporting that "The Climate Council revealed that climate fuelled disasters have cost our national economy $35 billion over the past decade." It is most unusual to see the Councillors signature and not the Mayors on such a formal statement however it was Councillor Thomson who broke ranks with the Innes voting bloc and "crossed the floor" to join Councillors McGinlay and Mayne on a vote to recognise Climate Emergency. Unfortunately they were still defeated by the Innes bloc. Allan Rees, a spokesperson for Eurobodalla said of the statement "Does the Eurobodalla Shire Council recognise that the "the spiralling costs to communities from climate-fuelled extreme weather" mean that we are living in a state of climate emergency?

"James Thomson, the council's representative on the Cities Power Partnership, understands this is what we are facing. Does the mayor realise this after our shocking bushfires were driven by a record number of extreme fire weather days?

"Eighteen Eurobodalla businesses and community groups have written to the councillors asking that they meet with us to discuss declaring a climate emergency. The mayor has rejected our request and is on record as voting against the Climate Emergency Declaration just four months before the bushfires hit us."

"Insurance companies are warning that people will face ever higher premiums and the risk they will not be insured if they live in vulnerable bushfire, flood or coastal areas. This is already happening in the Eurobodalla.

"Fossil fuel companies are profiting from polluting our atmosphere and the polluters should pay. They should not be able to shift the cost of the damage they are causing off onto the public. 350 Eurobodalla says there should be a disaster levy on fossil fuel production," the spokesperson for Eurobodalla 350. org said.

Above: Why was it Clr Thomson who signed the joint statement on the impact of climate change rather than the Mayor. The two other councillors listed are both vocal climate change activists with the other NSW signatories being Mayors.