Organiser Sarah Wood explained that planning for climate change is integral to a broad range of Council activities: “We not only need to do our bit in the transition to 100% renewable energy, but we must also move to cut carbon pollution from transport, waste management and land use. Many of these measures also offer opportunities for cutting Council expenses and stimulating the local economy. Councils such as Byron Shire are leading the way by developing a ten-year least-cost, community-wide, zero emissions transition plan and we’d like to see Coffs Harbour move to adopt something similar.”
The Advocate’s recent online poll put ‘a climate change strategy’ in the top three of readers’ priorities for the Council election [as at 20.8.16]. Coastal inundation plans also polled highly.
Sarah Wood said that the council’s planning for sea level rise and coastal erosion would also form part of the discussion. “The recent severe storms have demonstrated how damaging the combination of an over-heated climate and rising sea levels can be already. With many local homes at immediate risk of inundation in the case of a storm surge, this is an urgent issue for council – yet their coastal zone management plan has been held up by Council this year.”
Sarah Wood said the forum would be an opportunity for candidates to outline their vision for action on climate change. She invited members of the public to email their climate-related questions for candidates in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All community members are invited to the free event at C.ex Coffs at 6pm on Tuesday 30 August.
Coffs Coast Climate Action Group, an independent community group, will also shortly be publishing further information on candidates’ climate policies. For more details see www.coffsclimateaction.weebly.com.
Media contact: Sarah Wood, 0431 299 707