At last! We have a Climate Change Policy and Plan

Cr Peter Epov

At the June 26, MidCoast Council Meeting held in Forster, Councillor Peter Epov successfully moved a Notice of Motion for Council to develop a Climate Change Policy and a Climate Change Action Plan on a vote of 8 to 1, but not before efforts by Councillors Hutchinson, Roberts, and Christensen to scuttle the Notice of Motion and send it off to a Council workshop were defeated 6 votes to 3 (with Councillors McWilliams and Fowler absent from the meeting).

In the end, only one Councillor, Christensen, who rather ironically, presented himself as the candidate for the younger sections of our Community during the last election campaign, voted against Council developing a Climate change policy and an action plan.

We look forward to his solutions for solving the Climate catasrophe now rampant throughout Australia. 

This is the time for our Council to embrace what others are doing; stop the logging of old growth forests, encourage the protection of large trees, plan green spaces in suburban developments, to reduce the sprawl of land clearing – where every blade of grass and trees are levelled so developers can cram as many check by jowl ( even eaves touching) houses grey roof to grey roof on a lot. Cities are waking up heat is rising due to lack of trees. We are losing insects, birds and wildlife with no vegetation in suburbs and housing estates from the dreaded MHEs to “lifestyle” villages smothering prime food growing land. As well as being an eyesore. Aged Care homes need greenery and gardens to keep patients calm and bring pleasure. Why don’t they establish kitchen gardens in Aged Care villages to improve the diet for the elderly.

Many Issues to Be Tackled

Water is a whole major separate issue to be addressed. Damage our Manning River and we have a big problem, boss. Our agriculture industries are dying due to corporate greed milking the effects of climate on livestock and farms. 

Inappropriate crops need regulation. Air pollution from mines, and waste disposal also need to be addressed.

Our way of life as we know it, is changing, gone or desperately hanging on.  Funds are needed where they’re needed, not in politicians’ coffers. 

So well done Cr Epov for at least getting council to face reality. What Council adopts and does next to implement practical polices and solutions is an important next step which will affect all of us for generations.  

After the meeting Councillor Epov said: 

“Climate Change poses very real, serious, and significant risks to the MidCoast Council Community and as such it is critically important that we have a Climate Change Policy and an Action Plan that can identify the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that may flow from being prepared. I’m also grateful that eight councillors voted for the development of a Policy and a Plan, this is such a serious issue that consensus both at Council and around the community is important if we are to effectively deal with the threats.

I’m also hopeful that Council will now adopt a methodology for the Policy and the Plan that will be constructive, inclusive and which will engage with all sections of our community and I encourage anyone who wishes to participate to be pro-active and to put forward their thoughts and ideas to Council in writing.

“Climate Change is already having and will continue to have an impact on our Biodiversity, on Bushfires, East Coast Lows, Floods and Storms, Heat, Human Health, Sea Level Rises (and our Coastline), Soil and Water Resources. 

These Climate Change impacts will directly affect the natural, social and economic welfare of the residents of the MidCoast Council Local Government Area and its future generations. 

By having a better understanding of future impacts and risks of Climate Change on our environment, our communities, our businesses and our lifestyles, we can take pro-active measures to prepare and build resilience to, and minimise the impacts of Climate Change, and adapt for the future. 

Council has a fundamental responsibility not only to support economic and social prosperity but to ensure that we have taken all necessary steps to identify the risks and minimize the impacts of Climate Change on our communities and on our future generations.”

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