Time for Council to change its priorities
Events of the past week in Benalla (and in recent months elsewhere in Australia) must surely sharpen our Council’s attention towards addressing climate change.
The 1993 flood was called “a 1 in 100 year event”, but climate scientists have been warning us for decades that extreme weather events will become more frequent in Australia and in fact worldwide, and so it is being proven true. With a super-saturated catchment, and forecasts of further heavy rainfall events this year, we may not have seen the last of the floods. This will be very worrying for people residing in vulnerable areas.
Twelve months ago, Council rejected a petition with 600 local signatures calling for it to declare a “Climate Emergency”, and to develop policies which would help mitigate the effects of climate change into the future. Instead they opted to pass a motion stating they recognised climate change was a concern, and they would work with the community to revise their “Climate Change Adaptation Plan”. That still has not happened, and the question needs to be asked, is this revised plan going to include sections on advising residents how to get used to being flooded on more regular occasions? Or how and why you should stay cool when it is 50 degrees?
Wouldn’t it be much better, and also more reassuring for the future generations of this city, to see a document produced detailing action plans to help try to stop the above scenarios occurring? This would need to be backed up by a Council budget that actually prioritised purchases and projects reducing greenhouse emissions, and created more green and cooler spaces in the urban areas, as opposed to most of the concrete, brick and bitumen heat sinks of the new subdivisions.
Finally, did anyone notice the foundations of the proposed boutique cinema floating downstream last Friday? Another question for Council – why was this project approved for construction in a flood zone?
Peter Holmes, Lima East