Climate change ‘risks ignored’

McCauleys beach storm damage

Storm damage at McCauley’s Beach, Thirroul


THE Wilderness Society Illawarra (WSI) claims that Wollongong City Council’s draft budget 2017-2018, currently on public exhibition, has “ignored the financial risks of climate change”.

WSI spokesman Stephen Young said the draft budget states under general assumptions that “potential eventualities [from climate change] have not been specifically included in current forecasts”.

Mr Young says is this is a “head-in-the-sand approach” to climate change. Mr Young said council cannot claim to be fit for the future if they ignore climate change risk.

“We are already seeing increased damage from storms and rising sea levels,” he said.

“Council has a duty to prepare for the future and to provide leadership on climate chang.”

 WSI has called on councillors to demonstrate leadership in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Mr Young said while there are some worthwhile measures in the 2017-2018 budget such as investigating landfill gas management, and Solar PV on buildings, there is a notable lack of a whole organisational approach. For example, he said the annual budget should set a target for carbon emissions from Council’s operations across all areas, and require all areas of Council to report on measures taken to achieve the target.

WSI is seeking a meeting with the Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbury to request that climate change is more seriously addressed in the budget.

The Bulli Times have contacted Council for comment.

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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