City urges action on climate

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Dunsborough Photographer Christian Fletcher is calling on the City of Busselton to join other WA local governments to declare a climate emergency.
Camera IconDunsborough Photographer Christian Fletcher is calling on the City of Busselton to join other WA local governments to declare a climate emergency. Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

Busselton City Council last week voted to sign the WA Local Government Association declaration on climate change.

The declaration states that climate change is occurring and greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the dominant cause, while urgent action to reduce emissions is required.

The statement was endorsed by the State Council in July 2018 calling for strong climate change action, leadership and co-ordination at all levels of government.

Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said the move would affirm the City’s support for a universal stand and official position on climate change.

“Given we have been undertaking practical measures to achieve emission reduction for some years, it made sense,” he said.

During the live streamed council meeting, Mr Henley moved to amend the declaration to consult the community before a climate change policy was adopted by the City.

“It does somewhat depend on the easing of gathering restrictions associated with COVID-19,” Cr Henley said.

“Priority will be given to consulting with the community on this matter, and it is our hope that this can be done before the end of July.

“City of Busselton policy, while based on the WALGA declaration, will be shaped by local input, address local issues, and include local initiatives.” In January a petition to sign the declaration was put to the City by Dunsborough resident Christian Fletcher who this week said the next step was to form a working group which informed residents how to live sustainably.

“I’m really happy with the councillors and the outcome. I was a little bit surprised that it was a unanimous decision but I think the fires cemented in a lot of people’s minds that this was a serious issue,” he said. “I would like to see a working group set up with local experts in this field all working together to create strategy with realistic targets and incentives.”

Busselton Naturalists Club president Bernie Masters said members would work on a club policy to help provide positive feedback and solutions to climate change issues.

“Entrepreneurial risk-taking behaviour needs to be encouraged to find solutions for climate change,” he said.

“Achieving an acceptable balance between the economy, environment and society should shape sustainable environmental policy.”

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