EMERGENCY DECLARED: Milne's climate motion passes council
TWEED SHIRE Council with the backing of a boisterous gallery has declared a 'climate emergency' at Thursday's meeting in Murwillumbah.
Mayor Katie Milne's motion to declare the emergency, as well as advocate and support students striking in Pottsville on Friday was passed by the colloquially know 'Rainbow Four'.
Councillors Reece Byrnes, Chris Cherry and Ron Cooper all spoke in support of the Mayor's motion, commending the move.
A packed gallery watched on, applauding after every speaker as if it was on cue, before cheering and at least one snide remark toward the three councillors who opposed the motion upon the announcement of the vote.
Tweed is now one of more than 50 local governments across Australia which have declared the emergency, a fact which the Mayor declared was a positive step forward in the climate change battle.
"Whilst our local council area is a small area it is like a snow flake, you need a snowflake to get a snowball going," Cr Milne said.
"If I wasn't to stand up, I couldn't really expect anyone else to stand up either."
"We are talking about the very safety of humanity - if there is runaway climate change, we are in trouble."
Praise came flooding in from the four councillors for the students who will take part in Friday's strike at Ambrose Brown Park in Pottsville.
Cr Cooper and Cherry both mentioned their children or grandchildren during their speech to the council on Thursday, stating they wanted to protect the planet for their future.
"I grew up in a gen which had it pretty good, but it is going to be more difficult going forward," Cr Cooper said.
"This climate issue came up in the 70s and it didn't worry me at the time.
Then it became political and it has become the victim of political division and it is quite an embarrassment now."
The motion has also called for a report to be brought to the council about the actions which have already been taken in the shire.
Other aspects of the motion included noting "that even at 1.5°C increase there will be significant climate disruptions including the Great Barrier Reef" according to council documents.