Mayor's plan to tackle climate change before 2020
THE environment, flood recovery and combating climate change are at the top of the list of priorities for Katie Milne as she embarks on another stint as Tweed Shire Mayor.
Councillors re-elected Cr Milne to continue her role as mayor for a third term, during an extraordinary council meeting on Thursday.
She received the support of three of the seven councillors, with Crs Reece Byrnes, Chris Cherry and Ron Cooper all voting to keep Cr Milne on as mayor for the next two years.
Cr Cherry was elected unopposed to become the deputy mayor for one year.
"I would like to thank my fellow councillors, council staff and the Tweed community for their support, and acknowledge the harmonious working relationship councillors have had on the whole over the last two years,” Cr Milne said.
Tackling climate change is a top priority for Cr Milne, as well as overseeing the shire's ongoing flood recovery program following the devastation caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
"Climate change is the biggest issue we face on a local and global scale,” Cr Milne said.
"The prospect of cyclones like Debbie becoming a regular occurrence is unthinkable and would exacerbate all our existing problems many times over. Emissions must peak by 2020 and then rapidly decline to zero to stop runaway climate change.”
Cr Milne has faced criticism from some councillors and sections of the community who believe she is hindering development within the shire but despite their arguments she's determined to continue working to protect the environment.
"While council puts in better environmental controls it's one step forward and two steps back with the State Government weakening their laws,” Cr Milne said.
"We must stop this archaic practice of logging our magnificent forests, selling off our precious groundwater, and letting developers continue to build unsustainable buildings.
"Council is on the path of becoming more sustainable with our Renewable Energy Action Plan and Zero Waste target but there is a lot more work that needs to be done. It is our primary responsibility to keep the community safe and we must be united ... this cannot be just a green agenda.”