Tweed mayor Katie Milne is pushing for the declaration of a climate emergency. Picture: Graham Denholm/Getty Images.
Tweed mayor Katie Milne is pushing for the declaration of a climate emergency. Picture: Graham Denholm/Getty Images.

Milne urges ‘emergency’ call for children’s sake

FOR A council that is notorious for its political ideology and ethical bravado, a coming motion may be the most ­extreme put forward in this term.

Tweed Mayor Katie Milne will ask her fellow councillors to join her in declaring a "climate emergency" when they meet in Murwillumbah next Thursday.

Cr Milne - the driving force behind council's hardline, einvornmental stance against companies working with Indian mining giant Adani - will put the motion the day before school students in Pottsville strike to protest against climate change inaction.

The Tweed Mayor said she believed it was the responsibility of her council to take the climate-emergency stance as the situation worsened.

"It is imperative that every person and organisation takes responsibility and does whatever they can to address climate change," Cr Milne said.

"As one of the largest ­organisations in the shire, council has an extremely important role to reduce our emissions and be a model for the community and other ­organisations.

"To suggest otherwise seems to be morally bereft when so many lives and such economic disruption is at stake.

"Council has already done some really fantastic work in this space, also saving council $1 million per year by 2022 with reduced energy costs, and I have called for a report on what more we could do."

In all there are 17 points to Cr Milne's motion, which includes supporting students striking in Pottsville on September 20, and noting the ­fastest growing jobs in the US are in the renewable energy sector.

Council documents state that Tweed Shire will be joining almost 50 other local councils across the country in declaring a climate emergency.

The Mayor will also write to the NSW Government and Federal Government, encouraging them to also declare a climate emergency.

Cr Milne said it was her hope she would be able to deliver welcome news to the striking students next Friday.

"I hope we have good news of this motion for them," she said.

"We know there are plenty of solutions out there, but much greater political and public momentum is needed to take action and invest at an emergency scale now.

"The world has such little time left to stop runaway climate change.

"We owe it to the young people to do everything in our power to give them a safe ­future."

The climate emergency­ ­motion follows council's reversal of its decision to ban companies that have worked for Adani from council projects.

The Tweed Mayor said she was disappointed four of her councillors went against her stance on the companies last month, taking a thinly veiled swipe at her colleagues.

"The Adani rescission was disappointing, particularly as we had previous advice that the ban was perfectly legal," she said.

"All organisations should have the right to deal with companies that align with their ethics.

"It is very concerning that even as we go through more and more extreme droughts, floods and fires, devastating whole communities, that those in responsible positions refuse to act responsibly."

Next Thursday's council meeting will begin at 5.30pm.

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