Cr Milne: People should pray climate change not triggered
PRAYER is set to remain a feature of Tweed Shire Council meetings, despite a national debate ignited by the Australian Greens calling for the Lord's Prayer to be dropped from the opening of each day's Federal Parliament sittings.
Religious ministers from throughout Tweed Shire take it in turns to offer a blessing before each council meeting.
If they can't make it, Mayor Barry Longland reads a prayer.
Greens Councillor Katie Milne expressed some reservations about the prayerful start to meetings, but surprisingly suggested we may actually need more conversations with God, not less.
"This is a complex issue and I do worry whether others, particularly from a non-Christian background, might feel excluded," Cr Milne said.
"What I pray for most of all is that we all find the personal and political will to reverse this terrible man-induced climate change.
"I have proposed a new year's resolution for this council meeting to recommit to our efforts to address the imperative of climate change and take further preventative actions as a role model for the community, businesses and developers.
"I think we all need to pray that runaway climate change is not already triggered, and we definitely need to seriously act and mobilise on all levels before it is completely irreversible."
Mayor Longland said he was content with the status quo.
"I don't have a view about abolishing it (prayer)," he said.
"I don't see it as a big issue.
"The issue has never been brought to council."
Acting Greens leader Richard Di Natale, a "lapsed Catholic", says the use of the prayer is an anachronism that does not reflect modern multi-faith Australian society.
Senator Di Natale said last week that when Parliament returned in February, he would move to end the reading of prayers at the start of each sitting day.
"We are here to represent everybody. We're here to represent people of all faiths. People who don't have a strong religious faith," he told Fairfax Media.
Tweed Shire Council meetings resume on Thursday.