COCKBURN council has refused to bow to climate activists, rejecting demands to declare a climate emergency.
Debate on a motion raised by councillor Phoebe Corke at this week’s ordinary council meeting was quickly shut down by her colleague Michael Separovich, who moved an alternative recommendation to simply “note” her report.
Only mayor Logan Howlett and councillors Phil Eva and Chontelle Stone joined Cr Corke in trying to keep the debate alive.
“Well I was, of course, disappointed because I believe local government has a very important part to play in changing attitudes on how we live,” Cr Corke later told the Herald.
“There are 88 other councils around the country who all agree that it is the role of local government to lead the way on climate change, and I agree with them.”
Cr Corke said the council was already a leader in responding to climate issues and staff had been very supportive, with the city already engaging with the community over issues such as the future of the Coogee Beach foreshore where the toilets are likely to be under threat within 50 years.
“Port Catherine is a real problem; we’ve been replacing sand every four years,” she said.
“And if you go down to Bistro 21 … oh my goodness.”
She says the beach has retreated a metre each year since she first started visiting 10 years ago.
Cr Corke, who has taken part in Extinction Rebellion protests, says declaring the emergency and adopting a five-point plan would see climate action prioritised in the council’s strategic plan and give it a new perspective.
XR activists said they were “disappointed” with the council’s decision.
But instead of blocking traffic or gluing themselves to buildings, the activists have a talk at the Cockburn Wetlands Centre this coming Thursday, February 27 at 6.30pm.
Presenter Sarah Nix said the group had many supporters in Cockburn.
“We want to build a community of people who are willing to stand up and speak out,” Ms Nix said.
“We want people to demand more from our government, including our own City of Cockburn.”
by STEVE GRANT