Council sets climate targets

Melville climate network members Jillian Horton, Paula Samson, Brian Spittles and Jane Loveday. Photo supplied.

MELVILLE council will be carbon neutral within a decade while its ratepayers and businesses will be expected to follow suit by 2050.

At Tuesday’s monthly meeting, the council voted to declare a climate emergency and set the ambitious targets after councillor Tomas Fitzgerald beefed up a staff recommendation calling for another plan to be drawn up.

The declaration follows the tabling of a Melville City Climate Action Network petition of about 1250 signatures at the council’s May meeting.

Cr Fitzgerald said he’d been working on his own motion off the petition, but after working with staff over the last couple of months decided it would be better to amend their recommendation to incorporate his aspirations.

His motion, which passed 8-2, also calls for the city to prepare a climate action plan in two years.

“This is considered reasonable given the complexity of the issue, the need to embed this … and the access to the skills and capability required to develop the plan,” Cr Fitzgerald said.

He said the costs would be considered as part of a current review of the city’s 10-year financial plan.

Climate network member Andrew Carruthers is a 14-year Melville resident and ratepayer, and said it was a “fantastic move” by the council.

Fellow member Brian Spittles said the group had been working on the petition and motion for 18 months.

“Local councils around Australia are working on reducing CO2, as the required actions are non-political and need to be led by all levels of government,” MCCAN said in a release. “There are now nine local councils in WA and nearly 100 in Australia who have declared a climate emergency and are taking specific steps to help communities reduce their carbon footprint.”

Former Applecross Senior High School student Kate Loveday (18) wrote to councillors before the vote urging them to declare a climate emergency as it felt like “finally, we are looking around us, realising what’s wrong and taking it seriously.

“I know some people might be worried that declaring a climate emergency will cause alarm, but I speak for my whole generation when I say: we are already alarmed.

“We are, in fact, terrified.”

by STEVE GRANT

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