Frustrated residents are advocating for their local councils to declare a climate emergency, as momentum builds on calls for climate change action around Australia.
The Goldfields Sustainability Group is advocating to the Central Goldfields Shire, state government and federal government to declare a climate emergency, following a climate action rally in Maryborough in January.
It would be a really strong demonstration of the recognition of the challenges that face us and a show of leadership to the community.Tony Macer, Goldfields Sustainability Group
"Councils have a role to play in leading climate change action," Goldfields Sustainability Group member Tony Macer said.
"If we had the declaration of climate emergency that would underpin everything council does and decides.
"It would be a really strong demonstration of the recognition of the challenges that face us and a show of leadership to the community."
More Australian councils are declaring a climate emergency, including in Ballarat and the surrounding region.
According to Australian advocacy group Climate Emergency Declaration, more than 1300 jurisdictions in 28 countries have declared a climate emergency, covering 819 million citizens.
RELATED COVERAGE: More councils declare a climate emergency
In November 2018, Ballarat City Council passed a motion from Cr Belinda Coates to acknowledge the climate emergency and the need for prioritisation of initiatives that move Ballarat towards carbon neutrality and 100 per cent renewable energy.
Neighbouring Hepburn Shire Council declared a climate emergency in September 2019.
The council will now report bi-annually to the community on all emission reduction and climate mitigation projects and will continue to expand on its Z-Net project within the community.
Mount Alexander Shire Council declared a climate emergency at its December council meeting.
The council resolved to implement a roadmap to lead to zero net emissions for operations by 2025 and will also introduce a climate change lens in the design and construction of infrastructure, the planning and implementation of services and the development of policies and strategies.
Mr Macer said Goldfields Sustainability Group was gathering a group of representatives to work with the Central Goldfields Shire to declare a climate emergency.
He said a big turnout for the climate action rally in Maryborough in January showed the community wanted change.
"The rally was a huge step. It has been a big thing for the community," he said.
"We originally thought there would be between 10 and 50 people. Everyone told us people in country towns don't turn up to those sorts of things. We had 250 people turn out."
Central Goldfields Shire Council is currently administrated by three state government appointed administrators.
At the expiration of their term in 2020, council is expected to return to representatives elected from the community.
The next elections are due in November 2020.
Mr Macer said the group would work to see a climate emergency declared in the shire before the end of the year, but would continue to work with the new council if this was not achieved.
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