Eurobodalla Shire Council (ESC) has lagged behind other Australian local governments with its failure to identify climate action opportunities with inexplicable delays well beyond the Black Summer fires or COVID, according to Eurobodalla Labor for Council candidate Jack Egan
Mr Egan, a Councillor candidate, is addressing ESC today about its Emissions Reduction Plan and Sustainability Progress Report and said its overdue 10-year Climate Resilience Plan has seen Eurobodalla residents and neighbouring shires step in to do the work in the absence of council leadership.
“Eurobodallans are no different to other Australians,” Mr Egan said, “in that a solid majority want fair dinkum climate action. And Eurobodallans want action here where they live. They want to thrive in a community which is doing its bit to meet the Paris climate goals.
“A significant number of Eurobodalla citizens are active in climate action and environment protection groups and believe council should be doing more with practical climate solutions.
“Evidence-based research by ZeroSE – A Beyond Zero Future for South East NSW shows that financially responsible investments in specific climate solutions that are available today more than pay-off in local business opportunities, jobs, a healthy environment and a safer climate,” he said.
Council should encourage rooftop solar and wiring for electric vehicle chargers, especially on new and renovating residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
“With power generation, not all power needs to be imported into the region,” Mr Egan said. “If it wanted, council could identify and zone suitable local land for renewable energy generation, or it could lease council-owned land for construction of community power projects. It could support solar bulk-buys for residents or even purchase locally produced renewable energy from community generation.
“We already have an example of that successfully operating with Bega Valley Shire’s purchase of power from the Tathra Community Solar Farm to run the Tathra sewage treatment farm.
“And electric vehicles (EV) are here, and more will be on our roads soon so council should ensure Eurobodalla obtains its fair share of NSW government funds now offered under the NSW Electric Vehicle Strategy which designates the Princes Highway as an EV superhighway,” he said.
The extension of Eurobodalla’s ‘active transport’ network to foster safe and pleasant zero emissions commuting or exercising on foot, push-biking or e-biking are all easy options for Mayor Liz Innes or her councillor supporters to have promoted – but have not.
“These sorts of measures are financially responsible, even for a debt-ridden council such as Eurobodalla,” Mr Egan said. “They do not require significant expenditure but instead will substantially boost economic activity in the shire, through both direct investment from households and businesses in climate solutions as well as through the indirect benefit of less money flowing out of the shire to large energy retailers, with money instead spent locally.”
Eurobodalla Labor for Council is standing a team of candidates on 4 December: for Mayor, David Grace from Broulee; and for Councillors, Maureen Searson from Batehaven; Matthew Findlay from Batemans Bay; Claire McAsh from Moruya; Deirdre Russack from Narooma; and Jack Egan from Rosedale.
Further information: Jack Egan, Labor Councillor candidate M: 0428 237 051