The following are some quotes from those Shire Councillors supporting the Bass Coast Climate Emergency Declaration as reported in the Bass Coast Post. The first declaration in our region is a beacon of hope for all of us wanting political change in Gippsland. Hopefully other councils will follow.
Cr Pamela Rothfield: “Is it within council’s remit to make such a decision? … The Local Government Charter states ‘The primary objective of a council is to endeavour to achieve the best outcome for the community having regard to the long term, cumulative effects of its decisions.’ If this is not one of those instances where we have to make a decision for the best outcome, I don’t know what is.”
Cr Bruce Kent: “Last year I went diving in the Maldives. Every year the temperature shoots up by one degree in January. A couple of years ago it went up by one and a half degrees and it did it for six or seven weeks. The coral’s dead. It was so devastated. It is recovering, and I mention that because it shows that we’ve got hope. The earth can recover if we give it a chance.”
Cr Clare Le Serve: “The science is clear. It’s plain and it’s devastating. We’ve seen and learnt about its impacts on council’s assets and infrastructure, the impact on farming and our coastal vulnerability. We need to show leadership as a council. To do nothing would be irresponsible.”
Cr Geoff Ellis: “I believe this declaration will pass the pub test in any coastal town in this shire and the region. It’s an opportunity for us all to come together as we do in an emergency. If there’s a bushfire everyone runs to get a bucket. … I think this is a good opportunity for us to come together as a community and do something for the good of humanity. It isn’t us and them, it’s just us. We’ve only got one planet.”
And finally on a lighter note Cr Stephen Fullarton: “Seventy odd per cent of our boundary is beaches. I don’t think there’s anyone in this room who’s spent more time on beaches than I have …. I support the motion.”