By Graham Parton
In October the 2019 NSW Local Councils Conference debated the question of whether or not they should declare a climate emergency.
The “No” case was championed by former Liberal MP Phillip Ruddock, now the Mayor of Hornsby Council, who said he didn’t like “vague statements”. He was joined by Greater Hume Shire Council Deputy Mayor Doug Meyer, who voted against the motion.
How different might things have been if Greater Hume had declared a climate emergency.
In November the Council considered an application for a solar farm just north of the town of Jindera. If they had declared a climate emergency, a solar farm sounds like just the right response.
Instead the council listed five reasons for opposing the development:
The council considered the loss of 17.41 hectares of native vegetation and 24 items of Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Most of the land around Jindera has been cleared of native vegetation and countless Aboriginal heritage items lost, which of course makes the remaining ones even more valuable.
However in a climate crisis some hard decisions need to be made and solar energy could be argued to be important enough to be worth proceeding with.
But of course there’s no climate crisis in Hume.