Rick Humphries from the Granite Belt Sustainable Action Network.
Rick Humphries from the Granite Belt Sustainable Action Network.

Climate action group put council hopefuls on notice

CLIMATE change is set to be a focus of the impending local government election.

Granite Belt Sustainable Action Network’s Rick Humphries said the group intend to engage all council hopefuls in the lead up March 28’s election day.

“We look at initiatives and projects around sustaining the community from an economic, social and environmental perspective,” Mr Humphries said.

“We’ve got a heavy emphasis on dealing with climate change and the questions we want to put to the candidates will have a heavy emphasis around climate change, but also broader sustainability issues.”

Each council candidate will be provided 5-7 climate related questions.

Mr Humphries said that those persons eventually elected, will be monitored to gauge whether they’ve stuck to their stances on climate issues.

“Most importantly is these aren’t one offs,” he said.

“We’ll be tracking councillor performance against their commitments and putting in a yearly report card so we’re able to inform the electorate next time around whether these folks stuck to their guns.

“We figure council has got an important role to play in addressing climate change

“In addition to roads, rates and rubbish, which are the things that traditionally dominate local government election discussions, we want to broaden that to things like water security, renewable energy, education opportunities, waste and recycling and a number of other issues which cost council a lot of money.

“We want to start to get that progressive agenda happening inside council.”

Mr Humphries said it’s “a false distinction” that local government don’t have a role to play.

The conversation shouldn’t just be left to state and federal government’s he said.

“It may not strictly be in council’s legislative remit but they have the contacts.

“It makes a lot of difference if you have council sitting beside you on these issues.

“Australia has a terrible tradition of holding Royal Commissions and inquiries that come up with some very sensible and achievable solutions and they get shelved.

“As a community we need more participation in the democratic process to hold our councillors, state MP’s and federal MP’s to account in terms of the info out there and lessons learnt.”

Writs for the council election are issued on February 22.

Mr Humphries said they’ll have six weeks to engage candidates.