VINCENT council has given its in-principle support to a sector-wide climate change policy which elevates the threat posed to an “emergency”.
The WA Local Government Association has been working with councils over the last year to update its climate change policy and in March released a policy statement incorporating their feedback.
Apart from elevating the risk factor, the statement affirms that human activities are the main cause of climate change and calls on the federal government to adopt a “greenhouse trigger”.
WALGA says local governments are already taking some action, but the effort needs to be co-ordinated by the federal and state governments.
“Given the inconsistent climate change policy approach and lack of leadership at state and federal levels over the last decade, this issue is emphasised in the draft policy statement,” a Vincent staff report read.
WALGA pulls no punches in its assessment of the efforts of the WA government: “There is a particularly significant policy vacuum within the Western Australian government, with negligible demonstrated and co-ordinated leadership and long-term planning across all areas,” it says in a discussion paper.
The heavy-handed statement made some councillors cringe, though, with Josh Toppelberg saying it made it difficult for him to fully support the statement, so he convinced colleagues to water that down to “in-principle support”.