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Byron Shire
June 15, 2024

Tweed Councillors push forward with adapting to climate change

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Tweed Shire Council 2023 Climate Change Risk Assessment.

There are three extreme risks for the Tweed Shire Council out of 135 identified in their Climate Change Risk Assessment which was adopted at the last council meeting (22 June).

The three extreme risks centre on ‘implications for key ecosystems, saltwater contamination of Council’s fresh water supply, and loss or damage to Council’s water and wastewater infrastructure’.

Tweed Shire Mayor, Cr Chris Cherry.

Tweed Mayor, Chris Cherry, put forward and alternative motion that ‘Adopts the Tweed Shire Council Climate Change Risk Assessment’ and ‘Commences the preparation of the Climate Change Adaptation Plan’ as opposed to receiving ‘a future report about the scope and funding to complete a Climate Change Adaptation Plan’.

The Tweed Shire Council Climate Change Risk Assessment identifies a range of risks for the Tweed Shire that include increased  rainfall variability in the region leading to increased wet and dry periods according to the North Coast Region from the NSW and ACT Regional Climate Modelling (NARCliM).

The NARCliM modelling also anticipates an ‘increase in severe and average Forest Fire Danger and that the annual average number of days with temperatures above 35°C will increase with an additional three hot days in the near future and nine in the far future.

Tweed Shire Councillor Dr Nola Firth. Photo Aslan Shand

Climate change working group

Councillor Dr Nola Firth seconded the motion once a third point was added ‘Noting that the Council Resolution of 15 July 2021 resolved to establish a climate change working group, requests that this working group be formed as a matter of urgency’. 

‘Attending the national local government assembly recently in Canberra with all of the other councils across Australia, it was very clear that climate change has a massive impact, and a massive issue for everybody,’ Cr Cherry told the meeting.

‘We’re really needing to take our adaptation plans very seriously and we need to move targets forward.

‘Commencing the preparation of the climate change adaptation plan signals to the community that we are taking this seriously. That we want to move our organisation in that direction [and] that we are doing everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint.’

Cr Firth pointed out that the climate action plan was initially for council to look internally at mitigation and risk ‘but the next step is to move out into the community’. 

‘Having a Climate Change Working Group will be a catalyst for doing exactly that,’ said Cr Firth.

‘That’s why I think it’s important [and] that it needs to happen very quickly. We were addressed by somebody at the conference in Canberra and the scientific figures coming out [in relation to climate change] are very, very urgent. So we as a council need to be moving on this as fast as we can.’

The motion was carried with all in favour.

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  1. Dealing with the existential threat from the Climate Emergency is imperative, we all play a part.
    It would also be helpful, rather than being counter productive, for the Federal ALP Government to stop approving and progressing Fossil Fuel projects when the climate science says that there can be No New Fossil Fuel Adventures.

    Perhaps our ALP Fanboys, the Keith and the Lizardbreath, can dial up their hero, PM Albanese, and get Albo off his couch and take climate action that follows the science.

  2. Only a Green would use a good news story as an e cause to go looking for a fight!! 🥊

    You might like to ponder that a large portion of Australia’s coal exports are metallurgical coal – coal for steelmaking – and at the moment there isn’t another way of making steel in industrial quantities in the world without using coking coal. Gas is an important transition fuel. I know you’ll say that the Greens policy is “science based”. Well science would tell us to stop using fossil fuels as of yesterday but what chaos would ensue from a world without power?

    Australia would be a lot further along the track of good energy policy without the decade of denialism 🤔


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Flood-prone land subdivision DA on exhibition

A proposal by developer Callum Sked to subdivide flood-prone land near the Mullumbimby Showground is now on public exhibition on Council’s website until June 25.