Councillors urged to take action
As a community member with great concerns about our critically threatened environment, I am saddened by Wodonga Council's reluctant response to sustainability items in its agenda.
Cr Ron Mildren's comments about the threat of federal and state bureaucracies delaying progress in actioning valuable local projects, i.e. hospital, were clearly echoed at this same meeting as council deliberated and ultimately delayed urgent environmental initiatives. The outcome: budget first, before committing to significant environmental initiatives that were promised to its community back in March.
It really grieves me to see our councillors' conservative attitudes and values come through so loudly when it comes to urgent environmental decisions. While our atmospheric CO2 levels are rising exponentially, our polar caps are thawing exponentially and major climatic cataclysms are increasing exponentially around the world, our council sees the need to check its budget first for other more urgent priorities. Even a free offer of support from an organisation with a membership of 175 councils from across the country, representing almost 65 per cent of the Australian population was not researched or accepted and regarded with 'scepticism'. An oversight or just apathy.
I urge councillors to listen to the discussions on climate and read more broadly to inform responsible actions for the betterment of health, wellbeing and resilience of their community in dealing with a rapidly changing world around them.
I congratulate the three councillors who were prepared to stand by council's promise to its community in March this year with a unanimous support of its revised sustainability strategy.
Bart Citroen, Wodonga
Debate shows lack of awareness
A public meeting about renewable energy demonstrated a lack of awareness about how renewable energy works.
One local resident expressed concern about toxic water entering the waterways from a lithium battery without providing any evidence showing how a battery could contaminate waterways or any scenario where this might happen. Given the damage done to waterways by farming practices it seems likely that water flowing from any part of the renewable energy supply chain would generally be cleaner than water flowing off farmland, yet no apparent concern about that.
Nationals member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy raised some odd questions, including whether the energy stored in the battery would be used locally. This appears to be a misunderstanding of how a grid works. He's clearly quite happy to receive energy from elsewhere but not so happy to share it.
This anti-renewable movement spearheaded by the Nationals needs to be called out.