Council Elections in October 2020 – Boroondara Votes Climate
Local government can play an important role in reducing our contribution to climate change.
We want to see a climate active Council elected in October 2020 and we need your help to achieve this. Boroondara Council can do so much more than it currently does to reduce emissions but political will is required. Let's elect some Councillors who think climate action is a priority.
We will need help with ideas, writing, phone calls, social media and eventually letter boxing, street stalls, door knocking and organising candidate forums. Register your interest here in our ongoing and upcoming campaigns to pressure for effective local climate action.
If you are interested in helping with all or any of these activities, or if you can think of others, please sign up below! If you can commit any amount of time, however small, your help will be much appreciated.
Boroondara Council Fails Leadership Test
On Monday 24 May, Boroondara Council rejected a motion to declare a climate emergency by seven votes to three, clearly demonstrating that the majority of Boroondara Councillors are unwilling to support serious action on the climate. Astonishingly, a second motion to seek community feedback on declaring an emergency was also defeated, with only one additional vote in support.
This failure to show climate leadership is in stark contrast to neighbouring Councils, including Stonnington, Manningham, Banyule and Yarra, which have all declared an emergency. Almost 1,500 global governments, including 32 Victorian Councils, have declared a climate emergency.
The defeat of the motion was a direct rejection of the views of the more than 3,900 signatories of our petition to declare an emergency. Signatures for the petition were collected in person over several months in the Kew, Glenferrie and Camberwell shopping centres. The petition was presented to Council (with a paper outlining the case for an emergency declaration) at the same meeting.
3900 signatures demanding a Climate Emergency Declaration handed to Council
Two climate heroes (Fiona Bruce and Alice Caldwell) spoke eloquently and passionately in support of our petition and in favour of a Climate Emergency declaration at the Council meeting.
The motion for a declaration was moved by Cr Jane Addis (Maling Ward) and seconded by Cr Coral Ross (Gardiner Ward). Cr Lisa Hollingworth (Lynden Ward) also spoke in support. These Councillors showed real leadership and deserve our thanks!
The arguments put by the opposing Councillors were predictably feeble, including claims that their communities hadn't told them they want a declaration (despite the petition) and that the motion was 'only political grandstanding'.
These are the Councillors who voted against declaring a Climate Emergency:
Mayor Cynthia Watson - Maranoa Ward,Mobile: 0419 488 204, Cynthia.Watson@boroondara.vic.gov.au
Cr Jim Parke - Bellevue Ward, Phone: 9278 4457, Jim.Parke@boroondara.vic.gov.au
Cr Jack Wegman - Junction Ward, Mobile: 0417 525 559, Jack.Wegman@boroondara.vic.gov.au
Cr Felicity Sinfield - Cotham Ward, Mobile: 0418 793 573, Felicity.Sinfield@boroondara.vic.gov.au
Cr Steve Hurd - Junction Ward, Mobile: 0417 708 182, Steve.Hurd@boroondara.vic.gov.au
Cr Gary Thompson - Solway Ward, Mobile: 0417 153 512, Garry.Thompson@boroondara.vic.gov.au
Cr Phillip Healey - Studley Ward, Mobile: 0437 374 773, Email: Phillip.Healey@boroondara.vic.gov.au
Please ring, text or e-mail these Councillors to tell them what you think of their climate failure!
If you're not sure which Ward you are in, click here to find out.
Boroondara Climate Action Plan - a once in a decade opportunity
The Council has resolved to undertake a consultation process as part of developing a Climate Action Plan to replace the existing Council plan, which expires this year. This upcoming consultation is good way for local residents to influence how Council spends ratepayer funds and sets climate targets.
The Council's refusal to declare a climate emergency shows their lack of ambition and makes it even more important to participate in the consultation and demand strong climate action.
Let's give them a clear message that we are in a Climate Emergency and want urgent and effective action from our Council!
A simple email is all that is needed to join the Boroondara Climate Action Plan consultation process - here is a sample one:
Please put me on the list of people who want to be kept informed about the new Climate Action Plan consultation.