In 2015 I experienced extreme weather first-hand while living in Gillieston Heights, Maitland. With a two-month-old, and two other children, our suburb was turned into a virtual island following days of torrential rain.
This is honestly the last thing I ever imagined myself doing. I’ve always taken politics seriously, I’ve always carefully considered my vote, but I have never been politically active. But things have never been this desperate. And there’s only one antidote to despair. Action.
Who am I? I’m nobody special. I’m a designer and choir leader from beautiful Scotland Island in the Northern Beaches Council area. I’ve always been ‘green’ and I try to do my bit, but I’ve never taken action before.
At the end of last year something happened that stopped me in my tracks. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was released, and its message was stark: we had less than twelve years to drastically reduce our greenhouse emissions or face irreversible, catastrophic consequences.
On Tuesday 13th August, the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council unanimously voted to declare a climate emergency. Not only did each councillor vote to support the motion, but each took the opportunity to voice strong support for this action, to stress the importance of timely and ambitions activity to combat climate change, and to highlight the crucial need for collaboration between all levels of government to enact the required change.