Moreland Council opposes Adani coal mine
The City of Moreland Council showed political will and voted tonight to oppose the Adani coal mine development and write to all Federal MPs urging their opposition to the development of the Carmichael coal mine.
It may sound strange an inner city Melbourne municipal council campaigning against a proposed coal mine development thousands of kilometres away in the Galilee Basin of Queensland. But Moreland has never been afraid to take a public leadership stance in protection of their citizens. And climate change is the big one that affects us all.
The impacts of climate change and the burning of coal are the ultimate connection to the current south eastern Australian heatwave with 30 degree evening temperatures being experienced in Melbourne at the time of the Council meeting. Just read the latest Climate Council report: Cranking Up The Intensity: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events
Climate Councillor Professor Hilary Bambrick, an epidemiologist and an expert on the health impacts of climate change, said more extreme weather events would put Australia’s most vulnerable at risk.
“Extreme heat, like other extreme weather events, has clear detrimental impacts on individual and community health. We have seen that this summer as a number of Australians have been admitted to hospital with heat related illnesses,” she said.
“While we can make our health services more resilient to coping with extreme weather events, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure.
“Ultimately to protect Australians from worsening extreme weather events and to do our fair share in the global effort to tackle climate change, we have to cut our emissions quickly and deeply.
“Australia’s pollution is continuing to rise while global emissions flatline. The energy, business and environment sectors are in agreement about the need for a strong federal policy mechanism to encourage an orderly closure of Australia’s ageing coal-fired power stations to make way for modern, clean and efficient renewables.
“The only thing standing in the way of Australia getting on the path to tackling climate change is political will.”
Tonight we saw Moreland Council having the political will to speak for the safety and security of Moreland present and future citizens and communicate that determination to other levels of government.
Scientists have clearly argued that to keep below the 2 degrees C Paris Agreement temperature target, then 88 percent of global fossil fuels: oil, gas, and coal – need to be kept in the ground unburnt. (McGlade and Ekins 2015) For Australia our share that needs to be kept in the ground is 95 per cent. The Carmichael mine would be the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere and would effectively be a carbon bomb committing the world to unprecedented warming. And that warming means earlier and later, more frequent, more intense heatwaves and bushfires.
Moreland Council was a leader in developing a community climate plan: the Zero Carbon Evolution Moreland Policy, and was also one of the first municipal councils in Australia to start the fossil fuel divestment process.
While the General Business motion was proposed by Greens Councillor Mark Riley, it had wide support of the other councillors with just two councillors deciding to abstain (and a third who was absent taking a toilet break)
That Council resolve to write to all state and federal parliamentarians whose offices lie within the council boundaries, and to the Prime Minister, the federal Opposition Leader and the Queensland Premier, expressing its strong opposition to the proposed Adani 2.3 billion tonne coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Valley.
The ACT assembly passed a motion opposing the Adani Carmichael mine in December 2016 according to Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury.
I did take some time out while Councillors considered and discussed more mundane matters during the Council meeting:
There were other items that were also considered with a climate change aspect at tonight’s meeting:
At around 11.15pm the last two of us in the public gallery had to leave the Council meeting due to a confidential business item that needed Council to discuss ‘in camera’. Councillors do work late! The temperature outside? 30C.
More to come when Council meeting minutes published….