Climate Change and the Borough of Queenscliffe held its first public meeting in recent days in an effort to raise greater local awareness of the issue and muster more support for change.
“I have two young children, five and eight, and I am crippled with concern for the future that lies ahead for them,” said Kitty Walker.
“The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest findings clearly state the world has 12 years to cut its emissions in half to keep warming below 1.5 degrees, which climate-vulnerable nations have long argued is critical to their survival.
“State, Federal and international governments are not responding globally, so the best impact we can make is by focussing locally,” she said.
After renting in Point Lonsdale for many years, Kitty and her family finally purchased a house of their own, but she is fearful it could eventually succumb to sea level rise unless meaningful action is taken.
“If we keep going the way we’re going our home will be under water by the end of the century – indeed most of the Borough will.
“The key objective is to bring the community together to work with the Borough of Queenscliffe on innovative and creative initiatives to acknowledge, prepare for and counter the local impacts of the climate crisis. The Borough has a really unique opportunity given its size to have an enormous, positive, local impact,” Kitty said.
Initiatives the group is pushing for include improved recycling and a Queenscliffe Council declaration of a climate emergency.
Group members have already started their own grass-roots recycling program. Instead of putting materials in yellow-lidded bins, they are sorting items at home and will hire their own trailer to ensure the waste is genuinely recycled - not sent to landfill.
"I closely watched the recent move by the Surf Coast Shire who declared a climate emergency and are tackling the recycling crisis locally by implementing a five-bin sort-at-the-home system and started to have hope that our beautiful, small, Borough could have a large impact too,” Kitty said.
Climate Change and the Borough of Queenscliffe can be found on Facebook.