Coffs Coast locals demand action on the economy and climate change

The Coffs Coast Climate Action Group and friends outside Pat Conaghan’s office


ACCORDING TO The Australia Institute’s Climate of the Nation report, 71% of Australians think that Australia should be a world leader on climate action.

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More than 80 local businesses, churches and community groups agree with them, and have signed ‘An Open Letter to the Parliamentary Representatives of the Coffs Coast’ as part of a campaign called ‘Build Coffs Future’.

The campaign calls for an economic recovery which benefits the community and climate, rather than the gas or coal industry.

Members of the Coffs Coast Climate Action Group, along with some of the other signatories to the letter, presented it at the offices of the Federal Member for Cowper, Mr. Pat Conaghan, and the State Member for Coffs Harbour, Mr. Gurmesh Singh, on Monday.

The letter urges the federal and state representatives to see economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen both the economy and the environment of the Coffs Coast into the future.

The signatories ask the politicians to support an economic recovery which creates secure, meaningful jobs in climate-positive industries, builds community resilience to future crises, charts a course toward zero emissions, invests in social security and public services and supports First Nations justice and self-determination.

They propose that supporting clean industries such as renewable energy, transport (electric vehicles, public transport and cycling infrastructure), building and retro-fitting energy-efficient social housing, indigenous-led land management, eco-tourism and regenerative agriculture could lead to a jobs boom on the Coffs Coast.

Investment in the training and education sectors to support those opportunities would provide even more employment.

The signatories suggest that the ‘gas-led recovery’ proposed by the federal government’s COVID task force will do nothing to benefit the Coffs Coast community while risking water, First Nations homelands, farmland and the climate.

Jason John, a Uniting Church minister said, “Future generations want us to invest in healthy, life-giving employment which repairs and restores our ecosystems, not prop up industries which accelerate the climate emergency.”

Tony Johnson, who has been an avocado farmer for 17 years at Korora, said, “Climate change is the most important issue for us, and if we use our COVID recovery to create jobs in clean industries we address our two most pressing problems at once.”

The letter can be read at


By Andrew VIVIAN


(L to R) Jason Johns, Liisa Rusanen and Lulu Arraiza hand over the letter.

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