Voices4Cowper Identify Climate Change as Biggest Concern

Gillian Anderson (left) facilitates a kitchen table discussion, one of many across Cowper.

 

VOICES4COWPER (V4C) are urging Pat Conaghan to listen to the concerns of Cowper residents who have consistently demonstrated climate change is the number one concern for the region.

According to the initial findings of a soon to be released V4C report, Cowper residents are also concerned about inequality and integrity in politics.

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The report is the culmination of data collected from more than two hundred and fifty kitchen table discussions held across the Cowper electorate between August 2020 and July 2021.

The kitchen table discussions were attended by individuals and community members and involved answering questions about what they like about their area, how to strengthen the relationship between local people and political representatives, and the issues of greatest concern to them.

News Of The Area spoke to V4C convenor Ms Gillian Anderson.

“While political, economic and housing issues were of major concern to participants, the environment and in particular climate change, were raised almost twice as often as any other single issue,” Ms Anderson said.

“From Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie, the natural beauty of the area was number one in what people liked about living in this area, so it’s not surprising that climate, the environment, biodiversity and land use came up frequently amongst people’s concerns,” Ms Anderson said.

“We want local MP Pat Conaghan to understand the level of concern in his community about climate change and the environment.

“As far as we know he hasn’t declared his position on climate change and we think voters in Cowper would expect him to take a strong line in support of enforceable targets in the National’s party room next week.”

Mr Conaghan spoke with News Of The Area about his position.

“I have voiced my view in regard to the transition away from fossil fuels and reducing our emission many times, that is, it must be a just transition.

“I must consider not only the ideology of ‘net zero’ but also the reality to industry, agriculture and small and medium business when making decisions on net zero targets that will ultimately impact them in potential job losses and increased running costs,” he said.

“I also represent some of the lowest socio-economic areas in New South Wales who currently struggle with the day to day cost of living.

“I must consider those people and how net zero affects their standard of living.

“I am all for leading the way to net zero but not to the detriment of regional and rural people.

“This is why we need to see a clear, determined path of action with proper protections for Australia before we commit to the rest of the world,” he stated.

The full report from Voices4Cowper will be launched at an online meeting on Sunday November 14 at 4pm.

You can register for the report launch and/or sign up to receive a copy of the report at voices4cowper.org.

 

By Sandra MOON

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