13 December 2022

Wagga Council wants your ideas for a climate-friendly future

| Chris Roe
Start the conversation
Net Zero launch

Wagga City Council’s Net Zero Emissions project officer Ben Holt and Mayor Dallas Tout. Photo: Chris Roe.

Wagga City Council is calling for ideas for the development of the Wagga Wagga Community Net Zero Emissions Roadmap, something it hopes will lay the groundwork for a more sustainable future for the region.

Net Zero Emissions project officer Ben Holt said the meetings being held this Thursday would be the first step in setting the community on a path towards the State Government targets of a 50 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 and then fully net zero by 2050.

“We’re currently writing a roadmap that’s going to support our local community in achieving those goals and it’s really important that we get a diverse range of opinions and feedback from our community to support us in putting in the appropriate avenues to achieve those goals,” he said.

“The sessions will give everyone the time and space they need to comfortably express what they think is relevant for our specific area.”

READ ALSO A new era begins for Wagga’s iconic River & Wren markets

Put simply, Net Zero Emissions is about achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels and the amount that is subsequently removed from the atmosphere by things such as reducing output, capturing carbon and planting trees.

“It can be a very emotive process and people can have different opinions, so we’re working really hard to make sure that people’s opinions are respected, people can get out what they need to get out, and we want to help people to feel heard,” Mr Holt said.

Earlier this year, the council resolved to endorse the interim community net-zero emissions targets and has already begun consulting with business groups and NSW Government agencies to discuss approaches.

“Council held an initial forum with the NSW Government and business and community groups earlier this month,” Mr Holt said.

“Our next step is to consult with the wider community, as collaborative approaches and idea sharing with a wide range of stakeholders are necessary to build a well-informed roadmap.”

READ ALSO ‘We did not want it to come to this’: Shooters Fishers and Farmers in crisis as NSW MPs quit

Mayor Dallas Tout explained that the community roadmap was distinct from work being done at a corporate level.

“The most important thing to realise is there’s two targets,” he said.

“There’s a community target and a corporate target, and this whole process is about the community target of 50 per cent by 2030 and the other 50 per cent by 2050.”

While the corporate target focuses on activities and infrastructure that the council has operational or financial control over, Cr Tout said it was up to local residents to set the agenda for the latter goal.

“The only way to get ideas for that, to add to what we may already consider, is to consult with the community,” he said.

Mr Holt agreed and said that they hoped to be surprised by the ideas being put forward.

“The types of things that I’m interested in hearing from the community are things that I haven’t heard about yet,” he said.

“I’m one person in an LGA full of 65,000 people and there are surely going to be quite a few people in our LGA that have some really good information into what those avenues are to achieve those State Government targets.”

The series of community drop-in sessions will begin on Thursday (15 December) with two introductory 30-minute meetings at 11:30 am and 5:30 pm to present an overview of what the roadmap needs to achieve, the process the council will follow to create it, and how it will monitor progress against it.

Additional sessions will be held in January and residents are encouraged to complete an online survey on the council’s Connect Wagga page here.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.