SEVENTEEN mayors and councillors from New South Wales and Queensland have called on the government to recognise the spiralling costs to communities from climate-fuelled extreme weather, and do more to protect communities from costly and disruptive climate shocks.

The mayors and councillors, from regions including Tweed and Shellharbour in New South Wales to Douglas Shire in Queensland, have today released a joint statement calling for urgent action to protect their communities from worsening climate change.

Climate Council researcher, Dr Simon Bradshaw said there was no doubt communities had suffered economic damage as a result of climate-driven extreme weather disasters.

“All types of extreme weather events – storms, coastal erosion, flooding, bushfires, heat waves and drought – are influenced by climate change. Australian communities are already paying the price, with the past twelve months seeing a devastating run of extreme weather disasters,” said Dr Bradshaw.

Extreme weather has cost our national economy at least $35 billion over the past decade. And it’s going to get worse – by 2038, the price tag of climate impacts could climb to $100 billion a year”

Dr Portia Odell, director of the Cities Power Partnership, Australia’s largest network of local governments taking action on climate, said local governments were on the frontlines of climate impacts and needed more support.

“We can no longer leave it to vulnerable communities and local governments to spend millions to fix the damages of delay on climate action,” said Dr Odell.

“The Federal Government must act urgently to phase out fossil fuels and instead invest in clean industries that create regional jobs and protect communities from costly climate shocks.”

Full Statement from Australian Mayors and Councillors

Full list of 17 signatories

NSW

Jo Dodds, Councillor, Bega Valley Shire Council
Dominic King, Mayor, Bellingen Shire Council
Simon Richardson, Mayor, Byron Shire Council
John Connors, Mayor, Dungog Shire
James Thomson, Councillor, Eurobodalla Shire Council
Mark Honey, Mayor, Kiama Municipal Council
Elly Bird, Councillor, Lismore City Council
Claire Pontin, Deputy Mayor, Midcoast Council
Ken Keith, Mayor, Parkes Shire Council
Marianne Saliba, Mayor, Shellharbour City Council
Amanda Findley, Mayor, Shoalhaven City Council
Chris Cherry, Mayor, Tweed Shire Council
Greg Conkey, Mayor, City of Wagga Wagga
Duncan Gair, Mayor, Wingecarribee Shire Council
Gordon Bradbery AM, Lord Mayor, Wollongong City Council

QLD

Abigail Noli, Councillor, Douglas Shire Council
Brian Stockwell, Councillor, Noosa Shire Council