Congratulations to Hepburn Shire on your forward thinking to protect our future by declaring a climate emergency. Congratulations on instigating the Z-Net project and all the work that that will lead to reducing our emissions to zero by 2030. Given these two new initiatives for sustainable future and community strengthening, we are greatly surprised and concerned about the new proposed by-laws which run totally counter to those goals. Council’s ability to deliver net zero emissions by 2030 would be severely restricted, and could in fact be made impossible, by the introduction of these proposed by-laws. To achieve net zero we have to change the way we live so that:
- we don’t rely heavily on new materials and products,
- we can source our food locally,
- we find entertainment and joy in simple activities in our community rather than consumerism.
Sadly, these new laws discourage
- making our lives sustainable by reducing, reusing and recycling,
- they discourage food foraging and food growing
- and discourage the public from enjoying simple community activities on public land
Our council needs to consult more rigorously with community on how best to meet Z-Net goals before adopting these laws or they will find their task impossible. Just as worryingly, some of these laws
- actively discriminate against people living in poverty and harshly restrict the ways in which they can provide a comfortable and healthy life for themselves on a low income.
Some of these laws
- are vague and poorly defined
- offer no clear reason for their existence
- are completely nonsensical
- seem to be typographical errors.