Climate Emergency or Creation Care

Climate Change is apparent to all of us, even I suggest Climate Change Sceptics. Climate Change will always be with us. How to deal with it prompts the question Climate Emergency or Creation Care.

 

As a Christian, I have long understood that the Bible contains many references to man’s responsibility for Creation Care. God placed man on this Earth, in his image, to care for the environment. To care for the birds and the animals, to care for the plants, the Earth itself.

God reminds us he owns the Earth and that we are but temporary custodians. Christ himself came to earth, living as one of us, to renew not man but the whole of creation.

As a Christian therefore, I accept I have a responsibility to look after the environment. I take this responsibility into my role as a Councillor at the City of Unley.

It disturbed me therefore to learn this week that there are those out there who see the City of Unley as not caring for the environment. Accusing us of inaction toward climate change.

 

City of Unley GreenThe City of Unley’s Civic Centre was recently graffiti attacked. A group called Extinction Rebellion has claimed responsibility for this act. In so doing they penned a letter to the Unley Council and Unley Elected Members.

In that letter, this group, accuses elected members (and therefore me) of refusing to acknowledge previous letters from them addressed to us. I did not know of this group before the graffiti attack. I can therefore safely say I have never received a letter from them.

The thrust of their letter is that we don’t take residents’ submissions seriously.

Anyone who knows the City of Unley knows only too well that we do take the views of our community seriously. That our strategies and our annual business plans and budget are very much shaped around the wishes of our community.

We not only listen to their contribution we encourage it. Our “green” credentials can be seen in all we do.

And how about checking out our current  proposed annual business plan and budget. This is a plan which has been well received by those who took the time to participate in the recent council wide community consultation.

 

So, Climate Emergency or Creation Care. It appears that they would prefer we play politics, focusing on declaring a Climate Emergency. We have preferred the pragmatic approach of developing measures around Creation Care.

 

Making such an Emergency Declaration statement I suggest has no value without appropriate actions. Appropriate Actions, in other words, is where the real value is and that is Creation Care. It is where the real value and therefore the real focus should be.

Creating an integrated package of initiatives that all address both climate emergency or creation care.

Community Engagement – Living Well Regional Health & Wellbeing Plan

The Cities of Unley and Mitcham are working together to prepare a Regional Public Health and Wellbeing Plan for their communities. 


Based on feedback from the initial community consultation in January 2014 and research undertaken, the draft Living Well Regional Plan for Health and Wellbeing for the Cities of Unley and Mitcham (Living Well Plan) has been developed and we are now seeking your further feedback and input to assist us in refining the plan prior to finalisation.
Our Living Well plan is aimed at ensuring that both Councils provide every opportunity for a “Healthy Community” – where each community and the region overall is active, connected, safe and equitable and embraces healthy living and wellbeing.
The Living Well plan provides an overview of the project, an assessment of our regional “State Of Health” and outlines the proposed strategic directions for promoting health and wellbeing in the Cities of Unley and Mitcham.
The plan is aligned to the requirements detailed in the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 and State Public Health Plan – SA Health: South Australia: A Better Place to Live.
Have your say by visiting our online discussion forum and reading the Living Well plan:  yoursay.unley.sa.gov.au/living-well-unley-and-mitcham You can also contact our Customer Centre on 83725111 and request a hard copy feedback form and summary Fact Sheet.
Feedback will be received until close of business Friday 4th July 2014, and will be considered by the Project Team in finalising the Plan.
For further information please contact Pam Hocking on 83725108
We look forward to hearing from you.

Environmental Health Services-Shared Services

An alternative has been provided the City of Unley in sharing services for the provision of Environmental Health Services.

 

The Council’s partner in Centennial park Cemetary may be the ideal partner for Environmental Health.

As I reported in a blog on the 15th April Council considered a report discussing the City of Unley becoming a constituent member council of the Eastern Health Authority (EHA) for the provision of Environmental Health Services. Following consideration of this item, Council resolved that alternative opportunities for shared services be explored and reported back to Council in June 2012.



That report has been completed and submitted to us at our upcoming City Strategy and Policy committee meeting . We will be asked in that meeting to consider a partnership with the City of Mitcham.




Meetings have been held with representatives from the City of Mitcham to explore the potential to share Environmental Health Services. 
The sharing of the Manager role would enable time for consideration of a more advanced shared services model.
I suspect this will provide a more cost beneficial solution than that we considered back in April and one where we are not contributing to another level of bureaucracy for the sake of it and not losing control over the process of delivery of services.