On the excellently-organised council election candidates’ forums run across all shire wards last week, it was disappointing to see how little attention some candidates pay to the wishes of their community when it comes to climate change action.

Numerous candidates said they’d seen no evidence of support for our next council to declare a climate emergency and develop a climate action plan.

I’d direct those candidates to the minutes of the October 28, 2020 Council Meeting, when council received a petition from more than 2000 people calling for a climate emergency declaration.

As it happened, the council administrators decided that a decision on a declaration of a climate emergency would best be made by elected councillors representing the views of the South Gippsland community.

So, it’s now over to the incoming new councillors, whoever they may be, to decide.

In doing so, they might take note of the recent findings of the largest poll ever conducted on climate change and politics in the country.

The survey of 15,000 Australians conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Australian Conservation Foundation found 67 per cent of voters believed governments should be doing more to address climate change.

Voters in every federal seat in Australia support increased action on climate change and the adoption of renewable technology.

Candidates who can’t recognise or accept these views of the majority will be unable to meet their legislative obligations to act on climate change and will struggle to claim truthfully to represent the needs and wants of our region and its people.

Tony Walker, Fish Creek