Thursday, 24th October 2019
October’s hottest weather is here and Sydney’s migrant & faith leaders are urging all to stay cool and safe.
Tomorrow will be scorched with heatwave conditions across Sydney from Bondi to Penrith, reportedly expecting to reach from 33 to 37 degrees respectively.
A coalition of migrant and faith community leaders brought together by Sydney Alliance’ Voices for Power campaign, have raised concerns that community members need to prioritise their health before their energy bills and to take all necessary proactive measures.
Michal Levy, Co-chair of the Voices for Power campaign and a member of the Sydney Jewish Community urged: “All of the Eastern seaboard of Australia to brace yourselves for a very hot Friday and weekend. Even Bondi Beach in the East will not be spared with 35 degrees on Friday predicted. ”
“It’s October and we are used to increasing warm days but not extremes like this! To my fellow seniors and mothers and their children, please don’t take lightly that it’s only October! This is our climate change reality and extremes are here to stay! We need to take precautions,” said Levy.
“Some practical advice, leave water out for your pets and try and be in air conditioned environments. Yes, turn your aircon on at home, it’s hot! I know it’s expensive but you are worth it!”, Levy concludes.
From Western Sydney Nelia Sumcad, community organiser at the Philippines-Australia Community Service Inc and Voices for Power campaign leader has heard hundreds of stories from her fellow community members, many of which entailing experiences of people particularly the elderly putting their energy bills before their health. “I support people in and beyond my community in managing their energy bill payments, the health impacts our elderly incur when they’re scared from using their air conditioner during hot weather. There are even some that are forced to live by candlelight or even worse, running away from debt collectors.”
“There really is no comparison between your energy bill and your health bill. Please stay cool and safe!,” said Sumcad.
Liuanga Palu, Marrickville renter and co-lead of Sydney Alliance’s Voices for Power campaign, said: “I keep my air conditioner use to a minimum because electricity is just too expensive—you can imagine how miserable that is on a scorching summer one. Well - I’m about to find out.”
“Climate change is making our summers hotter every year and it’s frustrating to know that solar could cut my household bills by hundreds of dollars a year, but I can’t tap into these benefits because I can’t afford the upfront costs or to buy a home yet. Accessing affordable and clean energy for me, my family and my community is critical because we all deserve healthy and safe lives,” said Palu.
The ‘Voices for Power’ campaign calls for policy and funding support from state Government for Affordable and clean energy solutions.
For interviews please contact Liuanga Palu - 0426201152
About Sydney Alliance
The Sydney Alliance is a diverse coalition of community organisations, religious organisations, unions and schools that uses the tools of community organising to make the city a better place to live. The idea of building a Sydney Alliance was first raised in May 2007, and by November that same year was financially supported by 13 organisations. The Alliance launched with 45 partner organisations on 15 September 2011.
Notes to editors
Details of quote authors stated below.
- Nelia Sumcad - Philippines-Australia Community Service Inc.
- Michal Levy - Member of Jewish community in Sydney, Co-Chair of Voices for Power
- Liuanga Palu - Sydney Alliance and Sydney Presbytery of the Uniting Church
- Campaign Webpage can be found at https://www.sydneyalliance.org.au/voicesforpower
- Community groups that are part of Sydney Alliance’s Voices for Power project include:
- Sydney Community Forum
- Strathfield-Homebush Uniting Church
- Muhajirin Association
- Pakistani Australian Women Association
- Philippines-Australia Community Service Inc.
- Lidcombe Samoan Uniting Church
- NSW Ecumenical Council
- United Voice
- Resourceful Australian Indian Network
- Kabit-Bahayan Cooperative
- Tonga Parish, Uniting Church
- Australian National Imam’s Council
- Asian Women At the Work
- Vietnamese Community in Australia (NSW)
- Jewish Board of Deputies
- Climate Action Network Australia
- Solar Citizens