Monday, 10 February 2020
Lindsay, Chifley, Prospect, Mitchell and Parramatta communities Care about Climate Action
More than 50 diverse and grief-stricken community leaders from the electorates of Lindsay, Chifley, Prospect, Mitchell and Parramatta have come together to call on Federal politicians to make climate change a top priority issue.
At a community listening event facilitated and supported by Sydney Alliance’ Voices for Power campaign team, these leaders who represent over 10,000 people, highlighted that Western Sydney communities bear the brunt of climate impacts including worsening heatwaves and bushfire smoke.
Distinguished Macquarie University lecturer, Professor Lesley Hughes explained: “We have more CO2 in the atmosphere then in any given time over the last 5 millions years and this is changing our weather. 2019 was the hottest year on record. We’re seeing more frequent heat waves and on average, our bushfire seasons start 2 months early.”
Sydney firefighter Jim Casey said: “These bushfire conditions have been the most difficult I’ve ever seen. As Climate Change continues to put more strain on communities, firefighters and resources, the government is missing in action.” that “I’ve never seen anything like this [bushfire season]… it was the most difficult condition I’ve ever seen”.
Sydney GP Dr Kim Loo added: “Climate change is the greatest threat to our health in the 21st century. Our summers continue to intensify, while fossil fuels continue to pollute our air and our Government continues to fail in administering appropriate mitigation measures. Our bodies cannot adapt to this.”
A young Sikh mother of one recounted that on a day when Western Sydney temperatures reached 46°C, she struggled to breathe at her local medical centre in Quakers Hill”. Despite her last asthma attack occurring in 1999, her asthma flare up was ultimately triggered by the smoke she had inhaled while working to support bushfire victims in Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains and Nepean divisions.”
“Everyone’s voice here is really important”, says Social Justice coordinator Patrice Moriarty from the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta. “Western Sydney is such an important place politically... Temperatures have gone up to 49 degrees in Penrith. Having these very extreme days in our Summer is going to be the new normal, this is really impacting us. And when we continue to ignite our communities, politicians will get the message that this [climate crisis] is important to us”.
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.
- Professor Lesley Holmes - Macquarie University; Climate Council Councillor
- Jim Casey - Australian Firefighters' Climate Alliance
- Dr Kim Loo - General Practitioner & Doctors for the Environment Australia
- Sukhjit Kaur-Deo - Sydney Alliance & Sydney Legacy
- Patrice Moriarty - Catholic Diocese of Parramatta
- Campaign Webpage can be found at https://www.sydneyalliance.org.au/voicesforpower
- Interview availability:
- A sample of the community groups that are key drivers of Sydney Alliance’s Voices for Power campaign include:
- Sydney Community Forum
- Strathfield-Homebush Uniting Church
- Muhajirin Association
- Seven Hills Uniting Church Congregation
- St Clair’s Holy Spirit Parish
- Pakistani Australian Women Association
- Catholic Diocese of Parramatta
- Philippines-Australia Community Service Inc.
- Jewish Voices for Power caucus
- Resourceful Australian Indian Network
- Pacific Voices for Power caucus
- Kabit-Bahayan Cooperative
Australian National Imam’s Council
5. See Story visual package via G-Folder link