Strathbogie communities put the spotlight on Climate Change in watershed year

February 15 / 152

Professor David Karoly at EuroaTalks, 7 December 2014. Image: Robert Colvin.
Professor David Karoly at EuroaTalks, 7 December 2014. Image: Robert Colvin.

A capacity crowd gathered at Euroa’s Flour Mill on February 7 for the first in a seminar series on climate change organised by Professor Kate Auty, Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, and local organisations Strathbogie Voices and the Euroa Environment Group.

In what many refer to as a watershed year for action on climate change, Professor Kate Auty used her networks to draw experts, farmers and citizen scientists to the 2015 Euroa Environmental Seminar Series, to highlight and respond to the level of community interest in the region.
 
“There is a misperception that regional areas aren’t interested in action on climate change,” said Professor Auty. “In fact there’s a growing environmental concern. Action is occurring in country Victoria, and in the Strathbogie region, in places as diverse as Beechworth and Euroa, we’re seeing a lot of this."
 
The capacity-plus crowd, 120 people - with many others turned away due to numbers - had an enthusiastic conversation on climate change and what it means for the Strathbogie region with Professor David Karoly, Professor of Atmospheric Science in the School of Earth Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, an internationally renowned expert in climate change.
 
“There were people from across the generations and from all walks of life: librarians, farmers, students, retirees, professionals and homemakers,” Professor Auty said.
 
“There’s a sense of urgency. We have farmers saying it’s drier that it’s been in a long time, that it feels like the millennium drought.”
 
“What we’re looking at is a highly engaged community. We’re seeing this everywhere.

“At a recent Euroa town hall dialogue during the state election campaign…we had over 280 people attend.  That’s more people than attended local election campaign meetings organised by the National/Victorian Farmers Federation.
 
“From my time as the Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability it is plain to me that all over Victoria communities are looking at ways to affect their local environments and take action.

“In Portland, for example, a local sustainability group put out a call to recycle TVs. They organised this themselves, taking TVs from nature strips to the deposit station – they collected over 26 tonnes of TVs! People are saying we want leadership and if we don't see it, we’ll do it ourselves.”
 
The 2015 Euroa Environmental Seminar Series continues throughout the year, for more information go to  www.strathbogievoices.com.au, @BogieVoices and @kateauty.  The hashtag is #EuroaTALKS.

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