Fresh think­ing call

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Letters -

I went to the lo­cal coun­cil’s re­cent re­silience meet­ing and wanted to make a cou­ple of points.

Cli­mate change will cause a sus­tained drag on global growth and hit home in the next decade or so.

The in­sur­ance in­dus­try is in the early stages of with­draw­ing cover from fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies be­cause of the hit they are al­ready tak­ing on balance sheets.

For ex­am­ple, in­sur­ance ex­perts con­cluded sea level rise alone in­creased in­sured losses by 30 per cent dur­ing su­per­storm Sandy in New York.

What’s a log­i­cal Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River re­silience re­sponse to this?

Di­ver­sify lo­cal econ­omy, in­crease so­cial re­silience rather than rely on an in­creas­ingly stretched wel­fare State, and pre­pare for a tougher global mar­ket by de­vel­op­ing our lo­cal brand in a ground-up way to dif­fer­en­ti­ate ourselves, but also with a so­phis­ti­ca­tion that at­tracts global in­ter­est.

Our main foot­print is­sues here are in agri­cul­ture and forestry and we should ad­vo­cate for change, but one thing the Shire can do now is de­sign sub­urbs in a sus­tain­able way with lo­cal cul­ture/re­silience in mind.

The Witch­cliffe Eco-vil­lage has at­tracted global in­ter­est be­cause its en­gag­ing with th­ese is­sues.

We need some new blood, and the State de­vel­op­ment cul­ture that se­nior bu­reau­crats rep­re­sent is psy­cho­log­i­cally and in­tel­lec­tu­ally in­ca­pable of re­al­is­ing generic 20th cen­tury de­vel­op­ment is not only fun­da­men­tally flawed, but isn’t good for busi­ness, es­pe­cially for a brand that wants to com­pete na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Evan Coumbe, Mar­garet River

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