Burning issues confronted



Petrol prices reaching $15 a litre, erosion of Clarence beaches and an uncomfortable heat throughout the Clarence Valley were some warnings made by speakers at The Grafton Climate Change Forum yesterday.

The forum, presented by the Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition, attracted 125 people.

Convenor and coalition vicepresident Stan Mussared said the forum motivated people to sign up to a new Clarence Valley branch of Climate Change Australia.

The forum was held in conjunction with Local Government Week and the launch of the Clarence Valley Council (CVC) Sustainability Initiative.

Clarence Valley mayor Ian Tiley outlined the impact of changing weather patterns on vital rural industries and the Clarence Coast.

"The thread of sustainability (will be) through every decision in council," Cr Tiley said.

There were five speakers at the forum including climate change researcher Tony Doherty, who outlined the gradual effects of climate change on Clarence Valley residents. Valley farmers would experience an increase in salinity, acidsulphate soils and pests over the winter months.

Mr Doherty said Clarence Coast residents would experience a rise in ocean levels of 10 to 15 centimetres over 25 years.

"Local surfers will enjoy it ? waves are one-third higher than 50 years ago, the down side is that more beaches and sand dunes will be eroded," Mr Doherty said.

"It is not all doom and gloom. The insistance is doing something now."



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