THE campaign to save Wooli has just heated up with national advocacy body Get Up! getting on board.
The campaign is being run in conjunction with the Coastal Communities Protection Alliance – Wooli, consisting of residents, holiday-makers and ratepayers in the Wooli community, to ensure Clarence Valley Council considers alternative options to “abandoning” the village in the face of predicted rising sea levels.
Get Up! is an independent, grass-roots community advocacy organisation giving Australians the opportunity to get involved and hold politicians accountable on important issues.
Get Up! campaign director Oliver McColl said the problem of climate change was not unique to Wooli.
“The council needs to realise it is not just Wooli, it is across the nation that rising sea levels are affecting,” he said.
“Unfortunately Wooli is in the frontline facing climate change and council should be setting an example with the town by taking a leading charge and be the first to do the right thing. They need to be responsible on the issue and not abandon this community.”
The campaign came about when council released a draft Coastal Zone Management Plan for Wooli that would require the abandonment of the village and its unique environment to increased coastal erosion caused by climate change.
Peter Dunn, from the Coastal Communities Protection Alliance – Wooli, said it was exciting to have Get Up! involved in the campaign.
“The local community here in Wooli has done a great job with the paper petition, but there is nothing quite like the expanding national reach that Get Up! is providing,” he said.
“Our aim is to consolidate our local petition with the online petition and then present it to council.
“There are 19 coastal hot spots that are under threat by climate change and we have joined the alliance to take this issue wider and wider.
“CCPA-Wooli is asking council to reject the draft plan to manage Wooli's coastal erosion problems by abandonment of the village and use their ability to address challenging environmental issues in close collaboration with the Wooli community.”
According to Get Up!, council is currently considering its response to this recommendation and a massive outcry of local residents will show them the community wants them to face up to the challenge.