'Wooli campaign is misguided'

 Greens candidate for Clarence Janet Cavanaugh
Greens candidate for Clarence Janet Cavanaugh

LABELLING a “Save Wooli” campaign and online petition by GetUp! as “misguided”, Greens Clarence candidate Janet Cavanaugh has come out in support of Clarence Valley Council’s planned retreat proposal for Wooli.

The environmental scientist said the proposal had also been endorsed by the council’s climate change advisory committee and local environment groups.

“I am usually supportive of the progressive stance taken by GetUp! but I’m concerned by the level of misinformation being used to support this campaign,” she said.

“The proposal put forward by council is to relocate the southern residents to another area within Wooli. There is no plan to ‘abandon’ the village as claimed in the campaign.”

Stating that the campaign incorrectly identified the coastal erosion at Wooli as exacerbated by climate change and the associated sea level rise, Ms Cavanaugh supports the NSW State Government’s planning.

“The State Government’s planning benchmark is a 90cm rise in sea levels by 2100, but it could be as high as two metres by this date. Storm surges are also becoming larger and increase shore erosion,” she said.

“Planned retreat is the realistic response to these hazards. Building walls along our coastline to protect houses is just not feasible.

“For a start, it would be very costly and come at the expense of improving our health and education services. Secondly, it is not a solution, just moving the problem to another section of coastline.

“I love Wooli and will be saddened to see this and other parts of the Clarence Coast change dramatically as a result of sea level rise.

“These are the hard realities and local consequences of government inaction to curb greenhouse gases emissions and poor planning decisions in the past.

“The realistic approach in planning for long-term settlement along our coasts is to start adapting for higher sea levels.”

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