Wagga councillors slam 'cowardly' climate poster campaign

THE campaign against Wagga City Council's decision to declare a climate emergency has taken a nasty turn after posters labelling the four councillors who approved the motion as sell outs appeared on Thursday morning.

The posters accuse Crs Vanessa Keenan, Dan Hayes, Dallas Tout and Greg Conkey, who voted in favour of the motion, of imposing a "carbon footprint tax" upon the community.

The climate emergency will be the subject of a rescission motion at Monday night's council meeting.

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Cr Keenan who initiated the motion described the posters as "cowardly", "scaremongering" and an attempt to "intimidate people with complete lies".

She encouraged people to approach her and the other councillors to discuss the issue at hand.

Nearly a fortnight has passed since Cr Keenan successfully moved a motion for the council to create a climate emergency plan.

She said the motion did not include a carbon footprint tax, which the poster has suggested.

"The council has not committed any funds. The next step is developing a plan that will have a significant amount of community involvement and expert advice, reflective of the community's needs," she said.

Wagga Mayor Greg Conkey.

Wagga Mayor Greg Conkey.

Cr Conkey was disappointed by the actions some people had resorted to during this debate.

"This issue has divided the community," he said. "My ultimate aim is to build a sustainable, resilient community and our main purpose is to plan for the future.

"It is incumbent of us to react - and we can start the change at a local government level."

Cr Hayes said the posters were "pretty laughable" and the creator had a lack of understanding on what had been proposed.

Cr Tout was contacted for comment.

Wagga councillor Paul Funnell.

Wagga councillor Paul Funnell.

Leading the charge against the climate emergency plan is Cr Paul Funnell, who will attempt to overturn the decision at the council's next meeting on Monday night.

Despite his bid to reverse the outcome, Cr Funnell insisted he was not responsible for the posters - but "it's funny" to hear, he said.

"The motion has upset a lot of people and they are allowed to protest, but I am not behind it," he said.

"The one thing people should know about me is that I will speak direct. I am not the type to scamper off to the general manager and others with my complaints.

"The world I grew up in was to debate the issue and take it up with the individual."