Donnybrook-Balingup council to continue supporting partnership as long as it doesn’t get political

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Brian Piesse
Camera IconBrian Piesse Credit: Michael Philipps

The Donnybrook-Balingup Shire Council will continue to support the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership as long it does not turn into a politicised lobby group, according to shire president Brian Piesse.

Cr Piesse’s comments came after the partnership released a media statement last week which said local governments had called on a renewed State commitment to renewable energy.

“When we joined the partnership last year we did so on the basis it was a reasonable proposition to do so,” he said.

“We did so in a passive context and one of the things we need to be careful of is that we didn’t join on the basis of becoming a lobby group.

“At the time of us joining their ideals seemed pretty passive and I understand other councils in the South West did the same.”

The council was one of 21 represented at a forum prior to the statement being released.

The statement said the local governments had discussed how they could embrace further renewable energy and energy efficiency goals by breaking down existing barriers of regulation.

Cr Piesse said the council staff member that attended did so in an observational role.

“We understand the partnership has a charter which is something of interest to us but we would be somewhat discouraged if it was to become politicised,” he said.

“Where their ideals and our ideals can come together in a local context we’re happy to continue supporting them.

“We will continue to be represented at the partnerships meetings and forums, however if the partnership becomes a hard-nosed lobby group in this space then we would potentially reconsider our position.”

Cr Piesse said the focus of the council remained firmly within its borders.

“We are happy to work with the climate council in terms of delivering outcomes on the ground in our shire,” he said.

“We just never joined on the basis of any political approach to outcomes.”

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