Western Sydney to host conference with hot topic

The findings of the Climate Commission report The Critical Decade will be a focus of discussion at the upcoming Climate Change Social Change conference.

The report has generated much heated debate by suggesting that rising temperatures in western Sydney will affect everything from our water supply to mental health and crime levels.

The impact of the carbon price on the environment and working families in western Sydney will also feature at the conference. It will be held at the Parramatta Town Hall and will take place on June 30, the day before the tax officially takes effect.

Hosted by Green Left Weekly, the conference will bring together a range of academics, politicians, unionists, climate activists and local resident groups to discuss these and other pressing issues facing the residents of western Sydney.

Conference organiser Fred Fuentes told Green Left Weekly that an aim of the conference is to discuss “how western Sydney can not just prepare itself to face the looming impact of global warming but also become a world leader in pursuing a path towards a sustainable future”.

Speakers confirmed for the conference include:
• Professor Peter Phibbs, from the University of Western Sydney’s Urban Research Centre;
• Dr Tony Webb, UWS School of Natural Sciences;
• Chris Tobin, a Dharug man and author of The Dharug Story, an Aboriginal History of Western Sydney from 1788;
• Simon Butler, GLW co-editor and co-author of Too Many People? Population, immigration and the environmental crisis;
• John Coleman, Rail Tram and Bus Union activist and public transport campaigner; and
• Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance national co-convener.

Conference attendees will also have a chance to hear representatives from the Parramatta Climate Action Network, Transition Towns, the Pachamama Alliance and anti-coal seam gas campaigners.

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