In years gone by the ability to create change for the betterment of society was the objective of being involved in the party political process.

Seen as a vehicle for developing policy to advance new ideas and solutions to society’s many problems, the political system was the means to a better world.

The difference between opposing sides being the interpretation of who does, or needs to ultimately, benefit.

I believe party politics has shifted too far towards an adversarial contest for power and it has lost its original value.

When combined with the continued influence by political donors with vested interests on policy outcomes and negotiations, it is a profound disappointment.

That’s why I’m leaving party politics behind.

As a councillor my focus remains on initiating and supporting actions to make a difference to the future of our community, working at the local level.

We can work on localising our food system, plus lead on waste reduction.

We can help to speed the development and deployment of clean technologies and we can create more sustainable and liveable housing and well designed communities right here in Greater Bendigo.

We can re-energise our economy, and ultimately this will allow us a way through the problem of how to best tackle global warming as a community.

We can do better and I know it is possible.

Wonderful advances in technologies have been made on a global level. Despite this, the health and wellbeing of many in our communities is in a parlous state.

Our natural world is in rapid decline.

Sir David Attenborough warns of species extinction and natural systems collapse if we do not act on an immense scale to wind back greenhouse gas emissions, and their impact on global warming.

We have just over a decade to do so.

We are the lucky generation and the buck stops with us, for our children, grandchildren and those to come.

In my lifetime there has been a 60 per cent decrease in species on this planet and recently evidence of an 80 per cent decline in the insect population. Ecosystems are collapsing.

The work of Paul Hawken’s Drawdown project, outlined here in Bendigo in the past year, with its finding that we can reverse global warming (read the book), means that everything possible must be done at the local level to support that outcome – rapidly.

Let’s ramp up that activity collectively in 2019.