A CLIMATE change activist has lodged a complaint with Wagga City Council requesting that councillor Paul Funnell formally apologise for his controversial child abuse comments earlier this week.
During Monday's council debate relating to a motion to declare a climate emergency, Cr Funnell said adults who brought their children to a rally outside council chambers last Friday "should be arrested for child abuse".
"To constantly fill the heads of children as young as infants has a devastating effect to the point of mental illness and distress," Cr Funnell said.
"The temperature or weather is not causing their anxiety, it's the garbage and scaremongering that adults are putting in children's minds.
"Under the definition of child abuse this is what is going on - as parents we are meant to educate but protect our children, not use them as pawns. I find this action deplorable."
On Tuesday, Wagga doctor and mother Trudi Beck lodged a complaint to all councillors and the general manager.
"I've put together a very detailed and evidenced based letter," Dr Beck said.
"I would specifically point them to the guidelines by the Australian Psychological Society about the role of children in climate change activism, which actively encourages children in attending rallies such as that."
Dr Beck said Cr Funnell's comments came without provocation and that her motivation with the request is not to be divisive.
"We want the council to be showing that they're making moves towards mitigation and adaptation."
Cr Funnell said he did not single anybody out and that being offended was a choice.
"Any comment I make is my comment - under freedom of speech, I'm entitled to my opinion," he said.
"I never meant any offence to anyone, I don't backtrack from my position."
However, he told The Daily Advertiser he does apologise if offence was taken.
On Monday, the motion put forward by Cr Vanessa Kennan passed, allowing the council to create a climate emergency plan, which will be developed during this financial period.
Cr Funnell said the focus on his child abuse comments was a distraction.
"We've already seen the reactions of two major investors [Custom Originals and Preston Grain] in this city saying 'we're not comfortable with all this'," he said.
"Council can do nothing more, it will have zero impact in relation to climate change."
Cr Funnell said those who favoured the motion could not answer questions about resources and the emergency plan's effects on the city.
"We should be trying to benefit the city and all its people. I am just gobsmacked. It's an overreach."
Cr Funnell has lodged a rescission motion relating to the matter.
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