WAGGA Councillor Paul Funnell has sent an indirect apology to climate change activist Dr Trudi Beck after she lodged a complaint relating to his controversial child abuse comments.
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".
On Wednesday, Dr Beck, who took her infant to the the July 5 rally, sent a letter to the council's general manager and councillors requesting that Cr Funnell formally apologises for the remarks.
The council's general manager, Peter Thompson, said they will let Dr Beck know that Cr Funnell has apologised.
"The complaint was raised during a number of information discussions with Cr Funnell.
"The councillor has indicated that whilst it was not his intention to cause offence, these are the views that he holds," Mr Thompson said.
"The councillor has made a public statement of apology in both print and radio media interviews today [Thursday]."
During the Monday meeting, Cr Funnell said: "To constantly fill the heads of children as young as infants has a devastating effect to the point of mental illness and distress".
"The temperature or weather is not causing their anxiety, it's the garbage and scaremongering that adults are putting in children's minds," he said.
"I find this action deplorable."
Dr Beck, who is a GP and member of Doctors for the Environment NSW, said that while she took the comments seriously, she wanted the focus to be back on the debate about climate change.
"I don't want this to be a mud-slinging event, I want it to be a positive change for the community," Dr Beck said.
"My issue is that all we want is a healthy planet for our kids.
"We want the council to be showing that they're making moves towards mitigation and adaptation."
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