One candidate for the upcoming Wagga City Council election believes voters should keep the impacts of climate change firmly in mind when heading to the polls.
Emma Rush, 48, works as a lecturer at Charles Sturt University, and this will be her third time running for local government in Wagga.
A member of the Greens ticket, headed by Jenny McKinnon, Ms Rush said she is well aware of misconceptions often spread about her party.
"Sometimes there is a storyline out there that Greens are not interested in economic development," she said.
"But that's not true, we are very pro having a strong local economy, but we want it to be environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.
"It's really about creating a better future for all of us."
Tackling climate change is a priority for Ms Rush, who wants to see Wagga City Council's net-zero emissions target brought forward from 2050 to 2030.
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"Council is heading well towards its targets," Ms Rush said.
"We think that is very achievable with input from experts and community support."
Ms Rush moved to Wagga 13 years ago and from the day she arrived has thought of the regional town as "Australia's best-kept secret".
She described herself as a "card-carrying member" of the Greens, adding that party politics was not out of place in council.
However, Ms Rush said that developers should not be able to sit on the council.
"I think it is appropriate to be aligned with a political party," she said.
"Politics is always there in local government when you acknowledge it or not, and I think it's better to be transparent and on the surface. I think it is clear that developers should not be on council. It is a clear conflict of interest."
Ms Rush said she decided to run for the local council to support Ms McKinnon at the top of the ticket. "She is a fantastic candidate and would do a really good job on the council," she said.
Ms Rush said one policy from the Greens is to create a koala sanctuary for Wagga, which would support the local economy and wildlife.
She said homelessness was another significant issue in the city that needed to be addressed. "Our council hasn't been used to providing social housing, but homelessness is a big issue," she said. "We could contribute through community housing partnerships."
Ms Rush urged Wagga residents to take their privilege of voting seriously.
"You create the future with your vote," she said. "So vote for a sustainable, economically-strong and socially inclusive Wagga."
In the lead up to this year's election, The Daily Advertiser has profiled the candidates looking to secure a spot on Wagga City Council.
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