Wagga residents have overwhelmingly supported the council's controversial net zero emissions roadmap.
The roadmap outlines actions individuals and businesses in the community can take to reduce their personal contribution to climate change.
These include people making adjustments to how they get around, what they eat, how they use energy, what they purchase and what they throw away.
A divide emerged between councillors at the July 17 Council meeting, when a group of councillors sought to amend, and later rescind the document.
Councillor Richard Foley expressed concerns about the roadmap's capacity to be used to create "punitive" regulations that would punish people for failing to take personal action on climate change.
Cr Foley has been supported by Councillors Michael Henderson and Tim Koschel in his efforts to add a preamble to the roadmap that would clarify this, and later attempt to have the document rescinded.
A battle over the wording of the final document ensued, and the final resolution included the addition of language that would clarify "that neither the consultation nor the final document can be used to underpin or support any future fee, charge or other cost or any regulatory provision".
Ultimately, the Net Zero Roadmap was put on public exhibition for community feedback for 42 days, ending August 31.
Council received 121 submissions on the document - 89 per cent of these it categorised as "generally supportive".
IN OTHER NEWS:
Deputy mayor Amelia Parkins said she was pleasantly surprised by the level of public support.
"I think it was controversial mainly because of a lack of understanding about what the document was trying to do. I think the intent was originally to do exactly what it says - to provide a roadmap for people who are looking to reduce their emissions," she said.
"I feel strongly council has a huge role to play in assisting the community get to net zero ... this document is just an opportunity for people in the community to get more information. I think there's been a bit of fear mongering about what the implications of this document might be.
"We're not dictators - nobody wants to come in and implement things that are going to impact people's economic viability or livelihood. But we do need to make sure we're preserving the world for future generations."
Public support for the Net Zero Emissions Roadmap was not unconditional.
Council staff noted around 60 changes asked for by the community, many of which would require the kinds of punitive measures Cr Foley is concerned about.
These range from suggestions the roadmap include provision for energy audits, to banning the use of fossil fuels.
Objections to the plan included that carbon dioxide is necessary for life, and that Council should "hear local voices rather than those of the World Economic Forum"
Three submissions directly expressed concerns there would be costs to business or individuals as a result of the plan. Six expressed concerns there would not be adequate funding or reporting to implement the plan.
Council staff have recommended five changes to the roadmap, three of which make no substantive change to the document.
Cr Foley said he would be surprised if the document didn't pass in its current form when it comes before councillors for a vote on Monday night.
"There was a bit of concern in the community on both fronts, from those who think nothing's being done to those who think it's all just a hoax," he said.
"It's promising to see council have had a pragmatic, centrist response I think everyone should be able to live with.
"Local community has the opportunity to put plans in place they can live with on their terms before governments step in. Those who are delinquent in this situation will probably have a template enforced they can't live with in their area."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.