Louise Costa

Hometown: Rushworth
Occupation: Public speaker and community leader
Area of Interest: Biodiversity protection

How is climate change impacting your community?
In Rushworth, we have many poorly built homes that aren’t suitable for the changing weather conditions, especially in the Summer months. Our aging community is at a higher risk in these houses, but they have no living alternatives and not enough money to fix the problems.
I’m also concerned for our surrounding natural environment. We have an increase bushfire risk and many vulnerable species. For example, our local flying foxes are falling out of trees every Summer, and their populations cannot deal with heat as a constant stressor.

What are you passionate about changing?
Our community needs to come to terms with the fact that climate change mitigation is a slow process and we have to adapt rather than remediate. We must change things slowly and plan for the long term, slow change sticks better and people are less opposed to it. The first steps are to improve community perception of what lies ahead, get them to accept what is happening and then invite them to contribute to the change. We won’t be able to reach everybody, which is fine. We all need to work inside our influence.