A notice of motion brought forward by Councillors Larry Whipper and Gordon Markwart reginited the climate change debate in council on February 12 2020.
Wingecarribee Shire Councillors debated the notice of motion to declare a climate change emergency, with seven from the eight councillors present voting for the declaration.
A previous notice of motion to declare a climate change emergency last year failed to garner the full support of the councillors at a meeting on September 11 2019.
In his opening statement to council, Cr Whipper said that a lot has happened since it was last debated in the chamber.
"It would seem rather amiss if this council didn't acknowledge that we are in a climate emergency," he said.
"Look at the fires we've recently had, and the damage that's done, closely followed by these rains that we are experiencing at the moment.
"I think it would either be a brave or an ignorant person that would put their hand on their heart and say that our impact on this planet is not partially responsible or if not completely responsible for these extremes in weather that we are experiencing.
"Councillors it's up to us at a local level to acknowledge the problem and to advocate to the federal and state government to try and put a bit of pressure on them."
Councillor Grahame Andrews was the only councillor at the meeting to offer a different opinion.
"I'm not going to support the motion," he said.
"I take umbridge at the word 'emergency'.
"I do absolutely acknowledge that we have a problem with CO2 emissions and 100 per cent need to deal with it and I believe we are.
"This council is doing everything we can do.
"Emergency is defined as dangerous or serious situation such as an accident that happens suddenly.
"An emergency is something that requires immediate action.
"What will be our immediate action? Nothing has been mentioned tonight. I believe it's symbolic."
Cr Markwart spoke in favour of the motion and said that the facts on climate change spoke for themselves.
"I'd like to say that we have a climate catastrophe," he said.
"It's not an emergency per say at this very second but we have a catastrophe that we created 40 to 50 years ago.
"We have a real mess in terms of climate.
"Council already includes quite a few projects and activities relating to adaption and building resilience to climate change.
"What we have not done is acknowledge the focus and the importance of climate change as a stand alone issue and we are here to do that today.
"Climate change is real. It is here."
The motion also received continued support from Councillor Garry Turland who acknowledged that the same motion had been before council on two separate occasions.
"It's only here because we've had disasters throughout the state and around the world," he said.
"We have been responsible for leaving a mess that [younger generations] have to live with, that is unacceptable.
"This notice of motion is not the first time it has appeared in council. I will bet to you, if we didn't have the fires here last month, this would get knocked back again."
Councillor Peter Nelson had a change of heart since the last climate change motion.
In a previous council meeting on September 11 2019, Cr Nelson said that he agreed in principle with the motion but wanted an information session before voting.
However at the meeting on February 12 2020 he said he would be supporting the notice of motion.
"We will join more than 600 local governments, two national governments and eight state level governments," he said.
"But will this make any difference to the Canberra bubble?
"I suggest that the council write to the Prime Minister and to Member of Parliament Angus Taylor advising of our stance."
Councillor Graham McLaughlin also supported the notice of motion.
"I think it's up to all of us in the community to make a change," he said.
"We've lost of time on this. We should all move forward."
Another councillor who had a change of heart since the two previous climate emergency motions were presented was Councillor Ian Scandrett.
Cr Scandrett spoke in support of climate change and recounted that on two separate occasions he had his car packed and ready to leave as the Morton fire threat increased in the Southern Villages.
"I can see that this expression of concern [regarding climate change] comes from all over the community," he said.
"I've certainly felt the [weight] of certain events. So yes, it is time to move forward on this."
Mayor Duncan Gair also gave his support for the motion after a change of heart.
"People change their opinions," he said.
"The bushfires that have devastated us have been monumental and they have never been recorded in Australian history as far as settlers would know.
"It may be symbolic but it is something that I feel that will give recognition to the fact that there is major concerns.
Councillors Whipper, Markwart, Turland, Nelson, Scandrett and Gair voted to declare a climate emergency.