New research suggests that Western Sydney locals are concerned about the rising prevalence of heat waves, with 49 per cent of locals surveyed indicating interest in relocating due to heat waves and the effects of climate change altogether.

For young people, aged between 25 and 34, this number is even higher, with 62% of the age group indicating they might consider moving.  

Heat waves have increasingly impacted Western Sydney, with areas like Penrith reaching 48.9 degrees Celsius during the January 2020 bushfires, making it the hottest place in the world. 

Data from Polling results – Heat in Western Sydney was shared with Energy Minister Matt Kean and Multiculturalism Minister Geoff Lee by Sydney Alliance representatives from Western Sydney’s diverse multicultural communities at a Parliamentary Forum on Wednesday  17 March held at the Parliament of NSW

In the poll, locals express concerns around the health implications of rising heat, with 73 per cent of Western Sydney residents worried about the effect of extreme heat on the health of their elderly family and friends, 76 per cent of people worried about the health and wellbeing of their pets, and 60 per cent unable to sleep on really hot days. 

Residents are also worried about the cost of energy bills because of extreme heat, with 79 per cent of people worried about the increase in their power bills on really hot days. This number is even higher for people who speak a language other than English at home, with 86 per cent of this cohort concerned.  

Polling reveals overwhelming support for Sydney Alliance’s proposed renewable energy initiatives. 83 per cent of respondents supported fitting schools with solar panels, air conditioning and energy efficiency devices, 80 per cent of respondents supported grants for energy efficiency upgrades for residences, and 79 per cent supported grants to install solar and batteries on residences.

Respondents also overwhelmingly supported grants for public spaces to install solar panels, and a minimum energy standard for rental properties. 

Sawsan Alfayadh from Sydney Alliance, said, “Western Sydney is home to 2.5 million people and some of Australia’s most diverse communities and is an up-and-coming economic and business district. The NSW governments owes it to the people of Western Sydney to restore their hope that Western Sydney will be a safe and viable area for people to live, raise families and work into the future. Minister Kean and the NSW government should support initiatives that cool down Western Sydney, and also take action on climate to keep temperatures from becoming even more extreme.” 

“In many ways, the future of Sydney itself relies on a stable and sustainable Greater Western region. Ensuring people in Western Sydney can live, work, learn and grow comfortably and safely as heat waves continue to rise is critical for the health of our entire city.”