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Cool Centres will be built in Western Sydney suburbs to beat extreme heat

Plan to set up evacuation centres for Australians forced out of their homes by extreme HEAT as temperatures soar

  • The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils is tackling extreme heat
  • The councils in west Sydney are planning to build several new heat relief centres
  • Centres will offer air-conditioning, refreshments, cold water, and entertainment 
  • Western Sydney suffers seven times more hot days then eastern Sydney suburbs

Western Sydney councils plan to create heat shelters and want heatwaves to be treated the same as other natural disasters.

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils’ Heat Smart Resilience Framework will create heat refuges for residents to cool down during summer swelters.

President Barry Calvert said heatwaves killed more Australians every year and should be treated with the same precautions as floods and fires. 

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils have revealed its Heat Smart Resilience Framework that will see heat relief centres built for people unable to escape the heat at home or flock to popular swimming spots like the Nepean River (pictured)

‘NSW’s current heatwave emergency plan focuses on the distribution of heatwave warnings. This approach is inadequate for the level of heat being experienced in western Sydney,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The new plan would set up heat refuges in community centres after new data found western Sydney regions endured 37 days of temperatures above 35C in 2020 

Many households don’t have access to proper tree cover, air-conditioning, or swimming facilities.

Blacktown City Council was the first to trial the ‘cool centres’ in five locations last summer on days temperatures soared above 32C.

Blacktown City Council was the first to trial the ‘cool centres’ (pictured) in five locations last summer on days temperatures soared above 32C

The shelters were made in churches and community centres and offered air-conditioning, refreshments, cold water, and entertainment for people ‘unable to keep cool at home’.

The Sweltering Cities’ Summer Survey found 47 per cent of renters and 14 per cent of homeowners said they would rather go to a heat refuge centre than stay home on hot days.

Sweltering Cities founder Emma Bacon told the SMH that heat relief centres were key to making living in heat safe.

‘We’re acknowledging that homes aren’t safe and that staying at home could be deadly for vulnerable people. Why aren’t we making simple changes to improve things now, starting with public and affordable housing?,’ she said.

New research found western Sydney suburbs suffer three times more heat-related deaths than eastern suburbs that have access to swimming locations

New research found western Sydney suburbs suffer three times more heat-related deaths than eastern suburbs that have access to swimming locations

Western Sydney suburbs endure temperatures up to 10C hotter than eastern suburbs and have seven times more days over 35C, but have to use twice as much power to cool their homes and have 50 per cent less tree coverage.

Heat-related deaths are also three times higher in Penrith than in the inner city during heatwaves. 

Mr Calvert said western councils were struggling to create more shaded areas using greenery and cool materials because ‘more than half of development occurring in western Sydney bypasses council planning controls’.

‘Trees will not keep communities safe in heatwave conditions. When it’s 50 degrees and the power has gone out, we need emergency planning in place to assist our most vulnerable,’ he said.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk