Yael Stone resurrects Thirroul's 'mother of all murals' for climate campaign

NOT APPROVED: The mural on the seaward wall of Thirroul pool was painted over by Wollongong City Council. INSET: Yael Stone.
NOT APPROVED: The mural on the seaward wall of Thirroul pool was painted over by Wollongong City Council. INSET: Yael Stone.

The "mother of all murals" which created a stir at Thirroul pool has been resurrected by climate activists, led by Bulli's own Orange is the New Black star Yael Stone who wants to undo a huge loophole in the city's carbon emissions calculations.

The mural, a mother earth figure nestled against the escarpment, was painted by northern Illawarra Extinction Rebellion activists last month and received a warm reception from the public before it was painted over by Wollongong City Council because it had not been approved.

It was part of the group's "dilemma" installation strategy - prompting people to ask questions about why something apparently beneficial would be destroyed.

Now Stone and fellow activists are repurposing the scene into a flyer urging residents to have their say about the council's draft Climate Climate Change Mitigation Action Plan before August 12.

Stone told the Mercury the plan was good, but contained a glaring loophole: emissions from coal mining were exempted from accounting.

"We count the dollars associated with the coal but we we're not counting the emissions," she said.

"We're sort of leveling a challenge to our wonderful council to say: let's count the emission and tell the real story of emissions in our area.

"That way we can have a realistic mitigation plan, rather than one that passes the buck."

The council's draft plan sets the task of making its own operations emissions-zero by the year 2030, as well as a more ambitious plan: bringing activities within the entire local government area to net-zero emissions by 2050.

The high-emission BlueScope steelworks are included, but under a global mayors' protocol the millions of tonnes of coal extracted from mines don't count because less than 10 per cent of this coal is burned for energy - most is used for steelmaking.

Actor Stone, who put off a promising Hollywood career to come home and fight for climate action, and now studies at UOW, said including coal would be more meaningful.

"Yes, it would mean we break the emissions budget, but ultimately we feel being realistic on this issue is the most important thing," she said. "Telling the truth about the real climate emissions should be front and centre."

This story Yael Stone resurrects the 'mother of murals' first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.