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‘Heat refuges’ may be one solution to Western Sydney’s climate emergency

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Ian Epondulan knows the heatwaves well.

The 31-year-old has lived in Western Sydney his entire life, and often dreads the summer months.

On the really sweltering days, the oral health therapist and his family often take refuge in an air-conditioned 24-hour shopping centre in Blacktown.

The family do have air-conditioning at their Seven Hills home that they rent, but the cost of running it is prohibitive.

“The option to drive 15 minutes and get immediate relief is just a better option,” Mr Epondulan said.

“Walking through those doors, you just sigh.”

Three men seen from behind walking towards a building.
Ian and his brothers Ryan and Brian walking to the Kmart in Blacktown to take refuge from the heat.(ABC News: Mridula Amin)

Last summer, Western Sydney residents sweated through 37 days over 35…



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