Bayside adopts Climate Change Strategy
Bayside City Council has adopted a long term Climate Change Strategy following a period of public consultation.
Developed over the past two years, the Strategy outlines actionsCouncil will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within its own operations and across the City generally, for at least the next four years.
Council also approved a community summary version of the Strategy, copies of which will be available in the coming weeks. The new Strategy incorporates information received from several community engagement activities and includes advice and comments received from members of a Community Peer Review Panel during the development of the final document.
The Panel comprised three Bayside residents with expert knowledge on climate change. They are Barry Pittock, former head of the CSIRO Climate Impact Group, Professor Roger Jones and Alan Pears, Adjunct Professor RMIT University.
The Strategy outlines programs and projects that Council is already implementing to assist residents reduce energy use and actions they can take, including piloting a Sustainable Homes Project that is being implemented in partnership with the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance.
The document also outlines Council’s contingency plans to address any impacts resulting from climate change, details of how Council would support the community adapt to climate change, as well as opportunities that may arise as a result of predicted climate change.
A major feature of the Strategy includes details of Council’s plan to install 5,300 more energy efficient street lights across the City over the next four years and ensuring that Council’s buildings achieve higher environmental performance standards and emit less greenhouse gas emissions.
Following the adoption of the new Strategy, Bayside Mayor Louise Cooper-Shaw said Council will continue to support and educate the community by implementing a community-wide information project that will be linked to, amongst other things, the installation of more energy efficient lights across the City.
“Council recognises that global action is required if we are to make a major impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and thereby manage the projected impacts of climate change. Council also recognises that any negative impacts of climate change will be felt locally and that, therefore, we need to play our part at the local level,” she said.
Bayside City Council manages over 200 buildings on behalf of ratepayers and has already commenced the implementation of measures to improve their environmental performance and reduce energy use.
Council is also encouraging the development of more environmentally friendly housing via its annual Built Environment Awards program.
Mayor Cooper-Shaw said Council understands that additional planning and collaboration with other asset managers, such as government agencies, is required to address longer-term impacts (such as flooding) that may be associated with extreme rainfall events and possible inundation and erosion associated with rising sea levels.
In order to address these issues, the Mayor said Council has now commenced preparing a draft Flood Management Plan and is working with Governments and other Councils on measures for adapting to the predicted rise in sea levels.
Information about Bayside City Council’s Climate Change Strategy is at www.bayside.vic.gov.au/policy.htm.