AN ambitious climate action draft has been released by the Borough of Queenscliffe with projects such a solar bulk buys and eliminating single-use plastics listed as priorities.
Council first declared a climate emergency in December 2019, with the intention to create a response in partnership with the community.
Last month the Draft Climate Emergency Response Plan was released after completing public consultations and refining targets using a randomly selected community panel.
The draft noted the Borough’s vulnerability to climate change without ongoing preventative action.
“We face an increasing risk from coastal inundation, heatwaves, heavy rainfall and localised flooding, and the longer-term impacts of sea level rise,” it reads.
“It is critical that rapid action is taken to mitigate climate impacts in order to protect our assets, maintain and improve our unique coastal environment, and secure a safe future for our community.”
More than 420 community members participated in the consultation period calling for climate change to be considered at the “foremost in everything we do in our daily lives, businesses, community activities”.
Queenscliffe Climate Action Group founder Kitty Walker said that the group worked closely with council to develop the plan.
“This draft plan has been developed by the community for the community and will leave a lasting legacy for future generations,” she said.
“We drew from successful climate emergency responses that are being implemented across Australia and internationally to develop a plan that will help us to protect people, property and our natural environment.”
The 10-year plan sets out goals including transitioning to a zero carbon community by 2031.
Queenscliffe Mayor Ross Ebbels said the ambitious plan reflects the need for a rapid, local response.
“Declaring a climate emergency showed that our community recognises the importance of acting quickly to prevent and prepare for climate change,” he said.
“This plan now puts that recognition into practice with a clear path to making the borough a zero-carbon community.”
Council has acknowledged electricity as one of the most significance contributors to emissions with further goals to match 100 per cent of the community electricity consumption with renewable electricity by 2025.
By 2027 the borough is aiming to match all community energy needs with 100 per cent renewable energy supplies, helping to relieve the reliance on fuels.
The borough has begun striving towards its goal by becoming the first Victorian council to change all streetlights to low-emission LED lights, and from July 1, the Queenscliffe council will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.
Community members can read the plan on the borough’s website at queenscliffe.vic.gov.au/cerp.