THE Mornington Peninsula and Frankston are two of the nine-member South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCCA) to adopt a new blueprint to change the way climate impacts are managed south east of Melbourne.
Climate Action Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, who attended the official launch of the strategy at the SECCCA annual leaders’ breakfast on Wednesday 8 November, said the Victorian government was “decarbonising at the fastest rate in the country to get us to net-zero by 2045”.
D’Ambrosio’s speech was followed by a panel discussion featuring John Bradley, secretary of the Victorian Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, Tom Campbell, co-founder Footy for Climate Alliance and Ange Nichols, Net Zero Lead for the Insurance Council of Australia.
“Community surveys suggest that more than three quarters of residents are very concerned about the impacts of climate change in our region, but we know it’s a challenge that we can’t tackle alone,” Bass Coast mayor and SECCCA advisory group chair Cr Michael Whelan said.
The new platform SECCCA 2024-28: Working Together for Stronger Climate Action recognises the importance of a partnership approach to deliver stronger results for local communities.
The action plan identifies programs that SECCCA says can be delivered with the support of state and federal governments.
The nine member councils of SECCCA are Mornington Peninsula, Frankston, Bass Coast, Bayside, Cardinia, Casey, Greater Dandenong, Kingston and Port Phillip.
“This new strategy presents an exciting step change for our region,” Whelan said.
“SECCCA has taken a whole of community view, to work together and come up with practical steps to help mitigate and manage climate risk in our region.
“This strategy charts the path for our members to work together and with our community to address climate change in our region.”
The priority projects for the next four years are:
- Business energy support program;
- Residential home resilience ratings tool;
- Small business climate adaptation toolkit;
- Transitioning to electric or hydrogen heavy-duty vehicles in council or contractor fleet;
- Review the vulnerability of council assets (phase 2);
- Expand the environmentally sustainable design Brief Ezy tool;
- Climate risk mitigation program for councils;
- Advocacy on climate action; and
- Opportunities to buy carbon offsets.
“SECCCA’s strong governance and shared resources give real bang for buck, tripling every dollar invested by councils and helping to avoid future costs to residents, business, government and industry through more informed decision-making and mitigation,” Whelan said.
“Local government is at the coal face of climate change, and we are taking up the challenge to help our communities build resilience and prepare for future impacts.”
SECCCA says the area it covers is home to one million people, produces $85 billion in gross regional product annually, and includes metropolitan, peri urban and rural communities.