Indigo Shire taking a lead in addressing climate change

Published on 01 August 2019

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Indigo Shire Council is taking a lead in addressing climate change by declaring a Climate Emergency.

At the Ordinary Council meeting this week, Council voted to declare a Climate Emergency and investigate options to respond to the changing climate at a local level.

Indigo Shire Mayor, Cr Bernard Gaffney said climate change is a real threat and Council’s decision to declare a Climate Emergency is an example of local leadership on a global issue.

“We will now look at preparing an advocacy plan to encourage State and Federal Government to do more to combat the effects of climate change,” Cr Gaffney said.

“It’s important that we all play our part to prepare for the changing environment and education is a vital part of this, so we will be convening a series of public meetings to address and educate our community and work together to develop a suite of ideas to help tackle the threats from climate change.”

As part of the Notice of Motion carried at the Council meeting on Tuesday night, Indigo Shire Council will also investigate the merits and efficacy of:

  • Selling the Council-owned Buller Gas operation to fund the Environment and Sustainability Strategy Action Plan.
  • Applying to the Essential Services Commission for a rate cap variation to fund specific actions within the Environment and Sustainability Strategy Action Plan.
  • Purchasing low productivity cleared land within Indigo Shire to plant it out with trees to capture carbon or encouraging other organisations and land owners to do the same.

Cr Gaffney assured the community that no decision has been made regarding rates.

“At this stage, we are looking into the best way to go about enacting this plan. There has been no decision made on any of these ideas. Our priority is to continue to provide quality services and value for the community whilst doing our bit to tackle climate change,” Cr Gaffney said.

As part of the Council decision, Indigo Shire Council’s Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee will also critically examine the likely Emergency Management effects of Climate Change in Indigo Shire and report back on how best Council and the community can prepare and plan in the long term to mitigate the risks and adapt to the increased likelihood of extreme events.

At the meeting on Tuesday night, Council endorsed the Environment Strategy and Climate Change Policy – two key documents outlining Council’s position on environmental management and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Council also voted to participate in the tender process for a collaborative Victorian Local Government Power Purchase Agreement project for the purchase of renewable energy.