By Adam Coleman
The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has developed a guide to help Queensland councils take action on emerging climate change challenges. According to LGAQ president Paul Bell the guide is the first of its kind in Australia.
“We recognised that we should take the lead in this area,” Cr Bell said.
“We have come up with a guide which provides a practical, step-by-step process for councils to identify risks associated with climate change and put in place adaptive plans to address them.”
He said there was little doubt Queensland would be more acutely affected than other areas in Australia.
“Data indicates that in many areas it is getting hotter and our temperatures are rising more rapidly than global and national averages,” Cr Bell said.
Rather than focusing on emissions control, the new guide presents climate change as inevitable and concentrates on what other practical steps councils can take to prepare for the future. The guide also aims to help councils build the capacity to assess risks related to climate change and offers a checklist of possible adaptation measures.
It includes case studies of councils that have implemented simple action plans to help them avoid the risks posed by climate change.
An advisory group was established to help with developing the guide. It included representatives from the Australian Greenhouse Office, the Queensland State Government, Insurance Australia Group, Queensland Resources Council, Commerce Queensland and local government councillors and officers.
Cr Bell said implementing the guide would not be cost neutral and implementing the strategy in each council “will be a significant financial impost”.
“Councils will be seeking support from state and Federal governments to address what is becoming the most important issue to confront our communities in modern times,” he said.
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