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Mayor's Message - 30 August

Mayor's Message - 30 August

Published:
Tuesday 30 August 2022
Cr Michael Whelan

As part of my role as Mayor, I am honoured to also be the Chair of the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCCA). The Alliance was formed in 2004, bringing nine Victorian councils together with a vision for communities to thrive, while living a zero emissions lifestyle and building resilience in a changing climate.

Back then, the Alliance was calling on all governments to prioritise climate action. Now we are declaring climate emergency and urging our State and Federal leaders to take action.

The SECCCA region is home to one million Victorians, in a diverse mix of metropolitan, peri urban and rural communities. It produces $85 billion in Gross Regional Product and is one Australia’s largest manufacturing regions - producing more than 45 per cent of Victoria’s manufactured product.

Climate change is costing our community. Heatwaves are becoming more frequent, rainfall is less than average, yet flooding events are more common. These impacts are costing the community by putting pressure on infrastructure spending and causing increases in insurance premiums and energy bills.

Community surveys in SECCCA communities show a high level of concern about the impacts of climate change. Our community is demanding action.

Last week, SECCCA launched its policy platform, outlining advocacy priorities in the lead up to the State Election, and is calling for a commitment from the government to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 or earlier. We are asking both State and Federal governments to legislate at least 67 percent reduction by 2030 to keep warming below 1.5 degrees. We want to see a State and National Roadmap developed to set out the path to net zero, and for governments to make strategic investments to support community access to renewable energy.

SECCCA is calling for priority investment in our region, for active and zero emissions transport, greener, cooler, more liveable cities and net zero carbon buildings, including updating the Victorian Planning Scheme to include ‘Zero Net Carbon’ and investment in climate adaptation projects.

Over the past three weeks, we have met with State and Federal ministers and their Shadows responsible for climate change, infrastructure, local government, disaster management, as well as State and federal members who represent the SECCCA region and the State and Federal Departments who are responsible for climate change, low carbon transport and disaster management.

I’m pleased to say that in all our discussions, we’ve had excellent feedback on our policy which has been described as clear, concise and actionable.

For more information on SECCCA, please visit www.seccca.org.au or follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn.