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Mayor's Message - 5 April

Mayor's Message - 5 April

Published:
Tuesday 5 April 2022
Cr Michael Whelan

It was inspiring to see school students take to the street in Wonthaggi recently, as part of the strike for climate change movement. The students joined campaigners from the ‘Fridays for the Future’ group to protest for more action on climate change. They want to see net zero emissions by 2030, which is something Council is fully supporting through our strong Climate Change Action Plan. We are already using 100% renewable energy through the Victorian Energy Collaboration, a program that will see greenhouse emissions reduced by 260,000 tonnes every year, and we have started to convert our vehicle fleet to electric. Action on Climate Change is needed with the evidence of east coast storms and flooding staring us in the face.

There are ‘green shoots’ in the economy, with programs around Green Hydrogen - and a drive from the community itself, supporting the community battery on Phillip Island and the Community Power Hub, managed by Gippsland Climate Change Network, which helped us to install solar panels on the Coronet Bay Community Hall. This project was officially celebrated last Tuesday, and was followed by a community information session. We have recently received funding to install four public Electric Vehicle Chargers and to support two privately operated chargers by May 2023. We have also recently been successful in a grant for the Corinella District Community Centre to install a 13.32 kW Solar Power System, as well as13.5kWh of battery storage. This project has been funded under the Sustainability Victoria ‘Community Climate Change and Energy Action Program’ and by Council. This project should be ready to launch by the end of May.

We will continue to meet with all of our Federal election candidates in the lead up to the election, to talk all things advocacy. So far, we have met with Monash Independent candidate Deb Leonard, Labor candidate Jessica O’Donnell and Member for Monash Russell Broadbent MP to chat about our Advocacy Priorities, with climate change mitigation and adaptation as a key area of discussion.

In other news, it was fantastic to see the Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve’s annual Surfing Teams Challenge return to the water on the weekend, after being on hold since 2020. The contest is a favourite on the annual surfing calendar due to its unique format which showcases different surfing styles and ages and allows everyone to take part in the exciting competition.