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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Draft Climate Resilience Strategy

Have Your Say

Background

This draft Climate Resilience Strategy has a whole-of-Shire scope. It recognises the need for a coordinated climate change response across the Shire, and identifies actions we can all take to mitigate the effects of global warming and adapt to unavoidable changes in our climate. 

The draft Strategy applies a resilience methodology to respond to the key challenges that climate change presents to the Bega Valley Shire. A resilience approach allows us, as a community, to focus on building strong foundations for our Shire, that in turn allow us to implement measures to address these climate change driven challenges.

Existing vulnerabilities within our natural systems, land use, settlements, infrastructure, economy and community are identified, and assessed against key climate change impacts using a risk methodology, with resultant high risks prioritised into seven Key Response Areas:

  • Protecting our natural systems
  • Prepared for natural hazards
  • Liveable and connected places
  • Safe, active and inclusive communities
  • Diverse and thriving economy
  • Energy security
  • Food security

Each Key Response Area is underpinned by performance measures and targets, which will allow us to measure the ongoing success of the Strategy.

Once finalised, the Climate Resilience Strategy will supersede the Bega Valley Shire Council Climate Change Strategy (2014 -2017), which focused only on actions within Council’s sphere of influence.

Have Your Say

Council seeks your feedback on the draft Climate Resilience Strategy.   You can provide your input either by:

Please submit your feedback by Monday 16 December 2019

 

Who's listening

Project timeline

 

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    Comments (9)



  • Thank you for letting us comment on this very important issue.
    I have been following a young independent MP from Mildura on face book her name is Ali Cupper and she is doing great things for her community.
    One of those things is trying to get hemp legal to be able to grow it in there district.
    To me this is a no brainer as it has so many uses, and I would love to see it grown as an industry in our shire - wow maybe one day we could turn the chip mill at Eden into and Industrial Hemp Manufacturing place to replace Native Logging.

    I also think the Merimbula bay sewage out fall is a big waste of ratepayers money.
    This from a council who have just declared a climate emergency to me is going backwards especially now when our country is getting dryer every year, surely it could be better used on land, please reconsider this.
    Merimbula is one of the biggest tourist destinations in our shire why spoil it!

    We can all plant trees, so why not next national tree planting day have a big event and get everyone involved in planting a trees.
    .

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  • I love the idea of converting the chip mill to a hemp manufacturing facility! This addresses so many issues of climate change: diversifying farmer income, low water crops, more jobs, ending native forest logging...

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  • Congratulations on an excellent document. I do, however, wish to express my concern as to your risk assessment methodology as I consider showing an averaged score (pp 97-99) understates the risk ratings. For example, 'decline in tree canopy cover' has an averaged score of 3.4 because the scores for sea level rise and more intense storms are low, whereas the important factors of rainfall variability, increase in average temperatures and increased hot days are 5, 5 and 4, respectively. Equally, the Length of Estuarine Foreshaw' average is 2.9 while the main factor 'sea level rise' has a risk of 5. I suggest that either you weight each of the six impacts for each key vulnerability or use the more common risk assessment approach of taking the highest risk as the overall risk.

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  • Just had a suggestion which helps with clean energy, but can potentially help with two other things, so essentially THREE birds with one stone.
    Okay, so a lot of the new power poles going up are metal. Stong building material. And in rural areas, all the lines are on either side of said pole. So, why don't we use that middle bit?
    To build a solar farm, governments and councils need to find a suitable block of land, make sure to keep people nearby happy and keep it clear of trees. If SMALLER panels were instead to go on top of each new metal power pole, you'd probably be generating more power by the time you found a suitable piece of land and worked something out with the neighbours. The smaller panels wouldn't be much of an eyesore, so complaints are less likely too, and we already keep the areas where the power lines run clear.
    As for the other two things this might improve? Well, the first is creating jobs. Lots of people in our area and young people throughout Australia are un or underemployed. On a solar farm, one person walks a short distance up and down the lines in a day cleaning the solar panels. Seeing these would be over a larger area, employing more people for less (yes, I know all up it probably costs more, but UNDEREMPLOYMENT is a serious problem, and can only be solved by creating more jobs which would mean a higher cost regardless! And it must be better than handing out millions in Centrelink benefits!) meaning more jobs to go around.
    Most powerlines also have walking or bike tracks between them. Some have dirt roads, but others you must walk or ride. We're getting concerned about peoples health and fitness, especially with so many office jobs where they're just sitting around all day. A cloth and cleaning spray doesn't weigh much, and the distance between individual poles isn't huge, so being asked to walk or ride from one to the next is perfectly reasonable (and if they wanted to drive, they'd be using up a large amount of the money they'd earn in fuel from needing to have their car in 4-wheel drive where there are dirt roads, so it would make more sense to them to walk or ride a bike too.)
    IN SUMMARY: More clean energy without building new infrastructure, more jobs, and healthier/fitter people in the community!
    What about this doesn't sound good?

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  • Response to the climate resilience strategy
    My response is to support any Strategy that harnesses methods of reducing fuel for bushfires, encourages the storage and recycling of water as a limited resource and whilst acknowledging climate change as an ongoing event, regardless of what we do, encourages our residents to adopt methodology that reduces human input that accelerates climate change.
    I believe the unauthored document Council has produced attempts to work towards this end, however over a 119 page document, whilst acknowledging our original settlers and presenting some science, it fails to produce a dynamic strategy to deal with the issues our community now face regardless of human contributions.

    These issues are the means to store and grow our water assets and introduce preventative ways in which we can minimise fire events as they occur. I attended several ‘after event‘ discussions in the wake of the Victorian fires where discussion concentrated on how to manage property loss and human tragedy.

    No proposals were forthcoming as to how to minimise an event.

    To me the reduction in fuel adjacent to the 6% occupied, residential areas of our Shire is an obvious approach to activate. Introduce a “retrofit APZ“ to all towns and villages to assist in controlling fire as well as “aboriginal style“ regular slow burns seems obvious . This strategy offers no specific proactive measures.

    In relation to human contribution to intensifying the “global warming“ issue, I accept with world population density growing, that continuous industrial manufacturing, farming and harvesting of natural assets of any kind exacerbates this issue. However, it is worldwide, and if you take the strategy’s statistics and drill down to the impact of our Shire, it in reality is 0.0004% per capita of overall pollution on a population basis.
    Whilst I support encouraging all residents to engage in reducing our impact, I do not endorse penalising the economy of our Shire such that we reduce what is already a low socio-economic area to greater hardship when others take little or no action.
    Hence it is a worldwide issue and we need to support realistic change whether in the nature of production or limiting population growth on a worldwide basis and not burden our own area unnecessarily, given our natural asset contribution by National Parks and State Forests as stated in the strategy.

    As I read the 119-page strategy, I see an aspirational document with little result except where Council can attend to its own pollution and could possibly inhibit development without assessing the economic impact that will result.

    Hence I support the addition to the Council resolution on 30/10/19 that staff in reporting back on public comment on the strategy “ include details of any legal or financial impediment to economic or agricultural development within the Shire and any additional costs from implementation to the ratepayers of the Shire.”

    Michael Britten

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  • Firstly, thank you for producing this document and for releasing it for comment, it is greatly appreciated.

    There is one area that I believe that is both a significant potential concern and an equally large opportunity for the Bega Valley Shire Council, and that is recycling. With China and other international partners no longer willing to take Australian recycling, this load will have to be processed domestically.

    Hume City Council have recently announced a pilot road made from recycled bottles, toner, and plastic bags instead of bitumen, all while having superior fatigue life and resistance to normal road surfaces (https://www.hume.vic.gov.au/About_Us_Contact_Details/Your_Council/Media_Publications_amp_Forms/Media_Releases/Media_Releases_2018/Road_built_with_plastic_bags_and_glass_in_Australian-first).

    An initiative such as this would help pave the shire’s 745kms of sealed roads as well as generate jobs and reduce the amount of waste heading to landfill. I believe that a project such as this would fit nicely under the category: Diverse & Thriving Economy.

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  • And...whose paying for all this???

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  • Renewables and storage
    An opportunity to increase our employment while concurrently decreasing the shire's carbon footprint.
    Our shire is well-situated to provide renewable energy. As the strategy points out there is already 25% of homes with rooftop solar.
    Other generation opportunities such as large scale solar, biomass energy, micro and large scale wind, micro-hydro are not mentioned but are already economically viable. Tidal and wave are not yet economic but may become local opportunities in the future
    Pumped hydro coupled with these local renewable energy sources has now reached the point where it competes with coal-fired electricity
    Nearly 14,000 pumped hydro possibilities with many designated as ‘exceptional’ and 9.1TW total capacity have been identified in the SE region of NSW, which includes the Monaro, the coastal escarpment and coastal lowlands.
    I refer to an annotated map at https://energy.nsw.gov.au/renewables/clean-energy-initiatives/hydro-energy-and-storage prepared by NSW government and published a year ago.

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  • Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the draft climate resilience strategy. It canvasses a good range of issues and we found it a very helpful framework for focusing on, and thinking through, how to respond to the challenges presented by the climate emergency we are facing. It is very encouraging that BVSC is giving priority attention to this matter when at an individual level we feel rather powerless and helpless to engage in any action that will make a significant contribution to addressing the environmental crisis.

    At a personal level we seek to minimise our ecofootprint, and accept that this will have a minuscule impact on overall pollution levels worldwide, but are very energised by the consequence of inaction fostering “The Tragedy of the Commons”. Political leadership, as well as appropriate personal lifestyle and consumption choices, is needed to bring about real change.

    At a macro level we applaud the recent comments by the New Zealand climate change minister, James Shaw, that a climate change “lens” will be applied to all major decisions made by the NZ Government, that climate change considerations will become a standard part of the NZ Cabinet’s decision-making process. We suggest that the same be adopted for BVSC’s decision-making process.

    Further, we suggest that BVSC aim for zero emissions for all of its operations by 2030, not just aim for electricity generation to be 100% renewable by 2030. We are facing a climate emergency where significant action is needed now.

    Another area that we suggest should feature more prominently in the strategy is that of reducing reliance on private transport to access BVSC services. In Eden, for instance, pre-school services have reduced and some parents now travel to Pambula for such services. Similarly, the centralisation of health services in Bega has resulted in a degradation of health services provided to Eden residents and created a new need for them to travel to Bega. We accept that there are economic reasons for such centralisation of services, but consider that these decisions should have been made within a broader climate change context, as suggested above.

    It may well be that in the future private transport will be more expensive and less affordable for BVSC residents, and so the Council needs to build this in to its climate change resilience strategy through the provision of improved public transport services, more bike paths within and between towns, and better footpaths, (including on bridges).

    Finally, BVSC has a role in raising residents’ awareness of the climate change emergency and in strengthening the resilience of the Shire to its impact. In addition, the draft strategy primarily focuses on the resilience of residents, with less attention given to the resilience of the environment in which they live.

    To address this, we suggest that legal status be given to the natural systems identified in the draft strategy, namely coast, marine, catchments and forests. This can be achieved in a number of ways. For example, the Whanganui River has been given legal status by the Parliament of New Zealand, and at the end of last month a Bill was introduced into the Western Australian Parliament to protect the rights of nature and future generations. Protecting the rights of nature and future generations will improve our climate change resilience.

    We consider, however, that of particular relevance to the Climate Resilience Strategy is the legal governance of the Yarra River. In December 2019, the Yarra River Protection (Willi-gin Birrarung murron) Act came into force. The Act through the intervention of the Wurundjeri Tribe Land Council granted 'cultural personality' to the river. The Yarra River Association speaks for the Yarra River through the Yarra Riverkeeper (http://yarrariver.org.au). Later this month a strategic plan for the Yarra River will be released for public comment.

    While such action might require new State legislation, we suggest that as a minimum BVSC could set in place arrangements to appoint spokespersons for key environmental features that need to be protected as a part of a robust climate change resilience strategy. Such action would also generate welcome public dialogue about the intrinsic value of the environment in which we live.

    In summary, we commend the BVSC for this initiative and look forward to the finalisation of the strategy.

    Janice Nelson
    Chris Dalton

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