The Western Australian government has invested $500,000 to encourage the state’s regional councils to address climate change together.
In a joint statement on Monday, environment and climate action minister Amber-Jade Sanderson and local government minister John Carey announced that the program would be overseen by the state departments in their portfolios in partnership with the WA local government association.
“I am a big advocate for local governments working together and sharing resources to achieve better outcomes, and drive greater consistency for local business and community,” Carey said.
“I commend all the local governments that applied, and encourage them to keep up the good work and to continue to think strategically about responding to climate change impacts in their regions.”
The initiative is part of the state’s climate policy, and invited councils to form alliances to focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and ‘address climate change on a regional scale’.
The South Coast Alliance and the Goldfields Voluntary Regional Organisation of Councils were the two partnerships among 13 local governments to have been selected as the first groups to participate in the program.
“Congratulations to Western Australia’s first regional climate alliances,” Sanderson said.
“I look forward to seeing the difference these alliances make to tackling climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their local communities.”
The SCA accounts for about 83% of WA’s Great Southern population and includes local councils for the City of Albany, and the shires of Denmark, Jerramungup and Plantagenet.
This pilot alliance will work on projects to reduce emissions from fleet vehicles and waste, and improve bushfire preparedness and management.
The GVROC in the Goldfields region will progress projects that reduce the increased risk of bushfires, mitigate the impacts of drought and improve the uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions. The group is already an established partnership between local governments.
“The strong response to this initiative demonstrates how concerned local governments are about the effects of climate change in their regions and how they are trying to find solutions,” Carey said.
“It’s fantastic to see the willingness of local governments to collaborate to achieve successful climate action to benefit their communities.”
A collective 51 regional local governments had applied to be involved in the pilot.