The Shire’s Climate Emergency Plan - Online Progress Portal

Our Climate Emergency Plan is a 10-year plan from 2020 to 2030. Actions and tasks will be initiated at different points across the decade and metrics will evolve to assess their development. Click on the actions for further details.

Key Achievements

The Shire has made significant progress on the tasks and targets in our Climate Emergency Plan and are proud to say we have received the following awards and recognition for our efforts in tackling climate change:

Action 1 - Lead in the Climate Emergency

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Form an executive-led Climate Oversight Group (COG) to implement this Plan and embed climate emergency priorities into all Shire decisions, programs, policies and strategies.
1.1 Form an executive-led Climate Oversight Group (COG), immediately following the adoption of this Climate Emergency Plan, and to oversee the Plan’s implementation and ensure that the Shire’s values of Integrity, Courage, Openness, Respect and Excellence are upheld Completed
1.2 By 2021, establish appropriate community representation to provide recommendations to Council and Executive on community climate change issues, climate emergency priorities and relevant scientific advice. The format may be a deliberative panel, an expert reference group or any model suitable for genuine collaboration Ongoing
1.3 Representatives from Registered Aboriginal Party and other Traditional Owner Groups are involved in decision making impacting the region, especially regarding protecting the natural environment In progress
1.4 From 2021 onwards, establish a panel of strategic industry partners and experts to deliberate solutions and approaches as required In progress
1.5 Embed the Climate Emergency in all future Shire plans, decisions, programs, actions, policies, strategies and contracts Ongoing
1.6 Identify and coordinate a systematic review of relevant existing Shire strategies, plans and policies and related resources to incorporate climate emergency principles Delayed
1.7 Seek funding for climate emergency responses, including partnerships, grants and sustainable loans Ongoing
1.8 Empower the Shire’s Learning and Development Program and change management channels to strengthen the organisation’s resilience and foster climate change leadership Ongoing
1.9 Improve internal messaging and communications regarding the Shire’s role, programs and achievements related to the Climate Emergency Completed
1.10 Report to the public on a regular basis on climate change actions taken by the Shire Ongoing
1.11 Monitor and evaluate progress and amend the Climate Emergency tasks as required to ensure progress towards our targets is achieved Ongoing
1.12 Lead initiatives in cultural awareness and change, particularly regarding connectedness to land and waters, indigenous culture and practices Ongoing
1.13 Prioritise Climate Emergency projects on and/or affecting the peninsula ahead of climate-damaging projects. Seek climate-safe alternatives where available and feasible. Encourage innovation by seeking market-based options and alternate funding models Ongoing
1.14 Oversee advocacy activities with and by Councillors on behalf of the organisation, to ensure consistency in approach Ongoing
1.15 Oversee all actions delivered by this Plan to ensure that they align with Shire values, and remain equitable and fair to all vulnerable and marginal people in the communities. Ongoing

Action 2 - Advocate and Innovate for Climate Emergency Response

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Develop and begin to implement a Climate Emergency Advocacy Plan by 2021, to achieve social and economic change at state and federal levels
2.1 Publish an annual Climate Emergency Advocacy Report, detailing collaborations and actions taken Ongoing
2.2 Review the Climate Emergency Advocacy Plan every two years Not due to start
2.3 Advocate immediately to the state and federal governments to ensure a ‘Green Recovery’ from COVID-19 Completed
2.4 Develop at least three ‘climate action’ case studies annually which include measurable indicators, benefits and lessons learnt of projects and activities undertaken by the community and the Shire Ongoing
2.5 Advocate to the Victorian Government to declare a Climate Emergency and to: In progress
2.6 Advocate to the Federal Government to declare a Climate Emergency and to: a. Protect and care for people displaced due to climate change, both nationally and internationally b. Develop a ‘National Economic Transition Plan’ c. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement a renewable energy-based economy d. Fund and deliver effective and scalable methods to draw down carbon from the atmosphere e. Improve ecosystem and species protections under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 f. Improving sustainability in the transport, water management and agriculture sectors, including setting ambitious targets and identifying project opportunities g. Improve minimum standards for residential homes in the National Construction Code h. Develop a ‘National Zero Waste and Circular Economy’ policy i. Develop a simple scheme for small businesses to measure and reduce emissions to net zero In progress
2.7 Advocate to other councils and local government collective organisations such as ABM, MAV, SECCCA to:
a. Declare a Climate Emergency and develop an appropriate response
b. Promote membership in effective climate action alliances
In progress
2.8 Advocate to business and industry operating within the Peninsula, and beyond to:
a. Declare a Climate Emergency
b. Actively reduce their emissions in line with the Shire’s Climate Emergency targets
c. Reduce their waste, including plastic, food and construction materials
d. Support manufacturing, services, and sourcing of local and sustainable products.
In progress

Action 4 - Create a resilient built environment

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Develop programs for Peninsula homes and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and increase climate resilience.
4.1 Increase the uptake of Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) to enable eligible parties to access low risk finance for environmental building upgrades to improve energy, water and waste efficiencies Ongoing
4.2 Support, promote and advocate for programs to sustainably retrofit homes to build resilience to the impacts of climate change, particularly for socially and economically disadvantaged households Ongoing
4.3 Facilitate competitive offers to encourage the community to uptake for sustainable options such as solar panels, batteries and/or electric vehicle charging infrastructure, e.g. bulk buys and power purchase agreements Ongoing
4.4 Provide advice to support community owned renewable energy programs, such as solar farms and micro-grids Ongoing
4.5 Seek partnerships and/or services to enable residents and businesses to easily access expert advice on energy efficiency, solar and other products Ongoing
4.6 Run sustainability workshops and information sessions to encourage residents to sustainably retrofit or design their homes, install renewables and build resilience to climate change Ongoing
4.7 Undertake planning scheme amendments to protect buildings against the impacts of climate change, including ‘Land Subject to Inundation Overlay’ (LSIO), ‘Special Building Overlay’ (SBO), Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) and Erosion Management Overlay (EMO). In progress
4.8 Evaluate, and implement if appropriate, a scheme to incentivise land rates rebates for higher environmental standards in building performance and renewable energy supply In progress
4.9 Support demand response programs to manage peak energy usage to minimise blackouts and brownouts (e.g. United Energy’s demand response program ‘Summer Savers’) Ongoing
4.10 Provide educational programs and displays to assist residents to sustainably retrofit their homes and prepare for the impacts of climate change Ongoing

Action 5 - Mobilise and strengthen community action

Action 6 - Raise community awareness and foster behaviour change

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Expand and accelerate the Shire’s existing program of community engagement, education and climate change awareness to highlight impacts, solutions and responses.
6.1 By 2021, review and update the ‘Climate Change Community Engagement Strategy 2018’ and expand key aspects of the plan: In progress
6.2 Facilitate exhibitions and public art on climate change and our natural environment to generate community reflections Ongoing
6.3 Develop activities and programs that nurture creativity and culture to showcase our unique environment, advocate for its protection and generate long-term behavioural change Ongoing
6.4 Demonstrate and highlight sustainable agricultural and horticultural best practice land management and ecological restoration techniques at the Briars test site and private properties, and use these test sites as an education tool In progress
6.5 Conduct an education campaign to raise awareness of the benefits and availability of sustainable food choices utilising resources such as Best Bites, Mornington Peninsula Produce and food rescue programs. Ongoing
6.6 Collaborate with Mornington Peninsula Business to develop a long-term plan to implement far-reaching behaviour change programs and campaigns for businesses, community groups and individuals. Delayed
6.7 Expand on the existing educational programs and displays offered at the Shire’s ‘Eco Living Display Centre’ to encourage sustainable living and build community capacity to respond to extreme weather events. Ongoing

Action 7 - Grow community resilience to enhanced natural disasters

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Review and expand emergency management plans to ensure that the emergency and recovery response to any future event is swift, effective and enabling.
7.1 Develop tailored adaptation plans for coastal areas based on Marine and Coastal Policy 2020 considering existing infrastructure, cultural heritage and biodiversity values. Ongoing
7.2 Investigate planned retreat options from dangerous areas, especially those at extreme risk of frequent or intense bushfire Ongoing
7.3 Partner with Department of Transport and key emergency management organisations to evaluate and improve, road networks and communications infrastructure that facilitate emergency management coordination and access Ongoing
7.4 Review the Victorian Heat Health Plan and develop an ‘Extreme Weather Health Plan’ that addresses heat waves and extreme cold In progress
7.5 Educate all sectors of the community on climate change risks and encourage preparedness. In progress
7.6 Raise community awareness of the Municipal Emergency Management Plan Completed
7.7 Investigate and review the potential inappropriate use of bushfire risk reduction planning scheme exemptions (e.g. Clause 52.12) in low-risk urban settings Completed
7.8 Work with partner agencies to review and implement strategies to manage bushfire risk Ongoing
7.9 Collaborate with the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee to plan for local evacuations and relief during an emergency Ongoing
7.10 Investigate the need for expanded relief centres and associated infrastructure and equipment for residents and other climate displaced individuals, including as part of capital works planning In progress
7.11 Incorporate emergency management planning in the Shire’s maintenance works, capital works planning and all permitted public events Ongoing
7.12 Assist disaster recovery management by mitigating social risks and harms arising from displacement of people Ongoing
7.13 Plan for potential increases in number and scale of emergencies indirectly resulting from climate change, especially those that affect multiple systems at once Ongoing

Action 8 - Plan for changing health and wellbeing impacts

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Review existing public health, social and financial service planning and identify significant gaps, risks and liabilities. Following this review, develop a long-term ‘Climate Change Adaption Plan’ (CCAP) to build resilience within these sectors.
8.1 Develop a ‘Climate Change Adaptation Plan’ to address the full range of climate related health impacts, including risks to specific population cohorts, assessing any gaps in service provision and advocating for action In progress
8.2 Incorporate relevant parts of the ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ and the latest climate knowledge in the next ‘Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan’ Completed
8.3 Work with businesses to develop plans to cope with power shortages and blackouts, particularly where refrigeration, heating and cooling have direct impacts on public health In progress
8.4 Conduct an education program on climate change health impacts and coping strategies for health practitioners, in collaboration with key stakeholders (e.g. Peninsula Health, Vic Health and DELWP) In progress
8.5 Conduct township-specific community engagement to raise awareness of locational impacts, and assist preparedness In progress
8.6 Evaluate key biosecurity and disease risks, such as the Peninsula’s vulnerability to new vector-borne diseases. In progress
8.7 Identify private industries and services at risk from climate-related social and economic pressures, and collaborate to develop appropriate responses Delayed
8.8 Collaborate with public and private health professionals to advocate for a response to the mental health impacts from climate change In progress
8.9 By 2021, develop a robust and measurable ‘Social Impact Assessment’ report card to set a baseline for the Mornington Peninsula to measure social resilience to climate change. Completed

Action 9 - Transition to sustainable transport

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Develop an Integrated Transport Plan (ITS) to achieve best practice sustainable transport outcomes with the goal to reduce and then eliminate transport emissions.
9.1 Design infrastructure that make active transport options (e.g. walking, cycling) accessible and preferred for movement within a town, particularly to and from schools and economic hubs, through implementation of the ‘Pedestrian Access Strategy’ and ‘RideSafe Strategy’. Ongoing
9.2 Design safer, quieter and cooler streets that appeal to pedestrians and other active transport users through implementation of the ‘Pedestrian Access Strategy’ and ‘RideSafe Strategy’. In progress
9.3 Collaborate with neighbouring councils across the South East region to advocate for reliable, attractive, convenient and sustainable public transport options between key activity hubs and Melbourne’s CBD In progress
9.4 Collaborate with the Victorian Government to improve connectivity and integration between local and state transport networks, e.g. sustainable and efficient on-demand public transport In progress
9.5 Determine the most effective ways for the Shire to support and enable the transition from combustion engine to zero emission vehicles on the Mornington Peninsula In progress
9.6 Maximise the efficiency of existing transport infrastructure with the use of smart technology such as car park, traffic and pedestrian flow sensors management technology In progress
9.7 Increase engagement to educate the community on the benefits of sustainable and active transport Delayed
9.8 Investigate and plan for semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles and transport services to enable ‘Movement as a Service’ (MaaS) In progress
9.9 Investigate the role for the Shire and the private sector to reduce work-related travel by developing telecommuting infrastructure and shared office spaces across the Peninsula and encouraging people to work from home Ongoing
9.10 Facilitate the installation of storage facilities for active transport at all major activity centres, precincts and sports and recreational facilities In progress
9.11 Facilitate the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure at all major activity centres In progress

Action 11 - Generate a thriving Peninsula-wide natural environment

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Restore and value our natural environment and biodiversity by enhancing land management strategies to support ecosystem resilience and healthy natural landscapes.
11.1 Community Fully fund and accelerate the Shire’s Biodiversity Conservation Plan (BCP) in its entirety, especially: In progress
11.2 By 2022, complete a Green Infrastructure Mapping project, to generate critical data to guide future projects, e.g. urban street tree program, bushfire fuel reduction, ecosystem protection In progress
11.3 Develop and implement a ‘Carbon Bio-sequestration Implementation Plan’, for local terrestrial revegetation, soil carbon and blue/teal carbon programs In progress
11.4 Identify areas vulnerable to erosion, inundation, and storm surge and investigate monitoring and mitigation options:
a. Identify vulnerable, priority sites at risk of environmental degradation. Incorporate current research and data e.g. Port Phillip Bay Coastal Hazard Assessment
b. Work with relevant partners and stakeholders to protect coastal and marine ecosystems
In progress
11.5 Investigate the viability of natural asset valuation tools to influence financial and strategic decision making In progress
11.6 Benchmark environmental management plans against best practise to identify the most sustainable pest and weed control methods to reduce the need for chemical control In progress
11.7 Use existing and new resources at the Briars to research and develop knowledge on ecological restoration, recycled water for conservation, causes of local dieback, species conservation and reintroduction practices In progress

Action 12 - Connect communities and nature in precinct planning

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Connect townships and urban environments with essential community services and natural local ecology, so that we can thrive alongside our environment.
12.1 Set canopy cover targets for specific urban areas vulnerable to the urban heat island effect or those that offer opportunities to promote walking and cycling. These localised targets will align with the Peninsula-wide canopy cover target In progress
12.2 Implement localised stormwater diversion programs that operate alongside the street tree program and the greening of public spaces In progress
12.3 Strengthen and improve township plans and neighbourhood character studies by prioritising climate emergency objectives; including mitigation, adaptation, reversal and sustainable behaviour change; without compromising protection of human life Ongoing
12.4 By 2022, prepare and adopt a Placemaking Framework that incorporates the environment and climate emergency principles in the quadruple bottom line benefits Delayed
12.5 Incorporate the ‘Principal Pedestrian Network’ and other active transportation routes within all masterplans, urban and township plans, and other high level strategic decisions In progress
12.6 By 2022, investigate sustainable business opportunities within key commercial and industrial areas which would provide residents and visitors with access to sustainable goods and services In progress
12.7 Incorporate ‘Integrated Water Management’ principles into strategic decision making and town planning, especially relating to alternative water use and waterway, wetland and coastal health Ongoing
12.8 Consider, and incorporate where possible, blue (marine and coastal) and teal (wetlands) carbon management opportunities on private or public land in urban planning design Delayed

Action 13 - Grow nature-based infrastructure

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Prioritise the use of nature-based solutions and infrastructure to adapt to climate change.
13.1 Continue to research and implement innovative approaches to green-blue infrastructure for all Shire capital projects, especially relating to coastal defence systems, e.g. mangrove establishment, artificial reefs, biodiversity enhancing seawalls In progress
13.2 Develop a sustainable infrastructure investment and valuation framework for green-blue infrastructure which considers the low maintenance costs, comparative amenity values, benefits for fisheries, sequestration potential, indefinite future functionality, and ecosystem benefits In progress
13.3 Work with Parks Victoria, Marine Safety Victoria, Better Boating Victoria, DELWP and the community to implement new boating and coastal recreation policies to protect coastal and marine habitat from the detrimental impacts of water transport, vessel mooring and sports and recreational activities Ongoing
13.4 Use low-water demand turf for sporting fields, and prioritise indigenous species for other green open spaces Ongoing
13.5 Collaborate with and support research partners to work locally in nature-based infrastructure, and to integrate their findings into the Shire’s planning and strategic decision making. In progress
13.6 By 2023, publish easy-to-read guides for residents and businesses on the Peninsula to incorporate biolinks (habitat corridors), green walls and other green-blue infrastructure into existing and new developments In progress

Action 14 - Optimise use and management of our water

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Enhance the liveability, resilience and prosperity of our community and environment through integrated water planning and management.
14.1 Increase use of alternative water sources (e.g. recycled water and stormwater) to support: In progress
14.2 Empower the community to improve water cycle management through highlighting initiatives such as raingardens, water efficient products, water saving practices and leak detection monitoring Ongoing
14.3 Increase number of sewer connections in high risk catchments to eliminate septic system impacts on the environment In progress
14.4 Improve stormwater drainage infrastructure to reduce flooding impacts, protect life, properties and assets from flooding and increase stormwater use as an urban resource In progress
14.5 Increase stormwater harvesting initiatives to protect the environment, enable capture and reuse of this resource, and reduce nuisance flooding In progress
14.6 Promote best practice stormwater management through the planning scheme, by applying existing clauses as well as new planning scheme amendments such as the ‘ESD Planning Policy’ In progress
14.7 Integrate Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) principles alongside and as part of the ESD integration into Shire capital works In progress
14.8 Build new and ensure ongoing effectiveness of existing large scale WSUD assets such as wetlands to protect the health of our waterways from the impacts of increasing urban development In progress
14.9 Use the Briars as a demonstration and research site to establish the viability of recycled water for ecological regeneration and agriculture, as a fit for purpose alternative water source to mains or rainwater In progress

Action 15 - Enhance sustainable agriculture and food systems

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Support sustainable businesses and landholders, and guide consumer choices to create a sustainable and regenerative food system informed by accurate and local climate data.
15.1 Deliver the actions set out in the Green Wedge Management Plan that align with environmentally beneficial outcomes for the local food economy Ongoing
15.2 By 2021, review the Agricultural Rate and Conservation Land Rate to incentivise transitions to sustainable agriculture. Agricultural Rate priorities could include:
a. Agroecological and regenerative farming practices
b. Incorporating indigenous agricultural practices and crops
c. Sequestering soil carbon
d. Improving biodiversity outcomes on farms
In progress
15.3 Through consultation with local agriculture and food manufacturing sector, develop and deliver a ‘Food Economy and Agroecology Strategy’: Completed
15.4 Use the Briars as a demonstration site for regenerative agriculture and opportunity for agricultural research and development, particularly to:
a. Gather and share locally relevant weather data
b. Adapt to a changing climate by researching and trialling new crops
c. Grow indigenous crops as commercially viable competitors
d. Determine opportunities to increase biodiversity
15.5 Promote and improve access to sustainably produced local food for farmers, residents, visitors, and vulnerable communities, through extending the Mornington Peninsula Produce Program, implementing the Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan as it relates to sustainable food options, and strengthening connections between producers and retailers In progress
15.6 Work towards a circular economy by investigating opportunities to divert local organic waste streams from landfill, to contribute to the creation of valuable by-products In progress
15.7 Investigate options such as carbon farming to promote the diversification and expansion of revenue streams for farmers on the Peninsula Ongoing
15.8 Implement community and landowner engagement and capacity-building programs to encourage sustainable agriculture, sustainable land management, and to maximise restoration opportunities, such as climate data access, land and biodiversity stewardship, partnerships with farming networks and Traditional Owners Ongoing

Action 16 - Enhance environmentally sustainable design

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Introduce Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) and climate risk impact considerations into the Mornington Peninsula Shire Planning Scheme and capital works programs. This will apply to both Shire-owned and community buildings and assets.
16.1 By 2021, develop and implement an ESD Policy for Shire buildings and civil works, encompassing all new builds, extensions, refurbishments, fit outs and civil works, using tools such as SECCCA’s ‘Brief Ezy’ In progress
16.2 Advocate to the Minister for Planning, for expedited authorisation of proposed amendment C232morn to introduce a local ESD policy to the Planning Scheme and ensure the Shire is appropriately resourced to effectively implement the new Planning Scheme policy Completed
16.3 Incorporate climate projections into the ‘Asset Management Framework’ to improve future decision making In progress
16.4 Provide residents, developers and builders with the resources to understand and adapt practices and to incorporate sustainability principles and climate change impacts In progress
16.5 Incentivise early adoption of ESD in private development In progress
16.6 Continue to partner with CASBE to support the continual improvement of best practice regarding ESD and WSUD policy and implementation, e.g. through the ‘Elevating Targets’ project In progress
16.7 Develop a 2030 ESD roadmap, detailing the Shire’s future direction of both the internal policy and any potential subsequent Planning Scheme amendments, focussing on location-specific climate change risk mitigation, green-blue infrastructure integration, township-scale planning and other innovative technologies and design philosophies. Delayed

Action 18 - Embed sustainability and circular economy into the Shire’s procurement

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Improve product and services procurement to reflect and set best practice sustainability.
18.1 Set sustainability criteria in all procurement evaluation e.g. emissions generated In progress
18.2 Update standard contracts to include provision of all contractor and product emissions data, including fuel use In progress
18.3 Review existing contracts to encourage innovation and greening of the supply chain In progress
18.4 Incorporate sustainability requirements into future maintenance contracts, such as zero-emissions vehicles and plant, circular economy practices, net zero emissions and soil improvement methodologies In progress
18.5 Develop a sustainable products and materials register to assist procurement decisions, including reactive and proactive maintenance In progress
18.6 Set ambitious targets for recycled content use for Shire operations, including stationery and consumables as well as construction and other civil works In progress
18.7 Provide ongoing education and training for staff and contractors to understand short and long-term impacts of procurement decisions In progress
18.8 Embed Climate Emergency principles into the draft ‘Healthy Food and Drink Policy’ and all future corporate catering contracts, prioritising sustainably grown, local, plant-based produce, and eliminate food and packaging waste for Shire-run and permitted events In progress
18.9 Embed sustainability within all Shire-run and permitted events on the Peninsula to implement, demonstrate and communicate cultural and behavioral change, by: In progress

Action 21 - Understand climate risks on assets and services

Climate Action Status
Key Focus Incorporate climate change risks and controls into projects, longterm plans and strategies for all Shire services and assets, as well as the Shire’s natural environment.
21.1 Annually review the ‘Climate Change Risk Register’, incorporating current Victorian Climate Projections In progress
21.2 Conduct regular vulnerability assessments and financial risk modelling of Shire services and assets, both built and natural, based on the latest climate change projections. Consider the escalating impacts of: Ongoing
21.3 Elevate the use of best available climate science projections into planning and delivery to:
a. Minimise emergency response costs through the identification and adoption of climate adaptation practices
b. Ensure all new projects and rebuilds include a climate risk evaluation and impact statement, along with mitigation measures
21.4 Develop standards and guidelines for building and maintaining Shire built and natural assets, and embed these into Shire programs and practices In progress
21.5 Investigate avenues to efficiently integrate climate impact reporting into existing Shire reporting mechanisms In progress
21.6 Increase human resources and in-house expertise for climate change impact and risk management, particularly regarding coastal risks Ongoing
21.7 Assess liability risks when considering planning permits in high-risk areas, particularly those areas at risk from coastal erosion, inundation and storm surges. Investigate changes to insurance and loan application processes as they pertain to increasing climate risk Ongoing
21.8 Produce a report on the impacts of not acting to address climate change and the risks of continuing business-as-usual. Delayed
21.9 Implement ‘Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) Practice Statement 2’ requirements into accounts reporting to ensure climate related risks are considered in the context of financial statements. Not due to start