What are we doing to tackle climate change?

Shire Climate Change Community Engagement Strategy

In November 2018, the Council adopted a Climate Change Community Engagement Strategy.  The Strategy outlines the Councils vision to assist the community to become resilient to the impacts of climate change, aware of the associated risks and actively involved and supported to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the future.  The Strategy sets out an Action Plan over the next three years to achieve this.

The Strategy was developed with considerable input from the community.  Between February and April 2017, the community provided feedback on the best ways the Shire can work with residents and businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the future.  Over 550 participated in the consultation including 469 survey respondents, 65 participants in pop-up activities and 29 workshop participants.  This community feedback was critical to the design of the Strategy.

Download: Climate Change Community Engagement Strategy

Compact of Mayors

The Shire itself is already on track towards zero net carbon emissions across all its operations by 2021. Our forward thinking approach to climate change action is highlighted by its compliance with the Compact of Mayors, the world’s largest coalition of city leaders addressing climate change by pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, tracking their progress and preparing for the impacts of climate change.

Learn more about the Compact of Mayors here. 

 Learnings from the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference

Council is pleased to present their Learnings from Paris report to the community, and is working to implement some of the key ideas from the 21st Conference of Parties event. Listen to audio recorded at the presentation on 21 December 2015 below.

Climate Change Presentation to the Community, 21 December 2015

For specific actions by the Shire to tackle climate change see below.

Climate change mitigation

Actions to reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions

Carbon Neutrality

Council adopted its Carbon Neutral Policy in February 2016.  It articulates the overall approach to achieving carbon neutrality for Shire operations, including time frames that will be implemented to apply for formal accreditation from the federal government under the National Carbon Offset Standard.

Four key projects to achieve carbon neutrality have been identified:

  1. Street Lighting Bulk LED Upgrade
  2. Solar panel roll-out on Council buildings
  3. Energy efficient Council buildings
  4. Carbon offsetting

View our Carbon Neutral Policy

Waste management

The Shire strives to reduce the impact waste has on climate change.  Our community kerbside garbage and recycling collection services are carbon neutral, meaning all emissions associated with the services are offset by the Shire’s contractors.

Approximately 50% of waste (37% recycling and 13% green waste) from kerbside collection services is diverted from landfill.  The recycling component alone avoids 15,988 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

A methane gas capture facility, owned and operated by LMS Energy at the Shire’s Rye landfill, has been active since 2002.  The facility captures around 3,450,000 m3 of landfill gas, converting it into electricity to power 820 homes per year.  On average, this results in just under 30,000 tonnes less CO2 emissions produced annually.  The facility also saves around 12.65 mega litres of water annually, the amount that would normally be used by a coal-fired power station when generating the same amount of electricity.

Sustainable transport

The Shire’s Sustainable Transport Strategy 2015-2020 commits to various actions assisting the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Actions include:

  • Support sustainable transport infrastructure for community use (e.g. electric vehicle recharging stations)
  • Assist in the development of a staff ‘Bicycle Share or Car Pooling Program’
  • Continue to participate in community expos, events to educate and promote sustainable transport options
  • Continue to work with government departments and advocate for improved public transport – Promote existing public transport to increase patronage

The full Sustainable Transport Strategy 2015-2020 strategy can be viewed here.

Climate change resilience

Actions to manage risks and deal with the impacts of climate change

Community engagement and education

Climate Ready:

The Climate Ready website helps residents prepare for the impacts of climate change whether it be for drought, heatwave, extreme storms, flash flooding, or bushfire. Information includes:

  • Details about climate change
  • Local climate change risks
  • Step by step instructions to help individuals,  families and businesses prepare for the long term impacts of climate change
  • A Climate Ready map to help develop a plan tailored to an individual’s township and situation

The Climate Ready website was developed for the Mornington Peninsula Shire, Kingston City Council and Bayside City Council by Federation University and was funded by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Best Bites:

Mornington Peninsula Shire's food awards program – Best Bites, encourages and assesses local food businesses on measures they are taking to use environmentally sustainable business practices, provide safe and healthy food and provide safe and accessible food premises. Learn more about the Best Bites program.

Eco Living Display Centre:

The Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Eco Living Display Centre offers opportunities to learn how to reduce your water, energy and waste to decrease your bills, make your home more comfortable and reduce your carbon footprint.

A number of programs are hosted at the house including:

  • One on one ‘Creating Energy Efficient Homes’ consultations
  • School excursions
  • Tours
  • Sustainability workshops

Learn more about the Eco Living Display Centre.

Water efficiency

Climate change is likely to cause significant decreases in average rainfall resulting in lower catchment water flows and more frequent and severe droughts.  The Shire has developed a Smart Water Plan which seeks to adapt to the potential climatic changes.

Water saving initiatives introduced by the Shire include:

  • Using recycled water and storm-water for irrigating major sports grounds and for road maintenance
  • Planting drought tolerant grasses on sporting fields
  • Incorporating water efficient design features such as rain water tanks and appliances into Shire buildings
  • Leakage detection program to assist in quickly identifying underground water leakages at shire facilities and buildings

The Shire and its community is preparing for the risk of drought through long term investment in recycled water infrastructure.  The Boneo Recycled Water Scheme saw an upgrade to the local treatment plant to Class A water which is provided to a range of users such as local primary producers, golf courses and community assets. 

Emergency management planning

Natural disasters are becoming more prevalent as the impacts of climate change are becoming more evident.  We work closely with the emergency management sector and communities to achieve a vision of safer and more resilient communities.  The more prepared a community is, the better equipped it will be to minimise the impact and consequences of an emergency today and into the future.  Visit the Shire Emergency Management Plan page for details.

Fire management

Research suggests that climate change will have a real impact on both the incidence and severity of bushfires.  The Shire has a number of mitigation programs designed to combat the effect bushfires have on the community.  Visit the Fire and Emergency page for more information.

Drainage

Climate change projections for the Mornington Peninsula Shire indicate there will be significant reductions in average rainfall.  However, when it does rain, it is expected that the rain will be far more intense resulting in flash flooding.  Already we have experienced an increase in flash flooding.  Old drainage infrastructure, designed prior to these changes, is struggling to cope with the short intense rainfall in some areas.  To combat this, the Shire has committed $30 million over 10 years for the Local Integrated Drainage Strategy to manage the impact of more frequent and intense storm events. 

Coastal management planning

Coastal management plans developed by the Shire give balanced consideration to the development of community infrastructure and climate change risks and impacts.  The plans seek to introduce coastal infrastructure and facilities to cater for recreational needs while reducing the risks associated with sea level rises, storm surges and rising sea temperatures.