Borough’s climate plan takes out top honour in community award

The Borough of Queenscliffe’s Climate Emergency Response Plan (CERP) has been officially recognised at tonight’s Cities Power Partnership Climate Awards by taking out the Community Choice Award.

Competing against seven other jurisdictions from across the country – including the ACT Government, Brisbane City Council and City of Adelaide – the Borough’s efforts gained top marks in the publicly-voted prize, organised by the Climate Council.

“It’s fitting that a project as community driven as our Climate Emergency Response Plan has received the Community Choice Award,” said Queenscliffe Mayor Ross Ebbels. “Despite the Borough’s small size, we’re determined to play a big part in addressing the impact of climate change.”

The CERP, adopted at Council’s Ordinary Meeting in May 2021, commits Council to support the community in achieving net-zero emissions by 2031, as well as interim steps including matching local electricity consumption with a 100% renewable supply by 2025.

In the nomination listing for the award, the Climate Council praised Victoria’s smallest council for “punching above its weight in climate action”, and highlighted the Borough’s commitment to deliberate engagement with the Queenscliffe Climate Action Group (QCAG) in developing the Plan.

QCAG Founder and President Kitty Walker, whose team of volunteers were instrumental in generating community support for Council to first declare a climate emergency and then commit to developing a response plan, said the title is a fitting reward for the community after a challenging 18 months.

“It’s incredible to receive this type of recognition from the Climate Council for the thousands of people who love Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale and are on this journey with us. We know there is an enormous amount of work ahead of us, but our community is in for the long haul and we look forward to ticking off more achievements in the coming months and years.”

Those achievements will be sourced from the 49 individual actions to be completed or facilitated in the Plan, which vary from increasing the Borough’s solar penetration, to community battery energy storage solutions, to the elimination of single-use plastics and environmental regeneration projects.

Queenscliffe CEO Martin Gill praised the local community for their ongoing cooperation with Council during the development process of the CERP and beyond.

“We’ve worked hand-in-hand with many members of the community throughout the entire process of developing the CERP, and this really is the community’s award to accept and promote. Our residents and ratepayers know what it takes to be a climate response leader, and we’re excited to continue to collaborate with them as we implement the Plan.”

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