The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has just released Melbourne’s Climate Journey Discussion Paper as part of developing a Regional Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Greater Melbourne.
This strategy will identify and prioritise actions across greater Melbourne for the next five years.
Why is an adaptation strategy important?
Over the past few years we have seen dust storms, bushfires, hail events and flash flooding. These events will continue in number and severity and will affect all aspects of our economy, our society and our environment.
It is predicted that across greater Melbourne temperatures will continue to increase; there will be more frequent and longer heat waves, increased severity and duration of bushfires, worsening air pollution, less frosts and a decline in rainfall. Extreme weather impacts the most vulnerable members of our community the worst.
Making Merri-bek more resilient
The DEWLP Discussion Paper explains how mitigation strategies can work on a local level to make a difference including:
- Planting street trees and other greenery in urban areas can provide shade and cooling, reduce energy use in homes and absorb carbon.
- Careful design of drainage and water storage options can provide water for irrigation while also assisting in managing stormwater during heavy rainfall events.
- Installing solar panels and increasing the energy efficiency of housing can reduce energy demand on hot days and reduce the risk of blackouts.
Merri-bek City Council is already working to increase vegetation, incorporate water sensitive urban design into new projects and help residents switch to clean energy sources.
Community input informing the future
The Victorian Government has provided $9.3 million in funding for the development of six Regional Climate Change Adaptation Strategies across Victoria in partnership with key stakeholders including local governments, community groups, agencies and authorities.
Together with community input, they will provide long-term frameworks to enable adaptation action in Victoria’s regions.
How can you get involved?
You are invited to contribute to the development of the region’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy until the 14th of December by considering the questions posed in the discussion paper or emailing DELWP with your ideas or signing up to their newsletter via email@example.com.
By being part of this process, you will help inform state government priorities, point to regional challenges from your organisation or group’s perspective, raise the profile of key issues/concerns that relate to your community or industry and identify collaboration opportunities to communicate ideas and achieve greater outcomes across the state.
So get writing!