Darebin Climate Emergency Plan – Have Your Say

Darebin Council has now adopted the Darebin Climate Emergency Plan. You can read what Councillors had to say about the plan in the minutes from the Council meeting on Monday 21 August.

Thank you to everyone who contributed their input and feedback to the consultation process from May to July, and to earlier work on the previous Climate Action Plan.

You can download the entire plan, or the summary document, by clicking on the images below.



Darebin Council has now adopted the Darebin Climate Emergency Plan. You can read what Councillors had to say about the plan in the minutes from the Council meeting on Monday 21 August.

Thank you to everyone who contributed their input and feedback to the consultation process from May to July, and to earlier work on the previous Climate Action Plan.

You can download the entire plan, or the summary document, by clicking on the images below.



CLOSED: This discussion has concluded. The draft plan has now been finalised and will be considered at the Council meeting on the 21st of August. This is a public meeting and you are welcome to attend (see link above).

  • Not a question..Just a comment. You are achieving worse than nothing. Your actions and ideologies will lead to further poverty. Your attitudes are at best naive and at worst fascist.

    dr Rebel asked about 1 month ago

    Thanks for your comment.

    Council takes the issue of poverty seriously, and energy poverty is something that Darebin is committed to addressing through this plan. 

    Firstly, programs like Solar $aver allow pensioners and low-income households to install solar panels at no up-front cost. This allows them to access the financial benefits of solar energy.

    Secondly, we are advocating to state and federal governments to improve energy efficiency standards and disclosure for new and existing housing stock. This is crucial to addressing the health and wellbeing impacts of energy poverty and poor-quality housing.

    Kind regards,

    Gavin Mountjoy


  • With the building of high density housing increasing in Darebin it would be good to mandate a solar system be installed for all new builds, or even help fund solar panel friendly designs for these new townhouses as a start. I live in a 2 bedroom townhouse and sadly the design of my roof means I cannot get solar panels installed. My only option would be with the very new solar tiles but this comes at a significant cost that is upwards of 4-5x more expensive than traditional solar panels.

    ahrjay asked 2 months ago

    Hi Ahrjay,

    Thanks for your interest in the Climate Emergency Plan and your question.

    Increasing rooftop solar systems in Darebin is certainly a priority for Council. In terms of increasing the proportion of new homes with solar, Council’s main role is in working with and advocating to the Victorian Government. Darebin Planning Scheme Amendment GC42 is currently with the Minister for approval – once adopted it will enable planners to mandate best practice across a range of environmentally sustainable design principles.

    Some of our key advocacy goals in the area of sustainable housing will be to raise the minimum standards for environmental performance of new and existing housing stock, including rental properties, to continue to ratchet up these standards over time, and to introduce mandatory disclosure.

    In terms of supporting households who want to install solar, our expanded Solar $aver program as well as our Solar Bulk Buy program will be opening again soon. Council will be looking for ways to include more segments of the community who face specific barriers, including renters and landlords, pensioners, CALD communities and those living in multi-unit developments.

    As you’ve pointed out, some people’s roofs are not suitable or not financially viable for solar currently. Council will be exploring, with the new Darebin Energy Foundation, the possibilities for a Community Owned Renewable Project in Darebin, which residents could contribute to as a local option for renewable energy. In the mean time we encourage residents who can’t access solar to consider buying government-approved Green Power.

    Kind regards,

    Gavin Mountjoy

  • What will Council do to keep the community safe when we start having black outs as in SA? How will Council manage to protect people's home security, their food, their water supply, their ability to access their money, put petrol in their cars (oh you don't care about who has Petrol as I see in action item 6) as a result of the community following your plan; When will Council excell in its executing its primary duties of managing core social issues such as waste removal, maintenance of streets and paths and when; Will Council start reducing the cost burden of rates on all ratepayers instead of wasting ratepayer funds on these type of 'pie in the sky' climate initiatives? There might be negative consequences to climate change but there is no doubt there will be anarchy and acute community issues if we run out of energy. Then you will have a problem on your hands and I hope you also accept responsibility of the role that you played in creating the problem. How about you start planning for that far more certain outcome?

    Darren asked 2 months ago

    Hi Darren,

    Thank you for your question.

    As stated in the draft plan, Council has unanimously declared that we are in a state of climate emergency and committed to take strong action to address this. We are still committed to delivering our normal range of services to the community, including good quality waste and maintenance services.

    We don’t believe that any of the actions in this plan will endanger residents’ security, or ability to access essential goods and services. Key Direction 7 (Adaptation and Resilience) outlines how Council is acting to help residents manage a range of existing impacts that are likely to worsen, such as hotter and drier weather including heatwaves. As part of Council’s Emergency Management Plan we have response plans and business contingency plans to work with other authorities to respond to emergencies in our community.

    Kind regards,

    Gavin Mountjoy


  • The use of non-recyclable waste for energy production We as a whole produce a lot of waste that goes into landfill. The problem with that is we use up valuable space and at the same time toxins are leaching into the environment. During the decomposing huge amounts of methane gas are released. Energy Australia has a project in Lithgow regarding incineration of non-recyclable waste. The bi-product is energy and could complement the renewable energy production. Whilst not carbon neutral, it is still a much better option than having the waste go into landfill and create much large problems including the more volatile methane gas. Wouldn't it make sense to consider the incineration of non-recyclable waste into the energy mix? It's done in central Europe, Scandinavia with very high emission controls?

    Herby asked 3 months ago

    Hi Herby,

    Thanks for your suggestion. Darebin’s landfill is sent to a renewable energy landfill run by Hanson, in Wollert. It is reportedly one of only two Melbourne landfills accredited to ISO 14001 Environmental Standards and focuses on producing alternative energy, landfill rehabilitation and protection of groundwater.

    The landfill recirculates its leachate back into the waste, resulting in a significant amount of methane gas generated, however 85% of methane generated at the site is captured and used to produce electricity. The landfill has conducted a Carbon Footprint study which indicates that it has a better greenhouse gas performance than many high-technology disposal systems.

    The Metropolitan Waste Resource Recovery Group is currently exploring the feasibility of alternative waste to energy technologies and Darebin Council is participating in this. The environmental and economic benefits will be considered alongside other issues in the final determination.

    If you would like to find out more about the landfill that Council uses see this link: http://www.hansonlandfill.com.au/Sustainability

    Thanks again for your interest in this.

    Kind regards,

    Gavin


  • Hi Gavin, The UN's IPCC scientists are informing us that most environmental indicators are negative due to global warming. Global warming has been increasing over the past 30 years during the same period corporations and individuals have been adapting ever more efficient cars, appliances and home design. This Jevon's contradiction is linked to capitalism's need for growth in products and population. The city of Darebin appears to accept capitalism's paradoxes and largely concentrates in individuals to make technological changes without ambition of challenging capitalism's growth priorities. Have I missed something or is something bigger missing from our global warming debate?

    Leon Zembekis asked 3 months ago

    Hi,

    Thanks for the question and comments. It is clear to date that global warming has been increasing although recent analysis suggest that total emissions may have peaked. Despite overall rise in emissions, some studies show that there around 35 countries that have decoupled economic growth and emissions.

    The draft Council plan indicates that the Darebin population will increase by 40 000 in the next 15 years. With this significant population increase, small efficiency gains will not get us to a safe climate.

    The situation we find ourselves in requires an emergency response. For example it will require a total decarbonisation of energy supply (100% renewables, with supporting technologies and move from gas to electricity). A transition to very low or no emissions transport eg hybrid or full electric vehicles (likely autonomous and car sharing) all powered by 100% renewables. Smaller, more efficient and environmental friendly housing and office space will also be a necessity. The list goes on.

    Darebin Council acknowledges that it is not sure how this can be achieved and understands that the climate emergency is and will affect the most vulnerable and socio-economically disadvantaged in our community. Council is in the process of establishing the Darebin Energy Foundation, to create a climate think-tank which will help us become a more resilient and a zero emission economy/society.

    Kind Regards,

    Gavin

  • How much did this cost to produce

    davesch asked 3 months ago

    Hi there,

    Thanks for taking the time to visit Your Say Darebin and asking us a question.

    You asked:
    'How much did this cost to produce '

    Thanks for your question. Council agrees that Victorian and Australian Governments have major responsibility to address greenhouse emissions reductions. As the plan indicates Council will use existing resources to advocate to both Victorian and Australian Governments regarding relevant policy and program areas.

    Despite the above advocacy commitment, Council has resolved that we are in a state of climate emergency, so Council needs to do what it can to reduce emissions and activate residential and business community.

    Page 75 of the Draft Plan provides some detail of the current budget allocations for implementing the plan of the following 5 years. Around $427,000 of existing funds (programs and GreenPower purchases) may be reallocated by Council to these various projects.

    Additional resourcing requirements include:  
    $20 million for the expansion of the Solar $aver program, over 2018 – 2019 and 2020 – 2021 budgets. Council will explore whether these funds can be borrowed from ‘Green Banks’. The Solar $aver ratepayers ultimately repay the $20 million for solar in additional rate payments, although Council is likely to forgo interest charges for low income households.

    Capital funding to be considered in the annual budget include:
    Council building energy efficiency fund - $1 million is proposed over the 5 year plan period. These works would have a minimum 10 year payback in reduced energy costs. Typically Council would save $1.3million over the lifetime of these upgrades, so no net cost but a saving
    Similarly Council will consider the installation of 440kw solar proposed for council buildings These installations would average a 7 year payback in reduced energy costs.

    Kind Regards,

    Gavin
  • HI I am wondering does the climate emergency plan promote small scale urban agriculture to help secure Darebin's food supply and thus help residents be more resilient as our climate changes further and increases the threat of food insecurity Thanks

    BH asked 4 months ago

    Hi,

    Thank you for your question. One of the key directions of the plan is 7. Adaptation and Resilience, and one of the ways to do this is to implement community based local food systems which reduce reliance on the carbon-intensive global food systems.

    Darebin’s Urban Food Production Strategy and Implementation Plan (2014-18) outlines a number of key actions to achieve this. This includes supporting home food growing and community gardens, local food production, and distribution and consumption initiatives such as community food enterprises. The annual Darebin Backyard Harvest Festival, ‘Fruit Squad’ fruit harvesting project, Fairfield and Bundoora Park Farmers Markets, SPROUT community garden and market, Transition Darebin, and the Urban Food Program at the Darebin Information and Volunteer Resource Service (DIVRS) are all examples of this.

    Kind Regards, 

    Gavin 

  • Looks like the event at Northcote town hall on the 20 June has sold out - do you have another date in the evenings?

    BH asked 4 months ago

    Hi, 

    Sorry about that, I have fixed the link. There are still many tickets available for the Northcote Town Hall forum. Here is the link to the Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/darebin-city-council-environment-and-community-outcomes-team-12810068147 

    Kind regards, 

    Gavin 

  • One of the problems I see related to transport is the number of parents that drive their children to and from school. It is convenient for parents that are often on their way to work but not good role modelling if we are to change behaviour. Is the council in a position to support a walking bus program across darebin?eg a project to worker to establish the programs in schools that could then be sustainable through training the senior school students to run the program.

    ttse asked 4 months ago

    Hi, 

    Thank you for your question. Council runs and supports a number of programs and projects to support active transport to school. These include:

    • audits of routes to school for walking and cycling, and changing and constructing improvements to infrastructure in response to the audits – almost all primary schools in Darebin have now been audited;
    • funding Bike Ed training for teachers so that more children can safely ride to school;
    • giving one school in Darebin a bike fleet to run Bike Ed;
    • providing schools with cycle parking stands;
    • funding and supporting Walk to School Month activities in over half of the primary schools in Darebin;
    • funding high schools to run Fit To Drive session; and
    • supporting schools to run ad-hoc activities.

    Council has previously run Walking School Bus programs with a dedicated worker, when they were funded and supported by the State Government. The evaluation of the program indicated that they are most successful when led and organised by local school champions. Programs run through Council have taken significant resource to set up, had complicated health and safety and risk management processes, and tended to be successful only while there was specific parent involved, and not continued past this. When they are run locally and independent of Council they are more flexible, and can be adapted to the needs of those taking part. Saying this, if there is interest from a school or group of parents in running a Walking School Bus program, we would be happy to support it.

    We will continue to look for new ways to work with schools to support active travel. 

    Kind Regards, 

    Gavin 

  • Its important for council to advise community

    Tommasina asked 4 months ago

    Hi, 

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, Council agrees that it is important to advise the community, that is why we are speaking directly a number of community groups about the Climate Emergency Plan. Council is also holding 3 public forums to discuss the plan:

    • Thurs 8 June, 6pm – 7:30pm, Reservoir Community Learning Centre, 23 Edwardes St, Reservoir

    • Tues 13 June, 10:30am – 12noon, Preston Library, 266 Gower St, Preston

    • Tues 20 June, 6pm – 7:30pm, Northcote Town Hall, 189 High St, Northcote

    Feedback can be provided by filling in the feedback form (above) or you can contact me directly: gavin.mountjoy@darebin.vic.gov.au 

    Kind Regards, 

    Gavin 

  • Hello and congratulations! Darebin is leading the way! One question: At home, I have recently installed LED lights and a 10Kw (40-panel) solar system on the roof of my home. But I am concerned about recent reports that they are harmful to health. Here is a long link to an article that explains it clearly and comprehensively: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/05/28/dirty-electricity.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20170528Z3&et_cid=DM147102&et_rid=2021316588 I think, at least we will need to be aware of what is being said, and look into whether there are any safeguards that might mitigate these effects? Regards, Marion

    Marion asked 4 months ago

    Hi, 

    First off, thank you and congratulations for installing such a large solar system and for upgrading your lights. Further, thank you for raising this matter. The World Health Organisation provides the following information on Electro Magnetic Fields http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/index3.html

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises that:

    “Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals. Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields.”

    For those who are convinced of the negative impacts of electromagnetic fields, this will probably be inadequate. Council will still advocate for and support the implementation of LED and solar PV technology. 

    Kind Regards, 

    Gavin 

  • Page 61 of the Darebin Cimate Emergency Plan mentions "identifying suitable sites for fruit trees in streetscapes". The use of fruit trees in parks and community gardens is great, however use of fruit trees in streetscapes can be problematic and is not recommended as per our Urban Forest Strategy (2013-2025) and for the following reasons: - fruit trees generally use more water - fruit/nut drop causes public safety and cleansing issues - social disharmony can result from disputes over fruit ownership Regards Dave

    DS asked 4 months ago

    Hi, 

    Thank you for your question. Council recognises that as a rule, fruit trees are not suitable street trees – this is acknowledged in the Darebin GreenStreets Streetscape Strategy 2012-2020 and the Urban Food Production Strategy 2014-2018. However, both these strategies also support the appropriate inclusion of fruit trees in public landscapes on a case by case basis, where the variety of fruit tree and location is deemed not to pose a public safety risk and the local community is supportive in terms of playing a role in the trees upkeep and harvest of fruit. For example, Council has planted lower maintenance fruit and nut tree varieties in Henderson Park, Thornbury, and the Robinson Capp and Newman Reserve Playspaces in Preston.

    Kind Regards, 

    Gavin 


    Hi, 

    Further to this, Council will consider changing the text to read 'identify suitable sites for fruit trees in public landscapes' instead of ‘streetscapes’ to avoid confusion. 

    Kind Regards, 

    Gavin