Greater Geelong to make Sustainability Framework an ‘immediate priority’

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Council has requested the City develop a Sustainability Framework, that seeks to identify potential ways to take further action on the impacts of climate change in the Greater Geelong region.

Council has passed an amended notice of motion acknowledging that, “climate change poses a risk to the people of Geelong and Australia, and requires a genuine and coordinated response”.

The amended motion provided a range of directions, including:

  • Requesting management immediately prioritise developing a Sustainability Framework, with implementation plans and a performance measurement program that seeks to address climate change impacts on the City;
  • Requesting the CEO reports to council by February 2020 with a draft Sustainability Framework, including potential additional mitigation measures to incorporate into the City’s strategy and operations;
  • Writing to state and federal environment ministers to advocate for significant action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • Joining the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership Program.

Council also acknowledged the extensive interest and advocacy from the Greater Geelong community, including by young people, on the issue of climate change.

The City has shown leadership in this field by committing to the Our Coast Program and strategies including the Environment Management Strategy, Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy and Community Zero Carbon Action Plan.

The motion was amended by Cr Stephanie Asher after an initial notice of motion from Cr Sarah Mansfield that sought to “declare that climate change poses a serious and immediate risk to people in Geelong, Australia, and globally, and should be treated as an emergency.”

Council voted six-five in favour of Cr Asher’s amendment, with the division of votes as follows:

In favour: Councillors Stephanie Asher, Kylie Grzybek, Eddy Kontelj, Ron Nelson, Trent Sullivan and Anthony Aitken.

Against: Mayor Bruce Harwood, Deputy Mayor Peter Murrihy, Councillors Sarah Mansfield, Jim Mason and Pat Murnane.

Councillor Bruce Harwood - Mayor

The intent of Councillor Mansfield’s notice of motion was to declare a climate emergency. There was an amendment moved by Councillor Asher, which acknowledged that climate change poses a risk, with no declaration of an emergency. This amendment was passed by the council six votes to five.

The amendment does commit the City to working on further action to mitigate the impacts of climate change, by requesting that the CEO develop a Sustainability Framework.

Councillor Stephanie Asher

Councillors have asked the City to put together a Sustainability Framework by February 2020 that will provide a solid evidence base and a clear, strategic direction to take genuine action on climate change.
By understanding the environmental and social impacts of climate change specific to our region, we will be able to develop and implement effective mitigation strategies for the community and the environment.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 25 September 2019