Council takes action to build resilient Willoughby

Willoughby City

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A plan to help minimise the impacts of acute shocks and chronic stresses on our residents, community and environment was endorsed at last night’s Willoughby City Council meeting.

The Resilient Willoughby Strategy and Action Plan outlines actions designed to help minimise impacts from events such as chronic smoke pollution, storm events, heatwaves, drought and pandemic.

“This is an important step in efforts to address the resilience challenges we are now experiencing,” said Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney.

“Taking action to manage the impact of shocks and stresses and to build resilience across the Willoughby community will pay dividends now and into the future.

“People already affected by ill health, social isolation or housing stress have less capacity to overcome acute shocks – like the current pandemic,” Mayor Giles-Gidney said.

The Plan outlines steps Council will take including programs to promote resilience in young people, emergency planning for multicultural communities, the Red Cross Get Prepared App, and promotes activities that bring residents together for mutual support and connection that promote resilience against shocks and stresses.

It was informed by an analysis of risks to the community, Council’s assets and services. It also draws on social research with a survey of over 600 residents conducted by Council in November 2020.

Willoughby City Council has already responded to these challenges in a number of ways including the collaboration with Resilient Sydney, a group of metropolitan councils, state agencies, business and community groups.

Resilient Sydney was formed in 2015, joining the 100 Resilient Cities Program – supporting efforts by cities around the world to build community resilience in the face of the economic, environmental and social challenges of the 21st Century.

Willoughby City Council Chief Executive Officer, Debra Just, was appointed to the Resilient Sydney Steering Committee in 2020.

“High levels of community connection can build resilience and lessen the impacts of acute shocks and chronic stresses on people and the environment,” Debra said.

“It can also help minimise social, economic and environmental costs over the short to long term. These may include mental and physical health and grievous impacts on the natural environment as well as damage to property and social infrastructure.”

The Plan will be reviewed annually to take account of progress made and any changes in community concerns and needs. Its adoption follows extensive public consultation in June and July.

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