The tiny-but-mighty Burough of Queenscliffe is a small community making a big difference for climate change. As the smallest local government area in Victoria, the Queenscliffe community could be forgiven for thinking that the global problem of rising temperatures was beyond them. Instead, council and community have teamed up to develop a 10-year climate emergency roadmap and are working together to become world leaders in responding to the climate crisis.
Queenscliffe Climate Action Now (QCAN) founder Kitty Walker said locals have been united by a strong desire to protect their neighbourhood.
“There are a lot of people who have a very deep connection to this place in terms of its natural landscape and beauty,” Kitty says. “We’re also a very low-lying area, so the community is concerned about future inundation and sea level rise issues.”
When Kitty called for a community climate meeting towards the end of 2019, she expected 50 people to show up. Instead, the hall she booked for the event was bursting at the seams, with passionate residents sitting on the floor and leaning up against walls. The meeting resulted in a call for the council to declare a climate emergency and a commitment to work together on developing a response plan.
Three years on, QCAN has produced the Climate Emergency Response Plan 2021-2031 and is now working closely with council on delivering against its tangible targets through initiatives like their Community Solar Program.