Two ‘Regional Climate Alliances’ will be set up in Western Australia this year, thanks to a State Government commitment of $500,000 to support local government collaboration on climate change.
A six-week expression of interest period opens today, with all regional local governments invited to submit their proposals to join forces with neighbouring governments to address the effects of climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Regional Climate Alliance Initiative is a commitment under the Western Australian Climate Policy aimed at strengthening climate change adaptation and mitigation capability and action in regional WA.
The alliance model has been successfully implemented in other Australian jurisdictions and improves knowledge sharing and collaborative responses to climate change on a regional scale.
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) will oversee the initiative and the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) will help administer the fund by providing advice and support.
Funding will be used to support two Regional Climate Alliance Coordinators, and to deliver emissions reduction and resilience-building projects demonstrating economic, environmental and social benefits within local government areas.
Examples of potential projects include:
- adding solar panels to local government facilities;
- delivering behaviour change programs to reduce energy use or improve resilience across the community; and
- increasing tree canopies in town centres to improve urban cooling.
Once established, the alliances will be invited to submit proposals for project funding for specific climate change actions, with a total of $200,000 available over two years.
The initiative will be evaluated and considered for possible expansion in mid-2023.
Local governments wishing to register an expression of interest can visit the WALGA website for all application details.
Expressions of interest close on June 21, 2021, with successful applicants expected to be announced shortly after.
As stated by Climate Action Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
“The McGowan Government is excited to be launching this initiative, which will support the capacity of regional local governments to respond to climate change.
“Every level of government needs to do their bit to address climate change and many local governments are stepping up to the challenge. Our goal is to see how we can use this model to build capability and increase knowledge sharing across local governments to address climate change on a regional scale.
“We want to see the development of strong and effective emissions reduction and climate change adaptation projects, designed and implemented by local government alliances.”
As stated by Local Government Minister John Carey:
“This initiative is great news for regional local governments, who have the capacity to generate real and lasting change in their community when it comes to addressing the challenges of climate change.
“A key aspect to this initiative is for smaller local governments to share knowledge and expertise so they achieve outcomes they might not have been able to otherwise.
“I hope it also encourages local governments to think strategically about how climate change impacts their regions.”