Yarra Council commits to Green New Deal

Yarra Council endorsed a Green New Deal at its meeting on Tuesday 1 December 2020.

This deal is our commitment to addressing the health, economic, social and climate crises we currently face as we begin our economic recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It acknowledges that we have an opportunity to plan our recovery in a way that builds community resilience to future social, economic and environmental shocks, including the impacts of climate change.

The Green New Deal includes a collection of interconnected activities. These activities are based on:

  • Reviving our local economy after COVID-19.
  • Fixing the waste crisis.
  • Ensuring there is housing available in Yarra for everyone, including those on lower incomes.
  • Investment in active and sustainable transport options.
  • Making great green spaces in Yarra.
  • Transitioning our operations to renewable energy, and supporting Yarra businesses and residents to do the same.

You can read the full council resolution below.

Council resolution Tuesday 1 December 2020

1. That Yarra Council acknowledges that:

(a) the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in serious, negative and ongoing impacts to many Yarra residents and businesses;

(b) recovery from the pandemic will require significant investment of funds and resources from all levels of government;

(c) we have an opportunity to help rebuild the local economy, boost community wellbeing, and create local jobs, based on principles of social justice and environmental sustainability; and

(d) we also have an opportunity to plan our recovery in a way that builds community resilience to future social, economic and environmental shocks including but not limited to the impacts of climate change.

2. That Yarra Council:

(a) commit to addressing the health, economic, social and climate crises we currently face, considering a suite of interconnected initiatives, many of which are already underway and that these initiatives be based on:

(i) reviving our local economies

a. continue to invest in reactivating our high streets, making outdoor dining, active transport and creative interventions a permanent part of our communities; and

b. continue to invest in the arts to revitalise our communities, public space and attract visitors to Yarra.

(ii) fixing the waste crisis:

a. roll out organic waste bins to reduce emissions and waste to landfill as soon as possible; and

b. urge the State Government to build 23 new recycling centres across Victoria by 2025.

(iii) housing for all:

a. advocate to the State Government to:

– commit to building new public housing in Yarra so everyone can have a place to call home;

– maintain and improve current public housing in Yarra, so that everyone has enough space to live in and amenities are in good functioning order; and

– introduce “inclusionary zoning” for new major developments in Yarra to enforce a high minimum of affordable housing.

(iv) investment in active transport:

a. develop an Integrated Transport Plan, making Yarra a place where everyone can ride, walk or cycle to where they need to be, through an integrated network of best practice protected bike lanes, improved footpaths and support for level access tram stops.

(v) making great green spaces:

a. continue to increase urban tree canopy, create nature corridors and plant more native species across Yarra;

b. progress Yarra’s Open Space Strategy to Increase the footprint of green open spaces, with parks for everyone to enjoy; and

c. implement Yarra’s Nature Strategy to restore our urban ecosystems and preserve Yarra’s unique urban biodiversity.

(vi) transitioning to renewable energy:

a. fast track delivery on the Climate Emergency Plan;

b. continue to support the Yarra Energy Foundation to provide pathways to all businesses, renters and property owners – to transition to renewable energy and increase energy efficiency; and

c. complete work on the Zero Carbon Developments Planning Scheme Amendment to ensure that all new developments have mandatory renewable energy, no new gas, higher standards of energy efficiency, minimum bike storage.

3. That as part of the Council Plan process, a workshop to focus on these priorities be held at the beginning of 2021 with Councillors, Executive Members and other relevant officers with a report back to Council on a proposed Green New Deal Recovery Plan and recommendations for resourcing the Plan, which may include borrowing.

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