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Southern Tasmanian councils take action

THE 12 southern councils of Tasmania have joined forces with the University of Tasmania to help tackle climate change.

Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority chair Mayor Bec Enders said the ‘Climate Action Collaboration’ project would allow the southern councils to work with the University of Tasmania to prepare for and respond to climate change at both a council and community level.

“The project will create a consistent approach to climate change and allow councils to work with experts from the University of Tasmania in areas such as climate modelling, planning, law, geography and renewable energy,” she said.

“Climate change is the most significant crisis of our time and it’s imperative that as governments, we not only acknowledge its reality, but work together to address it using the best available science and people we have.”

Professor Jason Byrne, Head of the School of Technology, Environments and Design and an urban planning scholar, said identifying the most effective, accessible and regionally appropriate climate adaptation pathway was critical.

“Developing a decision-making support template will allow for councils to consistently respond to climate change challenges and devise potential actions in a more streamlined and scientifically-informed way,” he said.

“Smaller councils often face challenges in resourcing and skillsets, and this regional approach will enable councils to learn from each other, translate science into solutions, and jointly tackle this complex policy challenge.”

Ms Enders said councils faced issues from the impacts of climate change and disruptions as they transitioned to zero-carbon economies.

“We will also face increased challenges in our emergency management, organisational risk, financial and asset planning,” she said.

“So, as the leaders of the 12 southern Tasmanian councils, we understand that it is more effective to work together to identify the ways to reduce our carbon footprint and respond to our changing climate.

“We recognise the need to cooperatively identify and plan for the strategic choices we are going to have to make going forward, in the best interest of our communities.

“We believe it is better to have 12 councils with the same approach, rather than 12 different responses that ends up making it confusing for communities and potentially wasting resources and effort.”

The Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority is a regional organisation of councils created to facilitate cooperative working partnerships and to improve its ability to take joint action to address regional development issues and progress sustainable economic, environmental and social outcomes for southern Tasmania, local communities and the state.

Caption: Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority representatives welcome the decision to join forces with the University of Tasmania to address climate change.