Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

18 NOVEMBER 2021

ACT GOVERNMENT has taken out a national climate gong for its sustainable transport initiatives at the national Cities Power Partnership Awards last night.

The Cities Power Partnership Awards recognise the work of climate heroes in local governments across the country who are transforming Australia’s energy landscape.

ACT Government took top honours for its Zero Emissions Vehicles program that has a range of actions focussed on reducing transport related emissions in the ACT Government fleet.

Geoffrey Rutledge, Deputy Director-General for the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate said he was proud to have the ACT Government’s leading program recognised.

“To support the ACT’s transition to a more sustainable transport system, we have committed to ensuring all our newly leased passenger fleet vehicles are zero emissions vehicles where fit for purpose, helping to reduce government’s operational transport emissions to zero by 2040,” said Mr Rutledge.

“So far we have leased over 170 zero emissions vehicles which are used every day by our staff and have reduced our annual operational emissions by over 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

“Transport contributes around 60% of the ACT’s greenhouse gas emissions, making it the single largest source of emissions for the ACT. Projects like this, alongside increased efforts to encourage community uptake of zero emissions vehicles and facilitating high quality low emissions public transport networks are essential to meeting our climate change commitments and helping the ACT become a net zero emissions city by 2045.”

Cities Power Partnership director, Dr Portia Odell congratulated the ACT Government, noting that the winning entry was a shining example of local sustainable transport initiatives in a competitive field of entrants.

“The ACT has long been a leader in sustainability and climate initiatives. It’s great to see ACT continuing to embrace innovation in their Zero Emissions Vehicle program which includes plans to install the first public hydrogen refuelling station in Australia and roll out Australia’s first electric fire truck,” Dr Odell said.

“The local climate solutions on display at these awards are tangible proof that Australian communities are rising up to meet the challenges of climate change and play a critical role delivering climate solutions in Australia.”

“The best part is that when one council finds a solution, many more can follow. As we see through innovative renewable energy deals or novel ways to help the community transition to net zero emissions, this sector is leading the way with practical local climate solutions.”

The Cities Power Partnership Awards celebrated outstanding work from local governments in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, community engagement, ambition, collaboration and innovation.


Renewable Energy Achievement Award
Northern Beaches Council, NSW – Northern Beaches Goes Renewable

Energy Efficiency Achievement Award
Georges River Council, NSW – Working towards net zero emissions

Sustainable Transport Achievement Award
Winner: ACT Government, ACT – Zero Emissions Fleet Transition

Community Engagement Achievement Award
City of Adelaide, SA – Sustainability Incentives Scheme Enabling Community Emissions Outcomes

Innovation Award
Greater Dandenong City Council, VIC – Net zero emissions in Council infrastructure and assets bids

Ambition Award
Mornington Peninsula Shire, VIC – Climate Emergency Plan “Ensuring our Future”

Collaboration Award
Darebin City Council, VIC – Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO)

Climate Ambassador Award (elected representative)
Shoalhaven City Council, NSW – Mayor Amanda Findley

Climate Champion Award (council staff)
Cairns Regional Council Sustainability Team, QLD
Highly Commended: Hunter Joint Organisation, NSW

Community Choice Award
Borough of Queenscliffe, VIC – Community-led climate emergency response plan



The Cities Power Partnership awards recognise councils demonstrating climate mitigation action across the listed 37 action pledge items under the Cities Power Partnership. Each of the 9 categories were judged to ensure their respective criteria were met.


  • Damon Gameau, Film director, author and presenter
  • Dr Amanda Cahill, CEO, Next Economy
  • Dr Simon Bradshaw, Head of Research, Climate Council
  • Pam Townshend, Former Shire President, Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Western Australia