ALMOST ALL councils in the Hunter region have committed to tackling climate change as Lake Macquarie City Council, Port Stephens Council and Cessnock City Council join the Cities Power Partnership, Australia’s largest local government climate network.
Seven out of ten local governments in the Hunter Region, New South Wales’ largest coal producing area, are bucking polluting coal and gas and embracing clean energy to create jobs and set the region up for a prosperous future.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser said she was very pleased that council has joined fellow Hunter councils in the fight against climate change.
“Taking meaningful action on climate is very important to our community. We know we face a range of challenges in building a sustainable and resilient future, and that’s why we’ve joined the Cities Power Partnership,” said Mayor Fraser.
“The program will help accelerate our newly adopted Environmental Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan that has a goal for council to become 100 per cent renewable and for 80 per cent of our residents to use more renewable energy, more active transport and conserve water.”
“So far, we’ve installed solar panels across 27 Council buildings, rolled out 5600 LED streetlights and are encouraging renewable energy uptake in our community.”
Mayor of Port Stephens Council, Ryan Palmer said council and the community has benefitted from taking action on climate for many years.
“From rolling out solar on council buildings to restoring beloved bushland, council has been working to cut emissions, save on energy bills and provide green spaces for the community to enjoy,” said Mayor Ryan.
“The Cities Power Partnership will help advance our work in this space, including a Sustainability Action Plan that will set clear emission reduction and renewable energy targets to create a strong, clean local economy,” he said.
“It’s a step in the right direction for Cessnock City Council to join the Cities Power Partnership reaffirming our commitment to positive action,” said Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent.
“It recognises the importance of environmental improvements at all levels of government. It also aligns with our recently adopted Climate Change Policy and will facilitate the sharing of knowledge with like-minded councils to reduce our emissions and build climate resilience.”
Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and Cessnock joined forces with MidCoast Council, Upper Hunter Shire Council, Muswellbrook Shire and City of Newcastle, existing members of the Cities Power Partnership.
Councils taking part in the Cities Power Partnership pledge five actions to tackle climate change locally, from ramping up renewable energy through to planning sustainable transport systems.
Cities Power Partnership acting director Dr Portia Odell welcomed Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and Cessnock to the partnership and commended the councils for taking positive action on climate change.
“Right now, local governments have an opportunity to accelerate projects that will deliver local jobs quickly and tackle long term challenges like climate change. It’s brilliant to see more regional councils sign up to the program to help deliver a safer climate and stronger economy for their communities.”
For more information please contact Cities Power Partnership media advisor at 0431 314 047 or [email protected]