Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

18 NOVEMBER 2021 

CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL’S Sustainability team took out top honours for their work driving the city’s climate response at the national Cities Power Partnership Awards last night.

The Sustainability team is this year’s Climate Champion award winner recognising their commitment to cutting emissions and educating the community on climate change, while also supporting local industries to transition to a low emissions economy.

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

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said he was proud that the team was recognised for their dedication.

“We have a passionate sustainability team working hard to reduce carbon emissions within Council including developing a Climate Change Strategy for Cairns.

“One of our highest priorities in delivering the strategy is making sure our community is involved, informed and committed at every step of the way, particularly our young people at our Youth Climate Summits, the only such summits held in Australia. Everyone has a part to play in protecting our planet.”

Dr Portia Odell, director of the Cities Power Partnership, congratulated the Cairns Sustainability team on their award, noting that they shone in a competitive field of entrants.

“Council’s Sustainability team has made a significant contribution to local emissions reduction leading a range of projects including energy efficiency upgrades and installing large scale solar. They’ve also successfully engaged the community through multiple community education workshops on topics like sustainable transport and delivered a Youth Climate Summit,” Dr Odell said. 

“Cairns is 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 Cities Power Partnership Awards celebrated outstanding work from local governments in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, community engagement and innovation as well as individual climate champion awards.


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

Energy Efficiency Achievement Award
Winner: 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
Winner: City of Adelaide, SA – Sustainability Incentives Scheme Enabling Community Emissions Outcomes

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

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

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

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

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

Community Choice Award
Winner: 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