Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

18 NOVEMBER 2021

CITY OF DAREBIN took out top honours for spearheading the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO) at the Cities Power Partnership Awards last night.

VECO, the largest emissions reduction project ever undertaken by Australian local governments, coordinated 46 councils to make the switch to renewable energy under one long-term contract. The project, led by Darebin City Council and supported by officers from a range of Councils and the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances, is this year’s Collaboration award winner.

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

Darebin Mayor Cr Lina Messina said she was delighted to see the commitment and leadership displayed by the team in Darebin recognised through the Cities Power Partnership awards.

“The team have spearheaded the largest ever emissions reduction project by local government in Australia whereby 46 Councils are pooling their electricity needs under one contract to purchase 100% renewable energy. This is equivalent to taking 90,000 cars off the road. I am incredibly proud of Darebin’s role in expanding Victoria’s renewable energy infrastructure,” Cr Messina said.

The Collaboration Award goes to the council that best demonstrates how they are working together with their community or other councils for greater impact.

Cities Power Partnership director, Dr Portia Odell congratulated Darebin, noting that the winning entry was a shining example of collaboration in a competitive field of entrants.

“Partnerships like these are showing the impact local governments have when it comes to collaborating to create effective local strategies that can lead to huge emissions reductions,” said Dr Odell.

“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 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
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


Please find images of all the winners here.

For more information contact Victoria on 0431 314 047 or [email protected] 



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