Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne



2019 Climate Awards

29 Aug 2019
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Customs House Sydney
The Cities Power Partnership 2019 Climate Awards recognise the unsung work of climate heroes in local governments across the country, in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, community engagement and project funding as well as individual climate champion awards.

Held on Thursday 29 August 2019, at Customs House in Sydney, it was a night full of outstanding achievement. Missed out? Check out the image gallery here. You can also find out who the award winners and finalists were in our Awards booklet here, or read on below.

Winners and Shortlisted Finalists:

Renewable Energy Achievement Award  – finalists

WINNER: Next Gen Energy Storage Program, ACT Government

As a world leader in action on climate change, the ACT Government’s Next Generation Energy Storage (Next Gen) program supports the roll-out of up to 36MW of solar battery storage in up to 5,000 homes and small businesses, with around 1,200 installed to date.

The Next Gen program enabled a world-first virtual power plant, grouping together individual solar battery systems to sell energy back to the grid when it’s needed most.

What the judges said: “An innovative project that utilises a ‘revenue neutral’ funding approach, to deliver new technology to the community while reducing energy prices.”

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Charging Ahead with Renewables, Shoalhaven Council


Energy Efficiency Achievement Award – finalists

WINNER: Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme, ACT Government

The Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme requires electricity retailers to achieve energy savings in households and businesses, delivering targeted assistance to low income households. 

So far the scheme has delivered 1.3 million energy-saving solutions to 74,000 households and businesses, which is nearly half of Canberra households, including more than 18,500 low-income household. Residents are expected to save $360 million off their power bill.

What the judges said: “An energy efficiency program, targeting low income households, to deliver significant emissions reductions and energy savings.”


Sustainable Transport Achievement Award – finalists

WINNER: Smart Moves Newcastle, City of Newcastle

The City of Newcastle’s Smart Moves program applies leading edge technology and innovative thinking to support integrated transport networks with a focus on last-mile solutions.

Smart Moves projects include:

– The transformation of a CBD-fringe carpark into an E-transit hub
– A public electric vehicle charging network and EV council fleet transition
– Renewably powered electric bike-share docks
– An autonomous shuttle connecting the light rail to city and beach
– On Demand public shuttles in the city centre
– Digital bus timetables at key bus stops, intelligent radars that collect data on traffic, bike and pedestrian travel and a smart parking application.

What the judges said: “An overarching sustainable transport strategy with practical projects, which address key barriers to transport mode shift.”

Community Engagement Achievement Award – finalists

WINNER: The Butterfly Effect, Albert Park Kindergarten and City of Port Phillip

The City of Port Phillip, together with Albert Park Kindergarten, have worked together to achieve huge results in sustainability, becoming the first certified carbon neutral Early Childhood Education and Care Service in Australia. The kindergarten, with support from the council, has reduced their gas use to zero, cut electricity consumption by 59%, water by 71% and waste by over 50%.

Albert Park Kindergarten believed that they could be the little butterfly that would flutter its wings and change the world, and they have been on a six-year journey to become carbon neutral.

What the judges said: “An innovative project that brings to life the City of Port Phillip’s Sustainable City Community Action Plan, though engagement with Early Childhood Education – delivering reductions in water consumption, electricity, gas and waste.”

HIGHLY COMMENDED: CitySwitch, City of Sydney


Project Financing Innovation Award – finalists

WINNER: Carbon Revolving Reserve, Blue Mountains City Council

In anticipation of a carbon tax, Blue Mountains City Council had built a reserve of money to contribute towards future liabilities for landfill gas, which they then used to create a $1.6 million Carbon Revolving Reserve.

The Carbon Revolving Reserve has so far contributed $1.7 million dollars towards energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, delivering combined annual savings of $300,000 and attracting $300,000 of grant and co-funding.

What the judges said: “An impressive and innovative project that demonstrates an easily replicable approach for funding carbon reduction initiatives.”

Climate Champion Award – finalists

WINNER: Adam Clarke, Program Coordinator, City Innovation and Sustainability, City of Newcastle

Adam is passionate about developing and implementing projects that provide financial and environmental returns for Newcastle. From MW-scale solar projects and street lighting upgrades to electric vehicles and battery storage, he is focused on big reductions in carbon emissions for the city.

What the judges said: “Adam has made a significant contribution to the City of Newcastle, leading a range of projects across MW-scale solar, street lighting upgrades, rooftop solar, electric vehicle and battery storage, demonstrating impressive abilities as a Climate Champion.”

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Sam Kelley, Sustainability Projects and Reporting Officer, Randwick City Council

Ambassador of the Year Award – finalists

WINNER: Cr Tony Wellington, Mayor of Noosa Shire Council

Tackling climate change has been at the forefront of Noosa Mayor TonyWellington’s priorities, recognising early on that Noosa Council had to take a leadership position in the community by reducing its own emissions.

As the driving force behind an ambitious plan to take Noosa Council to net-zero emissions by 2026, Tony has been a tireless advocate for local government climate action, in his shire and beyond.

What the judges said: “It is hard to imagine a more committed, consistent and passionate climate ambassador than Mayor Tony Wellington. He was an early champion of climate change and hasn’t wavered since.”

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Cr Pam Townshend, Shire President, Augusta-Margaret River Shire

2019 Award Categories 

Achievement Awards

  • Renewable Energy Achievement
  • Energy Efficiency Achievement
  • Sustainable Transport Achievement
  • Community Engagement Achievement

Project Financing Innovation Award NEW

Cities Power Partnership Champion Award (Individual – Staff) NEW

Cities Power Partnership Ambassador Award (Individual – Elected Representative)