Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

The Cities Power Partnership brought local governments and experts together to host a roundtable in the Blue Mountains focused on bushfires and climate change.

The event was co-hosted by the Blue Mountains City Council and drew together leading councils, community organisations, as well as a range of bushfire experts including Fire & Rescue NSW, National Parks, climate and legal experts. The aims were to connect and share best practise when it comes to preparing for climate risk, bushfires and the implications for local governments.

Why bushfires?

Intensifying climate change is driving Australia’s escalating bushfire threat, creating longer and more dangerous fire seasons than ever before. Bushfires mostly threaten the bushland and national parks surrounding Australian cities, but as our urban areas continue to sprawl, these areas are increasingly under threat too.

Local governments are often on the frontline when disaster strikes, and it is critical to share strategies, best practice and to understand risk and liability for local governments.

Download the final agenda here


Climate Change and Bushfires: Professor Lesley Hughes,  Climate Councillor and Ecologist

On the frontline: Bushfires and Climate Change, Climate Councillor and Former NSW Fire Commissioner Greg Mullins

What does worsening extreme weather mean for local governments and liability? – Associate Professor Michael Eburn, Australia National University at Bushfire

WA bushfire case studies: Tim McNaught, Director Office of Bushfire and Risk Management Western Australia 


  • How can local government better collaborate on these challenges?
  • What additional support do local governments needs to be prepared?
  • What are the knowledge gaps that still need to be addressed?

Discussion Notes group 1: Facilitated by Alix Pearce

Discussion Notes group 2: Facilitated by Lesley Hughes


Access the Roundtable Image Gallery here


Climate Council Resources

NSW Office of Emergency Management

Nature Conservation Council NSW

Council Case Studies

Red Cross Pillow Case project – Primary school bushfire preparedness teaching resource (years 3&4 )

ClimateWise Communities Resources– Kuring-gai- Council NSW

Bushfire Events and Videos

Bushfire Building Conference 2019

Blue Mountains Bushfires 2013 Documentary: Fire Stories Living with Risk 


Professor Lesley Hughes: Climate expert and Climate Councillor
Lesley is a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity & Development) at Macquarie University. Her research has mainly focused on the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems.

Greg Mullins: Former NSW Fire Commissioner and Climate Councillor
A front-line voice, Greg will provide first hand experience regarding the worsening bushfire threat and it’s links to climate change.

Timothy McNaught: Director, Office of Bushfire Risk Management, WA
Tim has a wealth of experience in bushfires, climate change and the implications for local governments across Western Australia. He will provide best practise case studies being implemented in WA.

Associate Professor Michael Eburn: Australian National University
Michael is a leading researcher in the area of emergency services, emergency management and the law. He specialises in natural hazards, legal risk and liability, including what extreme weather means for local governments and liability expectations.