Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

Port Stephens Council's climate and sustainability commitments

Port Stephens Council is part of the Cities Power Partnership, Australia's largest network of councils leading the way to a sustainable future

  • Traditional Owners Worimi People
  • Member since 2020
  • Population 75,685

Our journey

What council has achieved in the past in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability

Port Stephens Council has been on a journey of sustainability for many years now. During this time, we have:

  • installed solar PV panels on 16 sites amounting to 250Kw, solar pool pre-heating at all 3 of our aquatic centres and evacuated tubes at 5 council and community facilities
  • installed LED field lighting at 3 sporting facilities and completed LED lighting upgrades to 8 council and community facilities
  • replaced 748 of 1801 streetlights with LEDs as part of an LED Replacement Program with Ausgrid
  • utilised technology such as Variable-Speed Drives (VSD) at our aquatic centres and flood pumps, Building Management System (BMS) at 3 major facilities, and Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) at most of our sporting facilities and community buildings
  • developed a Water Efficiency Management Plan (WEMP) to better manage our water consumption and completed projects such as using water tanks and stormwater harvesting at several of our community sites
  • trialled Greencrete (concrete with recycled glass) on a major capital works project and commenced investigation of further uses for this product
  • undertaken carbon sequestration activities (including bushland acquisition and restoration) and major revegetation projects throughout the Port Stephens
  • securing 2 parcels of land as designated stewardship or bio-banking sites
  • prepared a Climate Change Risk Assessment, reviewed our 2009 Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan to implement the necessary treatment actions and completed State of the Environment (SoE) reports in the past to monitor and report on Council’s emissions to determine reduction targets
  • created a suite of governance documents including an Environment Policy, Climate Change Policy, Sustainable Energy Planning and Design for Projects and Activities Management Directive, and Procurement Policy (incorporating sustainability principles) to help us operate in a more sustainable manner
  • became a member in the Sustainability Advantage Program to help guide initiatives
  • commenced the development of a Coastal Management Program to better plan for and address coastal hazards that are exacerbated by climate change.

What council hopes to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability

We are hoping to establish achievable emission reduction and renewable energy targets to improve our environmental and financial performance. Our internal sustainable energy panel currently tracks electricity consumption and would like to expand the monitoring to water, fuel and waste usage to manage and report on our council’s improvements towards the determined targets.

We are currently developing a Sustainability Action Plan and Roadmap to set the agenda for our council’s renewable energy, water and waste projects and to establish achievable emissions targets for the organisation. We continue to investigate opportunities for investing in renewable energy in consultation with Port Stephens residents, community groups, local businesses, industry bodies and other government agencies.

What council hopes to gain from being a member of the Cities Power Partnership

By aligning with like-minded councils throughout Australia, we hope to develop opportunities to enhance our environmental performance and reduce emissions, whilst ensuring financial sustainability. We are seeking guidance on innovative technologies and behavioural change initiatives that have the capability to be embraced by our council, community and local businesses. We also seek to contribute to the Cities Power Partnership by sharing our knowledge, initiatives and targets with partnering councils, the community and local businesses.


Council has committed to the following Cities Power Partnership pledges:

Renewable energy
Install renewable energy (solar PV and battery storage) on council buildings.
Power council operations by renewable energy, and set targets to increase the level of renewable power for council operations over time.
Sustainable Transport
Encourage sustainable transport use such as public transport, walking and cycling through council transport planning and design.
Work Together and Influence
Set up meetings and attend events to work with other cities on tackling climate change.
Develop education and behaviour-change programs to support local residents and businesses to tackle climate change through clean energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport.

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