HEPBURN SHIRE COUNCIL has joined more than 1000 local governments around the world in declaring a climate emergency.
The council resolved to join the growing global movement in an unanimous decision to declare a emergency at its September council meeting.
Prior to the decision, the council had received many letters and even a petition from students at Daylesford College, urging councillors to recognise the emergency.
Mayor, councillor Don Henderson, said the declaration supported what the council was already doing to reduce the most significant impacts of climate change.
He said every councillor believed in climate change and how worried about it many residents are.
"Our Council has been leading the way with several key projects and initiatives that are delivering a reduction in our own emissions, while also assisting the community to reduce their emissions," he said.
He said a diverse community lived within the shire, from people living within the townships to people living in more rural areas and so many issues associated with climate change like water security were growing concerns.
With the council already working with the community to pioneer a number of significant initiatives including the Towards Zero Emissions Road Map, the Z-Net project, solar savers, the Hepburn Solar Bulk Buy and waste to energy, the move will bring the council in line with the growing movement.
Sustainability officer Dominic Murphy represented the council alongside Hepburn Wind's Taryn Lane in presenting to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Tackling Climate Change in Victorian Communities on Wednesday.
The public hearings are examining what urban, rural and regional communities in Victoria are doing to tackle climate change and how the government can support them.
Mr Murphy said the council had long been considering what recognising the climate emergency would mean for the community in relation to the actions they are already undertaking.
"We want to align with and support the movement. A lot of the jurisdictions declaring an emergency are specifying specific actions like plans and budgets to address emissions and report outcomes," he said.
Given that the council already has so many funded climate mitigation projects around sustainability and a council and community road map to reduce emissions, the recognition simply makes it more formalised.
The council will now report bi-annually to the community on all emission reduction and climate mitigation projects and will continue to expand on its Z-Net project within the community.
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