We will adapt to the impacts of climate change. Working together, we will be prepared, adept and resilient in the face of climate change challenges.
Our institutions, agencies, universities, industries, businesses and community leaders will partner to develop the world’s best responses. Our infrastructure and open space will be designed effectively and our community will have the knowledge to decrease climate change impacts.
What does climate change mean for South West Victoria?
Climate Change will affect each region differently. For South West Victoria, current climate change trends mean hotter and drier conditions than we are used to.
By 2030 the potential impacts will be:
- An average temperature rise of almost 1 degree C;
- An increase in the number of hot days (over 30 degrees C), while our winters will warm slightly less (+ 0.7 degrees C);
- A decrease in rainfall over spring of 7% and a decrease in the annual average rainfall of 4%
By 2070 if emissions are not drastically reduced, we will see:
- An average temperature increase of 2.4 degrees C;
- Significant biodiversity losses;
- The average number of hot days (when the maximum is over 30 degrees C) increase from 17 currently to 28 by 2070;
- Total rainfall decline and come in short sharp bursts;
- Less rain and higher evaporation rates, reducing the amount of available water for our waterways;
- Run off into the Hopkins River system decline by as much as 50% (Department of Sustainability and Environment, 2008), due also to the combination of a larger population and increased demand.
By the end of the century, 2100, we are expecting:
- The sea level to rise as much as 75cm in South West Victoria;
- 2.2m sea level rise during storm surges
Key programs include:
South West Climate Change Portal
The South West Climate Change Portal, a collaboration between the local government authorities of south-west Victoria, the Corangamite and Glenelg-Hopkins CMAs and the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation. The portal’s aim is to be an enabling tool. It provides regionally specific climate change information that can be used by NRM and other planners, land managers and community groups, as well as those working directly with community groups, to help the south-west region adapt to a changing climate.
Climate Resilient Communities of the Barwon South West
The Climate Resilient Communities of the Barwon South West project is a collaboration between 10 Councils in the Barwon South West region and a range of partners, including Catchment Management Authorities and water authorities.
The project began in 2012 with the aim of helping communities throughout the region to understand what risks and opportunities might be presented by future extreme weather events. It has sought to build municipal preparedness to extreme climate events through a wide range of planning and embedding projects.
Climate Change Action Plan
The Action Plan provides direction for Warrnambool City Council and the Community to build environmental, social and economic resilience to Climate Change and its associated impacts.
Sustainable Subdivisions Framework
The creation of a subdivision is the creation of a community. Subdivision design commences with a relatively blank canvas, setting up the life of the community that will extend over hundreds of years. The initial subdivision design presents an enormous opportunity to create the fundamental conditions for a sustainable and resilient community.
The Warrnambool City Council along with partnering local governments are testing the Sustainable Subdivisions Framework through existing planning processes for a trial from October 2020 to October 2022.
Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines
The Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines seek to provide guidance on alternative design considerations and materials that will deliver more sustainable infrastructure. Further information can be found at the following link: Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines
Sustainable Council Buildings Policy
Warrnambool City Council is responsible for over 400 buildings and structures used by staff and community members. Buildings are large consumers of energy, water and other resources and they play an important role in achieving Council’s vision to be the most environmentally sustainable regional city in Australia.
The purpose of this Sustainable Building Policy is to incorporate sustainable design and operation into all Council buildings. This will be achieved by applying this policy to new builds, renovations and facilities management for buildings owned, leased and managed by Council. The Policy confirms that Council building projects must integrate consideration of their external landscape and public realm context, as well as increasingly frequent and extreme weather events predicted as a result of climate change.