The Q CRC is a five-year program working with Queensland local governments to strengthen internal council decision-making capabilities to plan for and respond to the challenges and opportunities arising from climate change.
The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and the Department of Environment and Science (DES) established a partnership in 2016 to fund and implement the program.
The objectives of the program are to:
- Understand the barriers to Queensland local government incorporation of climate change considerations and responses in core decision-making;
- Ensure Queensland local governments have access to tested, accurate, appropriately targeted and fit-for-purpose information, templates and documents enabling defensible, timely and effective local climate change decision-making;
- Local governments participating in detailed governance assessments are supported to explicitly incorporate climate change considerations in statutory and corporate documents, systems and processes; and
- Test the Queensland Local Government Climate Risk Management Framework, through piloting the preparation of two multi-stakeholder local government area climate strategies.
Why is this program needed?
The best available science tells us that our climate is changing, and we are experiencing increased changes in temperature, rainfall, sea level and extreme weather conditions affecting how we live and work. It makes sense to take appropriate action to better manage our climate risks. By adopting a risked based approach, we can adapt to such changes and still enjoy our lifestyles and stay safe.
There is a lot we can all do mitigate the impacts of global warming and local governments can lead and support their communities and local business to get on the front foot.
All good leaders understand that strong leadership must be supported by strong governance. Without the right governance arrangements in place, decision-making - particularly in diverse and complex organisations like councils - loses focus, and high priority goals and objectives suffer.
In 2016, a state-wide desktop assessment of councils’ governance arrangements found they needed to strengthen practice standards in several key governance indicator areas.
Ten indicators were reviewed and scored according to a practice standard ranging from ‘none’ (score 0) through to ‘advanced’ (score 40). The best performing councils achieved ‘Basic Practice’ level for some indicators, well below the ‘Good Practice Benchmark’ of Intermediate (20).
Below is a graph of the resulting scores by Queensland local government region:
The graph below is a summary of councils’ practice levels across the ten indicators. Councils scored highest in Emergency/Disaster Management, Green House Gas Emissions and Land Use Planning. The weakest practice areas are incorporating climate change into Risk Registers, Financial Management and Asset Management. With almost no data specific to Climate Risk Management.
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