The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and the Department of Environment and Science (DES) have established a partnership to support local governments in Queensland to plan for and respond to climate change.
The Q CRC is a five-year program working with Queensland local governments to strengthen internal council decision-making processes to respond to climate change.
The objectives of the program are to ensure:
- the barriers to Queensland local government incorporation of climate change considerations and responses in core decision-making are understood;
- 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
- testing of the preparation of multi-stakeholder local government climate strategies that will inform the finalisation of the Queensland local government climate risk management framework.
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, the Queensland Government engaged a consultant to undertake a state-wide desktop assessment of local government governance arrangements and found that councils need to strengthen critical frameworks for climate resilience decision-making.
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 dashboard below is a summary of councils’ overall practice levels across the ten indicators assessed. 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, Asset Management and Climate Risk Management.
The Program provides an opportunity to understand how well your council’s current governance arrangements will support efficient and effective climate change action. The Governance Assessments will allow you to compare your council against other similar councils and provide clear recommendations on how you can improve.
Visit Program Services for more.