The Queensland Climate Resilient Councils (Q CRC) program is working with Queensland local governments to deliver services and products that will strengthen staff and leadership team skills and capacity 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 program is funded to end June 2022.
Why is this program needed?
The best available science tells us that our climate is becoming less stable, and we are experiencing increasing 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 - lose focus, and high priority goals and objectives suffer.
A 2016 a statewide desktop assessment of councils’ governance arrangements found an urgent need to strengthen governance practice standards across all indicator areas.
Ten indicators were reviewed and scored according to a practice standard ranging from ‘No Data’ (score 0) through to ‘Advanced’ (score 50). The best performing councils achieved ‘Basic Practice’ level for some indicators, well below the ‘Good Practice Benchmark’ of Intermediate (30).
Good climate risk governance is a sound indicator for how resilient and adapted a council and its community is likely to be. Therefore, a cornerstone of the program is to assist councils to understand their governance strengths and weaknesses and how they can be improved.
A 2019 statewide desktop reassessment found an 89% improvement in governance practice standards since the commencement of the program.
Graph 1 compares statewide climate governance practice scores by Queensland council region from the 2016 and 2019 statewide assessment, by Queensland local government regions.
GRAPH 1. STATEWIDE CLIMATE GOVERNANCE PRACTICE SCORES 2016 VS 2019 BY QLD COUNCIL REGION
Graph 2 compares statewide desktop governance results from 2016 and 2019 for each core indicator. Councils scored highest in Emergency/Disaster Management, Green House Gas Emissions, and Land Use Planning. The weakest practice areas are incorporating climate risk into Public Risk Register, Asset Management, and Climate Risk Management Framework.
GRAPH 2. STATEWIDE CLIMATE GOVERNANCE SCORES BY INDICATOR 2016 VS 2019
Graph 3 compares statewide desktop governance results from 2019 segmented by participating and non participating councils.
GRAPH 3. STATEWIDE CLIMATE GOVERNANCE SCORES BY INDICATOR - PARTICIPATING VS NON PARTICIPATING COUNCILS 2019
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.
Visit Program Services for more.