Stronger focus on climate change in Budget

Published on 15 July 2022


Corangamite Shire Council will dedicate more than $800,000 towards climate change and sustainability initiatives in this year’s budget.

Recruitment is underway for a new fixed-term Climate Change and Emissions Reduction position, while electric vehicle (EV) charging stations will be installed at Council offices and depots to transition to an EV fleet in the future.

Other climate specific initiatives include investigating solar panels and a potential In-vessel composting facility at Corangamite Regional Landfill.

Mayor Ruth Gstrein said the new initiatives would support annual programs such as environment support and facility grants for communities, more street trees in towns, water saving initiatives, and solar panels on Council buildings.

“As an organisation, sustainability has been something we have been chipping away at for a long time through our capital works and operating budgets, but there is certainly a stronger focus on mitigating climate change in this budget,” Cr Gstrein said.

“The new climate change position will work with our communities to drive more energy and water saving projects across the shire, as well as other projects to reduce emissions and benefit our natural environment.”

She said that communities expected their governments to genuinely act on climate change.

“Our Community Vision 2040 which was developed by residents in 2021, asks that Council leads by example and puts measures in place to address the impacts of climate emergency.

“Having dealt with drought, fires, floods and major storm events over the past decade, we have been doing a lot around adapting infrastructure to future risks.

“For example, we have invested more in drainage infrastructure to cope with storm events and protect our local roads from damage during floods,” Cr Gstrein said.

Deputy Mayor Geraldine Conheady said a great deal of debate and decision-making goes into forming the budget.

“We give strong regard to our responsibility to deliver much needed services to our communities and to properly manage and maintain community assets.

“The 2022-23 budget has given attention to climate change in a manner I feel is responsible and balanced in relation to Council’s overall duties to our communities,” Cr Conheady said.

2022-2023 Budget allocations:

  • Climate Change and Emissions Reduction Officer position - $120K
  • EV charging station - $100K
  • Urban Street Tree Program - $200K
  • Environment Support grants program - $50K
  • Facility Design grants program - $80K
  • Energy and water saving initiatives on Council buildings - $100K
  • Sustainable Agriculture Industries Strategy Stage 1 - $40K
  • Investigate conversion to solar at Corangamite Regional Landfill - $40K
  • In-vessel composting business case and financial viability model - $80K