Council members Lynda, Denise and Ailsa met with Briony to touch base on Shire of Mundaring (SoM) activities and priorities relating to climate change. Briony advised them that Council had adopted the revised Emissions Reduction Strategy (ERS) 2024, revised since the Shire of Mundaring had already met the 30% target agreed in 2018. The new target is a 70% reduction on emissions from the 2016/17 levels. We congratulated her on an excellent document and background paper. It is particularly pleasing that the 70% reduction target does not include carbon offsets.

Issues discussed included:

  1. Our view that the SoM needs to increase resourcing to develop, monitor and report on climate action. A suggestion had been made to utilise savings from the changeover to LED lighting to fund a sustainability officer, however this has not been confirmed. The planning and environment team resources are primarily responding to development applications, and the FOGO project is currently using a lot of staff resources. 
  2. A new Environment Advisory group replaces the Environment Advisory Committee. It consists of two councillors and several external members – all local and highly skilled in climate and environmental issues. PHCCIG representatives will be guests at their April meeting to introduce our group and determine how we can work together.
  3. We questioned when the review of the SoM Climate Adaptation Plan (2012) is likely. This is difficult and relies to an extent on WA and Federal government risk assessments, which are complex and do not always drill down to local area level. A review requires considerable work and expertise and realistically the SoM needs to source funds for a consultant, to avoid expensive mistakes.
  4. The SoM has useful leaflets on building Solar Passive buildings. Briony committed to investigating how other local governments have promoted a ban on dark roofs as an energy efficiency measure. Building permits largely determine the rules for building, which are overseen by the State government, not local government.
  5. Increasing heat is an issue for residents of SoM and the provision of ‘cooling centres’ as highlighted in the community wellbeing strategy will be incorporated into the proposed community centre hub. Currently the library stays open late in the event of bushfires etc.
  6. The key priorities for the SoM Environment team are those outlined in the revised ERS.