Statement of Intent provides starting point for ongoing climate change dialogue

Image of trees

Scenic Rim Regional Council has a clear vision for action to meet its challenges of climate change at the local level, following the adoption of its final Scenic Rim Climate Change Statement of Intent at yesterday’s Ordinary Meeting.

Mayor Greg Christensen said the Statement of Intent demonstrates Council’s commitment to building a sustainable future for Scenic Rim communities based on solid data and the expectation of other levels of government playing their part.

“This is the beginning of an exciting journey,” he said.

“As a region, we are custodians of environmental and primary production precincts and their local communities that have long been the envy of many.

“Our Climate Change Statement of Intent provides a framework for Council to play its part in ensuring these precincts remain valuable, liveable and productive, not only for our region but also our state and our nation.”

Mayor Greg Christensen said the Statement of Intent will be integral to the development of the Scenic Rim Climate Change Strategy, to be actioned as part of Council’s 2022-2023 Operational Plan.

It not only addresses community concerns raised since the 2019 bushfires but also provides a starting point for ongoing dialogue over climate change issues.

“Faced with global uncertainty, we need to consider the challenge of climate change as a threat to achieving the best future for our unique and diverse region,” he said.

“As Council, we recognise the significant impacts that climate change presents for our region, along with the direct and indirect impacts of severe weather and disaster events including flood, fire and drought – all of which, sadly, the Scenic Rim has experienced in recent years.

“The future presents many challenges and Council is committed to working with the local community, businesses, industries and other levels of government to mitigate and adapt to the particular challenge of climate change.”

Following the bushfires in the east and west of the Scenic Rim in late 2019, community concern was raised for the need for Scenic Rim Regional Council to declare a climate emergency.

A Mayoral Minute, Climate Change A Way Forward, was tabled at Council’s Ordinary Meeting on 9 December 2019 and at the Ordinary Meeting of 20 January 2020 a second Mayoral Minute was presented proposing an Interim Statement of Intent for Climate Change.

Following the adoption of the Interim Climate Change Statement of Intent, Council’s Biodiversity and Climate Change Team established an internal taskforce to ensure an organisation-wide approach to the issue, including the development of a baseline carbon footprint and pathways to achieving carbon neutrality.

The taskforce also reviewed the interim statement of intent, to ensure it achieved a clear vision for climate action, before Council sought feedback on the interim statement through a community engagement survey conducted over six weeks from mid-April 2022.

“Overall, respondents identified community resilience as the highest point for action, which measures areas such as water saving, low emissions transport and community education all ranking highly,” Mayor Christensen said.

“I am delighted to see the adoption of the Scenic Rim Climate Change Statement of Intent that aligns with our Community Plan vision for the long-term economic, social and environmental sustainability of our region.”