21 March 2013 — Local government action on climate adaptation and sustainability will be supported by $6 million funding from the Victorian Government.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said the funding would “provide real and practical support to local government through funding, mentoring and a range of partnership projects”.

The partnership includes the membership of all 79 Victorian local councils.

“The Government will establish a new adaptation mentoring initiative to provide practical assistance to climate adaptation risk assessment and planning activities,” he said.

“Skilled mentors will work with councils to address adaptation planning in practical ways.

“This could involve assessing data and risks from bushfires, sea level rise, floods and storms, through to droughts and their possible impact on local economies, service delivery, the environment and infrastructure.”

The $6 million funding be delivered through:

  • $4 million in grants for individual and partnership projects to enhance sustainability and climate resilience locally. The first round will open in mid-2013
  •  a new, two-year, state-wide mentoring initiative that provides skilled mentors to work together with councils, supported by a training package and an interactive adaptation knowledge hub
  •  partnership projects to progress key adaptation and sustainability issues between state and local government and information sharing between councils.

Support for adaptation planning was highlighted as a high priority for councils in research funded by the Coalition Government and undertaken by the Municipal Association of Victoria: Supporting Victorian local government manage climate risks and plan for change.

“This initiative provides hands-on support and recognises that adaptation planning will be different for all councils because of the diversity of risks and circumstances for different regions of Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.

A new Ministerial advisory committee to oversee the partnership is being appointed and will be in operation by April 2013.

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