It’s just a sneaking suspicion but The Fifth Estate thinks there’s been an uptick in the number of sustainability-related positions being advertised by local councils.
In just the last seven days, the City of Launceston, Gympie Regional Council and the City of Ryde lodged job ads for sustainability officers and other similiar positions. These numbers are not unusual.
Mayor of City of Port Phillip council in Melbourne, Dick Gross, offered up a few possible reasons as to why local governments might be bolstering their sustainability capabilities, if this is indeed the case.
Firstly, he says the federal government has failed to mitigate climate change impacts, leaving local governments and other players to step up to the role.
“It’s the federal government’s job and they’ve failed, been negligent or worse.”
He says what’s happening is a “form of cost shifting” where councils are “spending more money on this type of thing”.
Councillor Gross used the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project agreement as an example.
The first of its kind, the MREP is a power purchasing agreement signed by 14 universities, cultural institutions, corporations and councils, including Port Phillip, to buy renewable energy from the newly built Crowlands windfarm.
He says the complicated deal was a “classic example” of increased council activity and focus that may contribute to an influx of council jobs in the environmental sector.
A more expectant community could also be driving demand for jobs. For example, Cr Gross says there’s been a “huge anti-Adani movement” in the City of Port Phillip and managing it is leading to a small source of new work for the council.
On the flip side, a lack of federal legislation on climate change actually tends to result in less work for councils, he says.
“Back in the day when [former Prime Minister Julia Gillard] enacted the pricing of carbon, that was a complicated process that we needed to get our heads around and we needed to employ people to get their head around it.”
He suspects if there is a change of government at the federal level there will be more opportunities for people to work in the sustainability space.
Here’s our pick of the jobs for this week:
The City of Ryde in Sydney need a senior sustainability coordinator – transport and environment to work within the council’s environment team to “contribute towards really making a difference.”
The City of Launceston in Tasmania is looking to a sustainability officer to manage and acquit sustainability projects on behalf of the council, including projects funded by external grants.
The Gympie Regional Council in Queensland has a new opportunity for a coordinator sustainability to join the team full-time.
The Green Building Council of Australia is looking for a new administrator (sustainability) to be responsible for facilitating the Green Star certification process by supporting external project teams and Certified Assessors. The GBCA is also looking to fill an Internship (sustainability) role.