65 actions to help South Australia adapt to climate change
Date posted: 14 February 2018
Hon Ian Hunter MLC
Minister for Climate Change
The South Australian Government has proposed 65 actions to help protect our economy, unique landscapes, and communities from the challenges arising from climate change.
The Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan launched today outlines measures that Government will embed into its planning and development processes, housing, energy, health and emergency services, and agricultural, coastal, water and environmental management.
The Plan builds on regional adaptation plans that were prepared across the State by local and regional bodies. The regional plans identified key issues in their communities, such as water security, sea level rise, and heatwaves. The Plan reinforces the collaborative action that needs to be taken by all levels of government, business and community.
South Australia has, and will continue to, experience changes in temperature, sea level rise, and rainfall.
Climate change adaptation is about taking action to manage current and future risk from the impacts of climate change to protect and strengthen the State’s communities, environment and economy.
This Plan builds on the common themes identified in the regional adaptation plans and aims to embed climate change adaptation considerations in all relevant areas of the Government.
These actions include integrating climate change considerations into instruments under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act, advocating for increased resilience under the Building Code of Australia, expanding the availability of locally sourced carbon offsets, ensuring Natural Resources Management Plans are climate-ready, and preparing a State disaster resilience strategy.
Across South Australia, communities and Local Governments are already taking action. Regional plans were prepared by local councils, Regional Development Australia, Local Government Association, and the Outback Communities Authority by coming together and discussing how climate change may affect their particular regions, businesses, industries and communities.
Regional projects that have come from these plans include regional energy programs to assist residents and businesses to reduce their electricity consumption and costs; supporting regional economic development and job creating and attracting new industries; and undertaking urban heat mapping to determine where hot spots are and what action is needed to help lower the amount of heat being trapped in a particular area to lower climate-related health impacts.
Quotes attributable to Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter
It is important for the Government to take the impacts of climate change seriously. This Plan will allow us to embed climate risk into our planning and policy processes.
Embedding climate change in our decision making will not only help the stability of Government services in changing times, it will also help ensure that our economy, and our people are resilient to the impacts of a changing climate.
Government needs to take changes in temperature, sea level rise, and other impacts into consideration when delivering its services to the public, including healthcare, infrastructure and developments, public housing, and water management.
One of the areas where the Government has taken action to help reduce the impact of climate change is the electricity system. It is predicted that South Australia will experience more days over 40C, putting more pressure on the electricity grid. By installing solar thermal in Port Augusta, establishing a virtual solar plant across 50,000 homes, solar farms in the far north, and wind farms throughout the State, we are keeping our network resilient and our services running.
The Plan and its actions were made possible by the work that all of the State’s local councils, Natural Resources Management Boards, Regional Development Australia, the Local Government Association, and the Outback Communities Authority have done in their own regions over the past five years to consider the impact of climate change, and what they determined needed to actioned.