Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Liveable and Just

'Liveable and Just' is a project funded by the Local Sustainability Accord. The partners are the VLGA, the McCaughey Centre, DSE and the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

These notes were taken at a workshop held at the VLGA on 30 June. This was the final workshop of a series conducted around the state

Panellists: John Wiseman and Taegan Edwards , McCaughey Centre, Liana Thompson, VLGA, Bronwen Davies, DSE

attendees: a range of community development, social and health planners, environmental staff, and councillors

'Liveable and Just' aims to
  • consider the social impacts of climate change

  • consider what this will mean for councils

  • think about and develop some tools to assist local governments address the social impacts of climate change


  • 'Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century' [Lancet, May 16, 2009]


The areas of social impact that workshop participants identified/anticipated

  • transport

  • food scarcity

  • depression/mental health

  • stressed service systems

  • ageing community

  • heatwave

  • pressure on recreational facilities

  • distrust of Council - council messages don't have credibility with community

  • 'ghost' suburbs

  • isolated settlements of retired people with no access to services/transport

  • managing change, expectations

  • inspiring positive change rather than despair

  • evacuation - consider buddy councils

  • social disharmony


  • don't necessarily see low incomes as a 'deficit'. Celebrate those who live with less

  • skills in local government sector - (refer to the response to fires) Q: would the same level of responsiveness be in evidence if crises arise each year?

  • skilled volunteering Q: can it be sustained year on year?

  • council leadership

  • work with neighbourhood centres

  • support sustainability ambassadors/leaders in the community

  • council enabling, rather than frustrating action S: a suite of trees residents could choose from rather than waiting years for trees to be planted

  • support local travel/local services

  • communication: within and across councils, with communities, levels of government,

  • never been a more important topic to work across/coordinate across council departments

  • skill up communities

  • manage relationships, which partnerships need strengthening?

What resources are needed?:

  • more localised information to postcode level - green maps

  • scorecards in decision making that favour climate friendly initiatives

  • cards to generate discussion

  • make it easy to access relevant information

  • best practice community engagement - examples and stories

  • a pool of engaging facilitators

  • a clearing house for information

  • partnerships with universities

  • networks, mentoring and relationships - also between producer/consumer, urban/rural

  • partnerships and regional collaboration

S: suggestion Q: question

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