2013 Climate Adaptation Champion, Government - South Australian Government and Local Governments Association, SA


Rohan Hamden and Adam GraySouth Australian Climate Change Adaptation Program

 The South Australian Climate Change Adaptation Program is a collaboration between the Government of South Australia (under the Climate Change and Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Act 2007) and the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA). 

South Australia had the benefit of influence back in 2007 from international Thinkers in Residence Herbert Giradet and the late Stephen Schneider who outlined the roles and options available to South Australia in climate change. With the enactment of the Climate Change and Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Act 2007, this legislative mandate created the mechanisms for formal collaboration between industries, communities, regional bodies, local and state governments. In 2008 the Local Government Association of SA Mutual Liability Scheme (LGA MLS), insurers to the local government sector, required every Council state-wide to participate in a climate change risk assessment process. The assessment was delivered in response to a growing awareness of the science of climate change, likely impacts to the state, and reinsurance industry requests for the sector to consider risk exposure to the impacts of climate. As a result of this process, CEOs for each Council were given the responsibility to implement climate change adaptive actions. Outputs of the project included a risk assessment for each Council, a sector wide risk assessment summary and the LGA MLS requirement that each Council address the risks identified for their business. Concurrent activity in the LGASA saw the development of the 2008-2012 LGA Climate Change Strategy and the development of a partnership with the State Government that brought the two sectors together under a State and Local Government Climate Change Sector Agreement. This agreement identified a number of mutually beneficial climate change projects for collaboration including targets for the development of regional adaptation plans across the State.

The Program assists South Australian councils to meet their obligations from a climate change risk assessment program under the LGASA’s Mutual Liability Scheme. In recognition of the benefits of the regional approach, the Government of South Australia developed the Climate Change Adaptation Framework for South Australia in 2011. After extensive community consultation, this policy was launched by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment & Conservation in August 2012.The program is unique in its ‘bottom-up’ approach that is clearly articulated in the Government of South Australia’s Climate Change Adaptation Framework for South Australia August 2012 and the practical support provided in the LGASA’s Guidelines for Integrated Climate Change Adaptation November 2012.

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