By 2030 Benalla Rural City will experience more extreme weather events such as fire, drought and flood due to the impacts of climate change. Benalla Rural City can expect warmer average annual temperatures, an increase in the number of days over 30°C and a reduction in the total average annual rainfall.
All these changes will impact on local community, infrastructure, agriculture and the environment. Climate change adaptation and mitigation is essential to managing risks and protecting the economy and resilience of our communities.
Some ways we can adapt to these conditions include planting resilient plants, using innovative garden design to maximise soil efficiency and water efficiency.
The streetscape of Bridge Street West has been modified with the impacts of climate change in mind. Plants have been carefully selected to be resilient to drought stress.
To find out more about plant species that are tolerant of dry conditions, storms or that are fire retardant, see the Benalla Rural City Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan 2013-2025 page.
The Council, in partnership with Alpine Shire, is implementing the ‘Rec-Less – less water, less often, more resilient open spaces’ project (Rec-Less project) to better manage our open spaces in a time of climate change. Visit our Rec-Less, Less Water, Less Often page for helpful information about improving resilience in your garden.
How are we preparing for climate change?
In 2013, using State government funding through the Sustainability Fund under the Victorian Local Sustainability Accord, we prepared the Climate Change Adaption Action Plan 2013-2025 (The Plan).
The Plan was developed using expert advice on climate change impacts in the North East of Victoria and staff insights into what these impacts would mean for Council business. A project Steering Committee, made up of external agencies and community groups, provided oversight and worked to build partnerships between the Council and other stakeholders in Benalla Rural City to adapt to potential changes in climate.
The development of the Plan was an action identified in the Benalla Rural City Council Environment Strategy 2012, and helps the Council to:
- Identify and prioritise climate change risks to Council operations, services and activities
- Identify and prioritise adaptation actions to improve the resilience of Council
- Identify opportunities to engage with stakeholders and the community on further adaption efforts.
- Reduce our vulnerability to climate change impacts or to capitalize on opportunities created by changes in climate.
How does the adaptation action plan work?
The Plan sits underneath the Environment Strategy and informs all Council’s strategic documents through its 52 actions to be implemented over the 12-year life of the plan. The plan is up for review after four years (2017) and after eight years (2021).
The adaption actions address the following broad areas:
- Healthy and resilient community
- Healthy and resilient economy
- Healthy and resilient environment
- A prepared and responsive council that demonstrates leadership
The Plan also allows Council to act on obligations to the North East and Goulburn Broken Greenhouse Alliances.
Download a copy of the Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan 2013-2025(PDF, 136KB).
For more information about adapting to our changing climate, download our community resource ‘We Live in a Changing Climate(PDF, 2MB).’