|20 November 2018
Wattle Range Council took out the top prize at this years’ SA Climate Leaders Awards. Council was again recognised for strong partnerships with its community, in this case through the development of the Southend Coastal Adaptation Strategy.
Council’s Manager Environmental Services, Lauren Oxlade accepted the Award and $10,000 prize from the Hon. David Speirs MP, Minister for Environment and Water and Bruce Carter, Chair of the Premier's Climate Change Council, at a ceremony held in the South Australian Museum on October 31.
Wattle Range Council worked with the Southend community to develop a coastal adaptation strategy for the town, creating a plan for the future with strong community ownership.
The towns coastal assets, land and infrastructure are experiencing increased storm damage, erosion and inundation risk, which will be exacerbated by sea level rise and the need for a long-term strategic management approach was recognised.
With the assistance of consultants, Council and members of the local community were involved in reviewing the likely impacts of a range of scenarios, so they were able to express the changes they could live with, and the values they wanted to protect. Community participation in the process meant a greater level of understanding and acceptance that some difficult decisions would need to be made. The project now provides a ‘template’ demonstrating a best practice approach for other coastal council’s and towns to follow.
Council has also received great feedback from industry partners following the win - “Wattle Range Council’s Southend Adaptation Strategy is an excellent example of planning with the community to identify options to adapt to climate change. The community and the Council have bravely tackled the issue, and resolved to have a ‘managed retreat’ in some areas rather than pursuing further engineering solutions” said Fiona Rasheed, Presiding Member, South East Natural Resources Management Board.
The project was supported by the Coast Protection Board and the Local Government Association of SA.
Pictured: Wattle Range Council's Manager Environmental Services, Lauren Oxlade accepts the SA Climate Leaders Award from Hon. David Speirs MP and Bruce Carter, Chair of the Premier's Climate Change Council.
For further information please contact:
Ben Gower, Chief Executive Officer
Telephone: (08) 8733 0900