Climate change

Cool Changes

Cool Changes is our program that works with local communities across the shire to facilitate the development of local climate action plans. The program enacts a council commitment in its Climate Change Action Plan, adopted in June 2017.

Cool Changes is based on the principle of community-led planning, whereby members of a local community determine the content of the action plan, and are therefore more likely to take ownership of the plan and ensure implementation of its actions.  Council’s role as a facilitator is to provide a forum where the development of the plan can be guided by independent consultants working with the community. 

Cool Changes evolved from the successful pilot project, Sustainable Malmsbury in 2018-2019. It was then conducted for the wider Woodend Region (covered by postcode 3442) in 2020, resulting in the Cool Changes Woodend Region Climate Change Action Plan.

Council is currently planning the delivery of Cool Changes for 2021, with the project location to be confirmed in February.

If you would like more information, call Silvana Predebon on (03) 5421 9659 or email

What is climate change?

We are currently involved in various projects aimed at mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change in our region.

The term 'climate change' refers to changes in climate, such as increasing temperatures, more frequent extreme weather events and rising sea levels caused by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. While we can avoid the worst effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, some impacts are unavoidable and are already occurring.

Community Climate Action in the Woodend Region

Cool Changes 3442 commenced with a community forum on 2 March 2020. The project was then re-designed to be delivered online, with the first workshop held on 25 May 2020. The project was led by consultants HipVHype, and supported by an online project hub.

Discussions held via online workshops, the project hub, and phone calls and emails allowed goals and actions for addressing climate change within the region to be gathered and assessed. A draft plan was then promoted to the wider community to gain feedback in late 2020. In all, around 70 residents participated in the development of the plan throughout the challenging year 2020.   

The resulting Cool Changes Woodend Region Climate Change Action Plan word(DOCX, 10MB) pdf(PDF, 5MB) contains over 25 actions for addressing climate change, all supported by the two key principles of  “People on Board” for “Zero Net Emissions”.

The plan will continue to evolve over time as different sectors of the community can become more involved in local action for sustainability. For more information, contact Silvana Predebon on (03) 5421 9659 or email, or see contact details for community members listed in the plan. 

Additional support from Sustainability Victoria’s Zero Carbon Communities Transition program will enable the online approach to project planning to be a model for other communities to use in the future.

Community Climate Action in Malmsbury

Through a series of community events and workshops the Sustainable Malmsbury Action Plan was created.

From October 2018 to February 2019 the Malmsbury community were invited to share their ideas about climate change and environmental sustainability.

The Sustainable Malmsbury Action Plan(PDF, 9MB) was created by and for the Malmsbury community. It outlines the sustainability goals along with a set of personal and community actions that can help bring these goals to life.

Sustainable Malmsbury is a living initiative that will continue to evolve. 

Climate Change Action Plan 2017

In June 2016, Council adopted a target to reduce greenhouse emissions from its operations by 25 per cent by 2020–21, from the baseline year of 2014–15. On 28 June 2017, Council adopted its first Climate Change Action Plan to outline how it will meet this target, and how it will support the community in climate change action.

We report on progress to achieve our emissions reduction target in our Annual Environment Report.

Regional Climate Adaptation Plan

The Regional Climate Adaptation Plan (2014) identifies risks, vulnerabilities and priority adaptation actions for six partner councils in the southern Lodden Mallee region. 

It complements the Macedon Ranges Climate Change and Adaptation Report.

The plan provides a road map for future regional collaborative projects and identifies ways to reduce duplication across local government areas in addressing climate change.

It includes:

Preparation of the plan was funded by the Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership (VASP) and led by the City of Greater Bendigo.

Macedon Ranges Climate Change and Adaptation Report

In 2012, Council carried out a climate change risk assessment to understand how vulnerable our organisation, local communities and natural environment are to the potential effects of climate change.

The result of this work was the Climate Change Adaptation Report in Climate Change Adaptation Report(DOCX, 2MB) or Climate Change Adaptation Report(PDF, 3MB).

The report highlights population growth predictions and emerging trends in employment, education, health, population and industry. 

It includes details of historic extreme weather events to help us understand the real-life impact of climate change on Council-managed infrastructure and the natural assets of the shire.

It is a valuable reference tool to help build awareness and understanding of climate change in the community.

It also identifies many opportunities available to Council to improve the way we do business and better respond to our community’s needs.