Cool Changes

Overview

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. Our 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.

Romsey and Lancefield

From March to August 2021, Council staff and consultants worked with the community to develop a guide showcasing local action for environmental sustainability in Romsey and Lancefield, and providing a foundation for future action to address climate change at the local level.

The plan explores several themes in the local context: 

  • Caring for Country
  • Renewable energy
  • Sustainable transport
  • Better homes and buildings
  • Food, health and wellbeing
  • Waste minimisation, recycling and the circular economy.

Following consideration of feedback received to a draft version of the plan, a final version of the plan is now available:

It is hoped that the plan can be further promoted at a community event later in 2021 (pending COVID-19 restrictions), and will act as a springboard for local action on climate change into the future, potentially through the formation of a local sustainability action group.

If you would like more information about the plan and how you can help progress sustainability at the local level, call Silvana Predebon on (03) 5421 9659.

Woodend Region Climate Change Action Plan

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(DOCX, 10MB) / Cool Changes Woodend Region Climate Change Action Plan(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 spredebon@mrsc.vic.gov.au, 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.

Sustainable Malmsbury

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

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

The three goals are:

  • Zero Net Emissions
  • Resource wise
  • Grow a sustainable, resilient and connected community

Sustainable Malmsbury is a living initiative that will continue to evolve. It provided the foundation for the Sustainable Malmsbury Action Group to form under the umbrella of the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group, and a springboard for various community activities, some supported by grants.

Sustainable Malmsbury was a pilot project in Council’s wider program for facilitating the development of local climate change action plans, now titled Cool Changes. Cool Changes will be conducted in locations across the shire over the next few years. For more information, contact Silvana Predebon on (03) 5421 9659 or email spredebon@mrsc.vic.gov.au