Queenscliff Climate Action Group

Queenscliffe Climate Action Group comprises residents and business owners from Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff in the Borough of Queenscliffe.


Queenscliffe Climate Action Group comprises residents and business owners from Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff in the Borough of Queenscliffe. We are a volunteer-based, apolitical group. We emerged on 30 October 2019 following a remarkable community meeting in Point Lonsdale where local residents united to discuss their growing concern about the increasing impacts of the world’s climate crisis on our local community and natural environment. Our concerns are based on scientific evidence that the climate crisis has accelerated and now requires urgent action. See below for more information.

What are we doing?
At that inaugural community meeting, a unanimous motion was passed to enable a smaller group of locals to work with the community and the Borough of Queenscliffe to ensure the climate crisis, and its impact on our region, is a strategic priority. Our first step was to request that Council declare a climate emergency and commit to developing a response plan in partnership with the community. Following INCREDIBLE community support (2145 signatures to a petition, hundreds of people attending a second meeting, countless letters to Councillors), this was achieved at the Council meeting seven weeks later on 19 December 2019. Despite hurdles presented by COVID-19 throughout 2020, the community again came together to develop one of Australia’s most ambitious Climate Emergency Response Plans (CERP, here) via the creation of a randomly selected Community Panel, numerous workshops and surveys. Again the community rallied and turned out to fill the Town Hall beyond capacity on 19 May 2021 when Council prepared to endorse the CERP – which they did.

Now, the Queenscliffe Climate Action Group meet fortnightly and are focussed on implementing the 49 actions across 8 pillars with the Plan. A formal Memorandum of Understanding has been established with Council to ensure the Borough of Queenscliffe has every chance of success of becoming a Zero Carbon Community by 2031. We are focussed on supporting our community to implement the actions within the CERP that they defined, and we spend considerable time sharing our journey with other communities, so they can replicate our success. As the smallest local government in Victoria, we believe we have a unique chance to become a world leader in responding effectively to the climate crisis. We can overcome the climate emergency if we work together, and we are excited to work with our community and Council to achieve this.

Why are we doing this?
Coastal communities like Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale are at the forefront of climate change in Australia. Climate change will increase existing coastal hazards such as inundation, storm surge and coastal erosion.
Current scientific mapping shows that much of the Borough is at high risk of coastal inundation by the end of the century, if not sooner, from sea level rise.
Areas of our Borough are also at high risk of bushfire, which is predicted to increase in frequency and severity with climate change.
The Borough of Queenscliffe has already undertaken work to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Key initiatives include emissions reduction, community solar and the Our Coast hazard assessment. Queenscliffe Climate Action acknowledges the importance of this work, but more is urgently required – hence the need for our ambitious Climate Emergency Response Plan.
More than 11,000 scientists across 153 nations told us on 5 November 2019: “… clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency”.

Scientific facts
Coastal risk mapping, search for ‘Point Lonsdale or Queenscliff’ at www.coastalrisk.com.au
Coastal hazard assessment for the Bellarine Peninsula can be seen at www.ourcoast.org.au
CSIRO Barwon Climate Projections 2019 at www.climatechange.vic.gov.au
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 6th assessment report www.ipcc.ch
11,000 scientists from across the world warn of climate emergency, at www.academic.oup.com
David Attenborough on climate change: ‘We cannot be radical enough’, www.newscientist.com and through his witness statement ‘A Life on Our Planet’.
Attenborough also addressed the United Nations in a powerful speech in December 2018, “if we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisation and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon… time is running out.”

How can you be involved?
Familiarise yourself with what the scientific evidence is telling us – see above.
Get to know our community’s Climate Emergency Response Plan! It’ll get you excited. There are so many actions that you can implement as a resident, business owner, holiday home owner – it’s up to all of us to step up.
Sign up to our mailing list so we can keep you up to date as we implement the Borough’s climate emergency response plan together.

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