Hunter Councils commit to climate change

Hunter Councils commit to climate change

The Hunter region has committed to collaboratively tackling the shared challenges of changing global energy markets and climate change impacts by joining Australia’s largest local government climate network the Cities Power Partnership.

The Hunter Joint Organisation (Hunter JO) and each of its member councils have signed an agreement to accelerate clean energy initiatives and jobs to move towards a cleaner tomorrow for their communities and set the region up for a prosperous future.

Hunter JO Board Chair and Cessnock City Council Mayor, Bob Pynsent said the collective agreement, coordinated by the Hunter JO, strengthens the Hunter’s reputation as a region that supports meaningful regional responses on to forces beyond its control.

“In order to deal with the simultaneous challenges of changing global energy markets and climate change impacts, our councils need to be able to support one another and coordinate our efforts to benefit our communities across the region,” Bob said.

“By partnering with Cities Power Partnership our councils and the Hunter JO are ensuring that we take joint action for our region and our communities.

“Working collaboratively, we aim to attract more funding, expertise and resources to support region wide and council specific projects.”

Cities Power Partnership Director, Dr Portia Odell welcomed the program’s newest members: Maitland City Council, Dungog Shire Council, Singleton Council and the Hunter JO and commended the region for committing to work collaboratively on clean energy and climate related initiatives.

“Right now, local governments have an opportunity to get on the front foot of Australia’s energy transition and accelerate projects that will deliver local jobs quickly, drive new investment and tackle long term challenges like climate change,” Portia said.

Councils taking part in the Cities Power Partnership pledge five actions to tackle climate change locally, from ramping up renewable energy through to planning sustainable transport systems.

The Hunter JO is the first Joint Organisation nationally to join the Cities Power Partnership, creating a new regional partnership model that can be replicated across the country.

The sustainability and future of the Hunter region has been a key strategic priority of the Hunter JO since its establishment in 2018, with a range of different projects driving this agenda within the organisation and across its member councils, including their Circular Economy and Hunter 2050 Foundation programs.

Through partnering with the Cities Power Partnership, the Hunter JO and its councils are further building the Hunter into one of the most liveable, inclusive, resilient, sustainable, and connected regions in Australia.

With thriving people, natural environments and progressive primary industries there continues to be untapped potential for development and growth.

IMAGE | Hunter Joint Organisation CEO, Joe James and Cessnock City Council Mayor, Bob Pynsent (left-right).

Hunter Joint Organisation of Councils

The councils of the Hunter Region have worked cooperatively for over sixty years to build collective strength and regional voice and to maximise, through shared programs and initiatives, their capacity to deliver relevant, cost effective services to the Hunter’s communities.

2018 has brought with it a major step forward for local government in the region with the formal establishment within the Local Government Act of the Hunter Joint Organisation of Councils.

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