A PATHWAY TO GUIDE US THERE
Our movement is founded on the fight for justice-based solutions to our climate and economic crisis. In many cases, we already have the solutions – formed from grassroots experiences in our communities and organisations over decades. What we need is engaged communities working with elected representatives to build power and implement change.
The recent shocks to our economies and climate have laid bare the urgent need to rebuild our communities on foundations of care for people, Country and climate. We’ve put together a growing list of local solutions that candidates and action groups can draw on for inspiration to start the work of making change, and building a safer, brighter future.
Now is the time for boldness of ideas and action. Lets go!’
1. RE-POWER OUR REGIONS WITH RENEWABLE ENERGY
- Councils will lead the transition to 100% renewable energy on all council buildings and assets by 2030, creating local jobs and fostering innovation, reducing operational costs for community services, creating a cleaner environment and safe climate.
- Regional and Territory-wide programs to build energy efficient infrastructure, ensuring that the lowest income communities and neighbourhoods benefit first.
2. Guarantee Safe Drinking Water
- Support for a NT Safe Drinking Water Act to provide regulatory protection and accountability for the provision of safe and adequate drinking water for all Territorians, including enforceable minimum standards for drinking water quality.
- Protect drinking water supplies from inappropriate development and over-extraction.
- Develop an overarching Water Strategy for water security, sustainable use, and resilience – to protect this, our most precious resource.
- Appropriately resource the repair, replacement, and maintenance of ageing remote water infrastructure; identification of new potable water supplies; and, installation of technological solutions to better utilise non-potable water.
3. Cooling our communities and climate
Extreme heat is a critical and worsening health issue for Territorians. Heatwaves have killed more Australians than all other extreme weather events combined, and the NT is among the country’s most heat-vulnerable regions.
Urgent action is required by all levels of government in the Northern Territory to reduce the community health impacts of extreme heat and climate change.
Councils must lead efforts to build and refurbish adaptive infrastructures such as improved access to free community spaces powered by clean energy, urban planning to ensure more public shade, greenspaces, and cool spots; and ensuring the local health system and social services are equipped and prepared to act to support vulnerable groups.
- Councils must work with the NT Government to urgently address extreme levels of homelessness, to enable all people to have access to safe environments in extreme heat periods.
- Local Government to lead the way on support for an NT-wide Climate Change Act to facilitate rapid decarbonization of our economies and limit the impacts of climate change on human health.
- Create a whole-of-local-government legislated climate change strategy providing a framework for mitigation and adaptation strategies across all sectors.
- Create detailed regional climate adaptation planning, prioritizing planning for health, sustainability, and liveability of remote Aboriginal communities, low-income households, and other vulnerable groups
- Set more ambitious targets of net zero Council emissions by 2025 and net-zero municipal emissions by 2030.
- Prioritize strategic responses with reference to the key sources of emissions to ensure that responses are targeted, proportional and strategic
- Ensure an evidence-based approach by obtaining sufficient baseline emission profile data and resource ongoing data collection to track performance against targets.
- Include stronger climate risk mitigation in decision-making.
- Adopt specific and measurable interim targets and mandate public reporting on Council performance against those targets on an annual basis (as a minimum).
4. Protecting our environment and cultural heritage, sustainably planning our regions
Local Government to lead the development of an integrated and consultative plan to guide the future development of our regions, built on a commitment to long-term sustainability, social inclusion and the preservation and enjoyment of our natural and cultural heritage.
- Ensure Indigenous Caring for Country knowledge and practice is embedded in all Council land, water, sea and fire management plans and that cultural heritage is protected from inappropriate development.
- Create and lobby for ongoing jobs in nature restoration on Council land; assisting restoration efforts on Crown and private land; and green space improvement and maintenance.
- Guarantee public access points for all waterways in local government areas.
- Dedicate more Council resources in the fight against dangerous weeds like Gamba and Buffel Grass. More assistance for landholders to manage dangerous weeds on their land, building on existing efforts. This could include a community lending library for weed management assets like slashers; coordinating and resourcing community groups to help vulnerable landholders manage weeds on their land; and organising weed education for new landholders and residents.
5. STRENGTHEN CIVIC PARTICIPATION AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
- Council commits to the creation of safe and welcoming towns, built on care and social inclusion for all our diverse local communities.
- Council to improve methods of civic participation in the planning and governance of our regions, through a commitment to the equitable and transparent representation of our diverse communities.
- Council will work to combat social exclusion, improve representation and access to social services within local government particularly for Aboriginal communities, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with a disability, women, young people, and LGBTIQ+ communities. This can be achieved through the production of resources and information in a range of local languages, the hosting of civic education sessions on local government processes and issues, and the broader invitation to participate in advisory roles and committees to inform council policy.
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