Since candidates have started announcing they’d run for Ballarat City Council in October’s elections, BCAN have been sending out a survey designed to gauge how effectively they would lead and support council to reduce the impact of climate change.
The survey consisted of three qualitative questions focusing on priorities and measures of success and ten yes/no/maybe responses with a specific focus on climate change. A reminder email was sent to encourage the highest number of responses.
All of the respondents offered some positive responses to climate change and accordingly the bar for amber and green ratings was set high. There was a great deal of consistency in the responses to the yes/no/maybe questions, but far more variation in the qualitative responses. In determining the scoring, responses have also been compared with those stated by candidates in The Courier on Friday 2nd October and with responses at a number of online candidate forums, especially where brief answers made scoring difficult.
A number of candidates did not respond. This may be because they overlooked the survey, or because they anticipated rating poorly. We have not made assumptions about these candidates. We recommend if you are considering voting for them that you scrutinise them for their “green” credentials.
Candidates that received a red rating, all showed some support for strategies that would reduce the impact of climate change.
Candidates that received an amber rating showed considerable concern about climate change and listed a number of individual initiatives that they would like council to be engaged with.
Candidates that received a green rating, showed considerable concern about climate change and in addition showed understanding of the leadership required for a whole of council approach to tackling climate change, which included such strategies as widespread community engagement, initiatives to link Covid19 recovery with strategies that also reduce the impact of climate change as well as support for a whole of local government response to reducing carbon emissions.
We hope this survey is useful for your decision-making!
If you’d like to share these ratings on social media, you can use the consolidated scorecard at the top of this post, or the individual ward tiles below
Ballarat Climate Action Network (BCAN) is reaching out to our local community to contribute to the People’s Climate Strategy for Victoria, a project coordinated by Friends of the Earth Melbourne’s Act on Climate collective. The People’s Climate Strategy is a state-wide project, and BCAN is working to ensure the specific challenges and opportunities in the Ballarat region are included. This week the Climate Solutions Survey has been launched and BCAN is aiming to collect ideas from as many people in the community as possible.
Local people are all too aware of the impacts of climate change already being felt across the Ballarat region, the wider Western Victoria and Grampians regions, and across Victoria. Local people are also a deep well of knowledge around all the solutions that can be implemented locally, and across Victoria, to help reduce emissions and mitigate the worst effects of climate change, and to help build community resilience to cope with the climate impacts already being felt.
Under the Victorian Climate Change Act 2017, the Victorian government is required to prepare a climate strategy for the state and release it within 10 parliamentary sitting days of 31 October 2020. This strategy will set out the state’s plans for cutting emissions and helping communities cope with climate impacts over the next five years. With the government understandably giving the lion’s share of attention to responding to the coronavirus pandemic, we are stepping in to help gather local knowledge to contribute to the People’s Climate Strategy to help them on their way.
The aim of the People’s Climate Strategy project is to capture the knowledge of people from a broad cross-section of the community and to ensure the voices of the people are heard and included in the process of developing a strategy that will be presented to the government.
There has already been one survey to find out people’s concerns about climate impacts, this new survey will shift focus from impacts to solutions – ideas about how our region and the state can reduce emissions, from transport to electricity generation to agriculture and beyond, and build resilience to impacts, from bushfire preparation to flood mitigation, protecting people during heatwaves and more.
People across the state have already been sharing their “Ideas for Action” in the lead up to the Climate Solutions survey launch this week. Some “Big Ideas” already shared by locals follow.