$1.16 m for local government climate change response grants

The $1.16 million second round of funding in the NSW Government’s Increasing Resilience to Climate Change (IRCC) grants scheme to support local councils will open on 1 July 2019.

curved white roof with circle cut out of corner vegetated with plants overlooking beach, walkway and car park at Bondi Beach

OEH Director Climate Resilience and Net Zero Emissions, Stephen Bygrave, said: 'This is part of the $3.5 million IRCC package aimed at assisting councils until June 2022 to help manage the risks of climate change in their communities.

'The IRCC grants are being delivered in partnership with Local Government NSW and will range between $30,000 – $120,000 for individual councils to implement specific climate change adaptation and resilience projects.

'These projects include asset or building upgrades to minimise climate impacts like extreme heat and floods, community engagement programs that build capacity and awareness, detailed cost benefit analysis, specifications to support implementation of adaptation actions.

'Grants from $50,000 to $300,000 are also available for proposals to coordinate climate adaptation and resilience projects across several council areas because a regional response enables collaboration, capacity building and adaptation actions to be shared across councils dealing with similar climate change impacts in their communities.' 

In the grant round which closed in March, 10 councils including Bega Valley, Blacktown, Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Tweed, Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), and Wingecarribee, received funding totalling $1,011,300.

This is helping deal with coastal inundation, reducing impacts of urban heat, using recycled water to maintain gravel roads during drought, and engaging communities in better design and planning to build their resilience to climate change.

Dr Bygrave said: 'I’m urging councils to apply for these grants as they have a frontline role in managing climate change risks as councils are responsible for many services likely to be heavily impacted by climate change.

'These include local roads, stormwater, community buildings, parks and playgrounds, development and planning, environmental management and public health and safety.

'The IRCC program enables the Government to support local council capacity to reduce the impacts of climate change on our communities by embedding climate risks into existing council risk management plans.'

The IRCC grants follow the successful Building Resilience to Climate Change program which distributed $1.5 million to councils for projects such as a climate adapted bus shelter in Penrith, a blackwater treatment system to water local parklands in Blacktown, protecting IT transmission stations to secure emergency communications in Albury and a climate resilient masterplan for Cobar’s airport.