Oceania eNews 
February 2014   

From the Desk of the RexCom Chair                     


Dear colleagues,

On behalf of the Oceania Regional Executive Committee (RexCom) welcome to the first edition of Oceania eNews for 2014.

ICLEI Oceania is now into its 16th year and with each year new challenges and opportunities present themselves to our association both locally and globally. The appointment of Michael Bloomberg as UN Envoy for Cities and Climate Change is welcome given his track record as Mayor of New York City. We at ICLEI look forward to his role to drive the cities’ agenda toward an international agreement that will ensure our collective efforts are complemented by national governments worldwide.

On the Oceania front, we continue to develop and implement new programs to add value to the work of local governments across the region in resilience, mobility, biodiversity, water management and importantly ensuring that we share our work and experiences so as to build a stronger and more effective local government sector.

I trust that the stories in this edition of eNews will be of interest and look forward to 
your stories over the coming year.

Best wishes,

Lord Mayor Stephen Yarrwood

February News

Australia courting danger with the Great Barrier Reef

'In November last year, former deputy prime minister and Nationals leader Tim Fischer told a Queensland planning conference that more lateral thinking was needed on ports and coastal development. Mr Fischer suggested that instead of five individual ports along the Queensland coast, each with their own railway line, another option could be one “super port” away from the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a great idea - but it’s the kind of big-picture thinking that has been sadly lacking in planning for the reef and coastal Queensland to date.' Barbara Norman, Foundation Chair, Urban Regional Planning, University of Canberra

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An Interview with Leo Hollis – ‘Cities Are Good for You: The Genius of the Metropolis’

There is a reason people walk faster in the city. They are moving towards something. When people live and work in close proximity to one another, a quickened pace is sparked. Always in pursuit of the next innovation, city-dwellers are propelled by what Leo Hollis calls "the genius of the metropolis." Written as a defense to a maybe outdated assumption that many find the city to be the agent of societal ills, degeneracy, and disease, Hollis's books extend his argument beyond the virtues of urban living.

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7th Making Cities Liveable Conference

Mantra on Salt Beach, Kingscliff, NSW 10th – 11th July 2014.

The 2014 conference will look at sustainable cities and reducing our impact on the environment. Our rapidly growing urban populations are placing pressure on the environment through increased demand for water, energy, land and other resources, and through the production of wastes and pollution. For your opportunity to speak at the conference, to share your knowledge and connect with like-minded professionals, submit an abstract to present in the program.

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Yarra City’s Environment Strategy endorsed

Council has adopted the Yarra City Council Environment Strategy 2013-17, a blueprint for this vision: ‘Yarra is a resilient and sustainable city where current and future populations enjoy a high quality of life within our fair share of the earth's resources, whilst ensuring we co-exist harmoniously with the natural environment’. Yarra’s Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky, said realising the strategy's vision will require Council to work closely with the Yarra community, empowering residents and businesses to act locally and share knowledge and resources to reduce the municipality’s ecological footprint.

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Sustainable transport: The rise of car sharing

Car sharing has recently emerged as a popular form of alternative transport, especially in space-constrained cities where the cost of transport is high. Singapore is one city in Asia where the popularity of car sharing has grown due to increasing congestion. Car sharing also offers an alternative for commuters who cannot afford traditional car ownership. There are currently about 300 car sharing services in over 100 locations across the island, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on its website.

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UN World Environment Day Awards

Each year, in support of United Nations World Environment Day (June 5), the United Nations Association of Australia recognises innovative and outstanding environmental initiatives and projects from across Australia through the World Environment Day Awards. The Awards invite nominations from individuals, organisations and businesses that have taken positive steps towards sustainability and demonstrated environmental excellence in their homes, schools, communities and workplaces.

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Mobility Choices maybe your choice!

Mobility Choices is an ICLEI Oceania project that improves mobility by developing transport choices. The program focuses on smarter ways of moving people in order to make our cities work better. Over the longer term Councils in Australasia will be able to minimise future car dependence.

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European cities’ climate plans fall short

Urban areas are pivotal to global adaptation and mitigation efforts. But how do cities actually perform in terms of climate change response? A recent study published in December 2013 sheds light on the state of urban climate change adaptation and mitigation planning across Europe. This novel analysis of climate action plans by European cities show that key regions are falling short of what’s needed.

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60 years of global warming, 10 warmest years since 2000

NASA scientists say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures. With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the warmest years on record.

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International News

The ICLEI Indonesia Office, supported by ICLEI Oceania, has now been engaged as a major Cities partner by the Indonesian Climate Change Centre. ICLEI and the Indonesian Association of Municipalities APEKSI are currently discussing an MOU and contract with the ICCC to provide climate change support programs to cities across the Archipelago. The Head of the ICCC, Pak Farhan Helmy (pictured, right) held an informal meeting on 15 January to progress these discussions.

Short film challenge to raise global awareness about the Homeless

Screen My Shorts, Australia, in partnership with Parramatta City Council, is launching a global short film challenge over 30 days to raise awareness about the Homeless. The Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr John Chedid, said that Council is proud to be partnered with Screen My Shorts to help promote this cause. “Project Homeless aims to raise awareness of homelessness, a global issue. This is a great opportunity for filmmakers to display their talents and aid an excellent cause in the process,” Cr Chedid said.

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Smart Urban Futures - Building liveable, walkable, sustainable communities

The world is transforming rapidly. Communities of the future will have older populations and be more energy conscious, with residents struggling to balance their lifestyle and health. Cities and towns will compete with each other to provide the best lifestyle, in order to attract residents, visitors and businesses. Communities that are not built for people will face a declining future. This conference will examine how to design communities to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

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Melbourne city centre a death trap as heat-island effect takes its toll

An urban heat island is lifting city-centre temperatures, with Melbourne leading the nation for heat-related deaths, according to a national report. Melbourne City Council has found temperature variations of up to 4 degrees between the city centre and suburbs because of the heat-island effect.

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Urban Low Emissions Development Strategy

An Urban Low Emissions Development Strategy defines a pathway to transition a city to a low emission, green and inclusive urban economy, through its integration into city development plans and processes. The Urban-LEDS project, funded by the European Commission, and implemented by UN-Habitat and ICLEI, has the objective of enhancing the transition to low emission urban development in four emerging economy countries.
As part of the scenario planning process with two of the Urban-LEDS project municipalities in South Africa, we are seeking examples and additional research where communities have achieved low carbon development through voluntary action; where sustained behaviour change, education/campaigns or regulations/incentives have been effective in favour of low carbon action; and examples of relationships between indigenous knowledge systems and climate change? Contact Steven Bland, Project Manager at


ICLEI World Secretariat based in Bonn provides a range of programs for towns and cities to participate that add value to their sustainability and climate action policies and practices.

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The Oceania Secretariat provides advocacy, networking, information sharing and targeted projects that enhance the work of Members and informs the broader Local Government sector.

Host City, ICLEI Oceania Secretariat

Join the ICLEI Oceania LinkedIn Group

LinkedIn is a social networking website for people in professional occupations and allows members to strengthen and extend their existing network of trusted contacts. A great way to share stories and invite discussion on sustainability practices and approaches that are working in your Council is via the ICLEI Oceania LinkedIn group. An invite will be coming your way soon.

ICLEI Oceania Regional Executive Committee–RexCom

Chair - Stephen Yarwood, Lord Mayor, City of Adelaide, South Australia
Cathy Oke, Councillor, City of Melbourne, Victoria
Mayor Paul Pisasale, City of Ipswich, Queensland
Paddi Creevey, Former Mayor, City of Mandurah, Western Australia
Wayne Walker, Councillor, City of Auckland, New Zealand
Troy Pickard, Mayor, City of Joondalup, Western Australia - Global Executive Committee Member (Biodiversity Portfolio)
Member - Global Biodiversity Portfolio & Cr Cathy Oke, Global Water and Sanitation Portfolio

Host City, Water Campaign Australia
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