Oceania eNews 
November 2013   

From the Desk of the CEO              


Dear Colleagues,

The 2013 Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference Series, now in its third year, was fortunate indeed to have as keynote presenter Robert Hammond, Executive Director and co-founder of the Friends of the High Line, New York City. In 2011 we had Paul Hawken, co-author, ‘Natural Capitalism’ and in 2012 Richard Florida, who is the author of ‘Rise the of the Creative Class – Revisited’. This year Robert was able to share his experiences and learning from High Line in workshops held in Sydney and Melbourne.

The City of Melbourne took up our offer to have Robert speak at Melbourne Conversations and around 500 justified our prompting! Media interest across radio, newsprint and television was indicative of how the High Line has captured the hearts and minds of not only New Yorkers but people around the world. There is no doubt that if you have walked or even talked High Line it will have fired your imagination. The Conference closed on a high with Brian Nankervis, writer, film producer, comedian and co-creator Rock Wiz, facilitating the Wrap Up and Next Steps Sessions. For those unable to attend the Conference, presentations will soon be available.

I can also report that Cr Wayne Walker, City of Auckland and Mayor Troy Pickard, City of Joondalup, were both successful in recent council elections and will continue to be active members in ICLEI regional and global governance. Mayor Paddi Creevey, City of Mandurah, did not seek re-election but will continue to be a member of our Regional Executive Committee

Martin Brennan

CEO & Regional Director
ICLEI Oceania

November News

ACELG to Train NSW Elected Members

The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) at UTS has supported the development of a new course for NSW councillors called the Executive Certificate for Elected Members.

The program is one of the first such programs to be based on the new National Local Government Training Package Skills Set for Elected Members, and was developed by project partners the Centre for Local Government at UTS (UTS:CLG), TAFE NSW, and Local Government NSW (LGNSW).

Another unique feature of the program is that eligible participants of the Executive Certificate in NSW will be able to access further learning with TAFE NSW and UTS.

Read more

Grant to Refine ICLEI Adaptation Toolkit

ICLEI Oceania has recently been awarded a minor grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to refine and document the “toolkit” which is currently being used with cities in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines. ICLEI developed this methodology with an earlier grant from Rockefeller Foundation. It helps cities in Asia to understand their climate change exposure and risks and to develop Climate Resilience Strategies. We believe the toolkit could be used in many other regions, particularly the Pacific and Australia-New Zealand. The draft toolkit will be completed by the end of this year, and the full version launched in mid-2014.

Cities interested in seeing an early version can contact Steve Gawler at

Wagga Wagga Cuts Energy

Low Carbon Australia is helping finance a project that will more than halve the energy costs of Wagga Wagga’s Oasis Aquatic Centre. Low Carbon Australia Limited is an independent company established by the Australian Government
in 2010 to deliver innovative programs to help the move towards a low carbon economy.

Wagga Wagga City Council’s Mayor Rod Kendall said the new cogeneration unit is expected to produce annual energy cost savings of at least $320,000.

“That’s more than half the aquatic centre’s estimated annual energy costs. The gas-fired generator will create electricity for the centre and the heat the engine produces will be used to heat our pools,” he said.

Read more

ALGA Preparing Submission for Minister Hunt

ALGA is preparing a submission in response to the exposure draft of the Bill to repeal the carbon price mechanism and other related programs released by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 15 October, 2013.

ALGA has been working through the exposure draft and discussing issues with state associations, the Commonwealth Government and relevant industry bodies. ALGA's submission will be dealing with a number of issues that could potentially pose significant difficulties for councils in the transitional period.

Read more

Cities are good for you!

There is a reason people walk faster in the city, says author, Leon Hollis in his book, ‘Cites Are Good for You: the Genius of the Metropolis’. He says 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 defence to a maybe out dated 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.

Read more

Go Leichhardt!

Leichhardt Council has received their National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) certification for being carbon neutral this year (NCOS sets minimum requirements for calculating, auditing and offsetting the carbon footprint of an organisation, product or event to voluntarily achieve 'carbon neutrality').

Council achieved this through a mix of energy efficiency measures and carbon offsets. Leichhardt Council is the fifth council in Australia and the second in NSW to achieve this milestone. Other councils are Sydney, Melbourne, Yarra and Moreland.

Read more

In the Running!

The Australian Sustainable Cities and Clean Beaches Awards 2013, hosted by City of Cockburn, will be announced on 18 November. In the running for the Australian Sustainability Awards are:

• Brisbane City Council QLD
• Canberra Indian Myna Action Group ACT
• City of Canada Bay Council NSW
• City of Marion SA
• City of Moreland VIC
• City of Swan WA
• Launceston TAS

Read more

Cyclone Awareness

The Townsville City Council has launched two DVDs designed to increase cyclone awareness in migrant and Indigenous communities. Mayor Jenny Hill says both communities were identified as needing tailored help when it comes to disaster preparedness.

"We dramatised and used an approach of using actual volunteers from those communities as part of the DVD presentation and we've created, I suppose, a picture book-like narrative that comes with the DVDs," she said.

Councillor Hill says the entire community should cast its mind towards preparing for the wet season.

Asylum Seeker

A Pacific Island man trying to flee rising seas and environmental risks caused
by global warming in his home country of Kiribati asked a New Zealand court
yesterday to let him pursue his claim as a climate change refugee.

The low-lying South Pacific island nation has a population of more than
100,000, but its average height of 2m above sea level makes it one of the
countries most vulnerable to rising waters and other climate change effects.

Ioane Teitiota, 37, asked New Zealand's High Court in Auckland to let him
appeal a decision that refused him asylum on the grounds his claim fell short
of the legal criteria, such as fear of persecution or threats to his life.

Read more

Rapid Urban Revitalisation at the Changemakers Festival

CoDesign Studio will be facilitating a workshop, Rapid Urban Revitalisation (RUR), as part of the SIXAUS Changemakers Festival on November 8th 2013.

The workshop unpacks simple ways to mobilise communities and activities to transform neighbourhoods in a space of a weekend.

The Changemakers festival is hosted by the Social Innovation Exchange Australia (SIXAUS

Read more

NAGA Street Lighting Invitation

The Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA) has been a leading proponent and advocate for energy efficient street lighting over a decade. Its member councils have been leading the way with street lighting changeovers and have frequently pushed the boundaries to get a better outcome for councils.

NAGA has a Street Lighting Working Group that has been involved in advocacy, technology trials, policy development and assisting councils to implement energy efficiency projects.

Tuesday 12 November 2013 from 10.00am – 12 noon Municipal Association of Victoria. RSVP Judy Bush, Executive Officer, NAGA.

Register Your Interest Now

New York City Council Approves Urban Resiliency Measures

In less than a year since its devastating run-in with Hurricane Sandy, the City of New York is already adopting new measures geared towards higher levels of urban resiliency.

Recently, the City Council approved the first batch of proposals from the Building Resiliency Task Force, marking the first step for updating codes that leave the city better equipped for future storm events.

Read more

Not Good Enough!

The Climate Change Authority has released its draft recommendations on Australia’s emission reduction targets. It has concluded that Australia should tighten its emissions reduction target from the current default of a 5 per cent reduction on 2000 level emissions by 2020.

Instead, the authority is outlining the possibility of 2020 targets that would aim to reduce emissions between 15 and 25 per cent below the levels that prevailed in the year 2000.

Read more

Éteignez les lumières!

Shops and offices in France will be forced to switch off their lights at night-time under a new energy-saving law. The law came into effect on July 1, 2012.

External lights in "non-residential" buildings would have to be switched off between 1.00 and 6.00 - and the Ecology Ministry is talking with trader and business federations about extending the switch-off to internal lighting.

Read more

Water Savings Increase as Councils Invest in Open Space Management

Eleven Western Australian Councils have reported on water savings over the last two years with some astonishing groundwater savings over two of the driest years on record.
Annual reporting demonstrates the tangible results of actions implemented through completing Milestone 4 (implementing and reporting) with total annual water savings of 832, 752 kls being reported during 2011-2013.

Read more


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.

Read more

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

The Thriving Neighbourhoods Blog

Have you heard of Thriving Neighbourhoods?

It is exploring your neighbourhood and the ways that you can enable it to become thriving.

Posts are updated weekly, so have your say and start reading the Thriving Neighbourhoods blog today!

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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