The purpose of the project was to inform local governments on their legal roles and responsibilities under Victorian legislation for climate change adaptation.
A legislative analysis and local government consultation workshops informed this project undertaken by Dr Tayanah O’Donnell and Associate Professors Susie Moloney and Andrew Butt co-designed with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and local government representatives including the Municipal Association of Victoria and the Western and Northern Greenhouse Alliance. The consultation workshops engaged with 78 council representatives across three regions in Victoria, representing rural, coastal and metropolitan Victoria.
The central aim of the project was to design a Guidance Brief that would be useful for council staff in making reasonable decisions while navigating legal roles and responsibilities with respect to climate change. To ensure that this project would be useful for local governments, we adopted a ‘reasonable decisionmaker’ framing, to help the reader of this report and the accompanying guidance brief, step through key requirements for the purposes of climate change adaptation in local areas. The project was not intended to form legal advice, nor is it a comprehensive assessment of all relevant laws to climate change.
In co-designing the project, we were specifically asked by DEWLP to exclude emergency management and natural hazards legislation, and state government roles and responsibilities. The substantive analysis and consultation workshops were conducted throughout 2019.