Partnering for climate change

Article image - Partnering for climate change South Port Surf Life Saving Club President Dick Olesinski.

The City of Onkaparinga in South Australia has joined a Climate Council initiative to tackle climate.

Launched in July 2017, the Cities Power Partnership currently involves a network of around 70 councils across Australia.
The program has already seen the City of Onkaparinga host a discussion about local government leadership and improving energy efficiency.

Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg said joining the partnership further supports the work the council has been doing to minimise the environmental impact of providing services and facilities.

“One of the leading local government networks for climate action, the Cities Power Partnership was designed to increase action to reduce emissions in this sector,” Mayor Rosenberg said.

“Local government can’t sit on its hands and wait for solutions to come to us from other tiers of government or external organisations, we must build capacity together and develop our own ways to tackle climate change.

“Through a range of measures, including the introduction of solar power at 24 council sites, we’ve already achieved a 30 per cent reduction in emissions.

“We’re also installing LED lighting across our city that will save a further 2200 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions each year.”
The South Port Surf Life Saving Club is one of the organisations that council has helped to install solar panels and connect to the grid.
South Port Surf Life Saving Club President Dick Olesinski says there are both economic and environmental benefits of installing solar panels.

“It just makes good business sense, let alone the environmental benefits,” he said.

The club is currently in the process of determining the savings from the solar panels, which were installed 12–18 months ago, and is also developing an energy management plan.

The solar panels are not the only example of the club’s commitment to protecting the environment, which is encouraged by Surf Life Saving Australia’s ECO Surf Program.

The South Port Surf Life Saving Club undertakes a couple of big beach clean ups every year and tries to raise awareness about litter in the marine environment.

“We just endeavour to instil some sort of environmental stewardship with our little ones,” Mr Olesinski said.