Dealing with heatwaves in southern Adelaide

Article image - Dealing with heatwaves in southern Adelaide Audience members enjoyed Hot Hot Hot!

The Cities of Onkaparinga and Marion played host to 250 community members who came together to learn about the impacts of heatwaves and how to reduce public health risks from these events at an interactive symposium in February.

Feeling Hot Hot Hot! Dealing with Heatwaves in Southern Adelaide was part of the regional program Resilient South and explored a hypothetical scenario for 2025 of an extended heat wave.

In April the two host councils were awarded the 2018 Minister for Health and Wellbeing - Excellence in Public Health Award in the metropolitan category for the highly successful event.

Panellists, who included representatives from the SES, Red Cross, Hutt Street Centre, SA Power Networks, Bureau of Meteorology, the councils, and the Department of Environment and Water, discussed how the South Australian community would prepare for and respond to such an event.

City of Onkaparinga Senior Strategic Planner Nina Keath said local government is on the front line in dealing with the impacts of climate change, which are already being felt across the southern Adelaide region.

“We are already seeing more frequent, long-running and intense heatwaves; lower rainfall yet more intense storms and flooding; and an increase in extreme fire danger days.

“Extended heatwaves are a major public health risk for vulnerable groups and more frequent, long-running and intense heatwaves are expected in Adelaide.

“Climate change is a global issue and it’s important that we start to have these conversations with our community, local businesses and organisations, and other tiers of government.

“We designed this heatwave hypothetical model to be shared with other regions to enable similar events to be held.”

The event followed a survey of over 600 Onkaparinga residents about climate change in which many respondents indicated they wanted more support and information about the matter.