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Town of Gawler

Represented by Karen Redman, Mayor


How does your organisation address climate change?

On 22 January 2019, the Town of Gawler was the first South Australian council to declare that we are facing a climate emergency and that urgent action is required by all levels of government. The motion acknowledged that the Gawler Council Area is likely to be adversely affected by climate impacts, such as heatwaves, bushfires, drought, and floods according to local data and provided by numerous reports and agencies.

The Council recognises the importance of leading by example and building on foundation work on climate change established in its Environmental Plan and Regional Climate Adaptation Plan. Gawler is developing a new Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) to enhance resilience and reduce emissions and climate impacts. Whilst the CEAP is still to be released for community consultation and not yet endorsed by Council, new initiatives are already being progressed or investigated in detail.

Gawler Council sees its role as:

  • Supporting its community to reduce emissions and improve resilience.
  • Leading by example by reducing emissions from council operations.
  • Engaging with our communities on climate change, leading all levels of government and key organisations to declare a climate emergency and advocating on behalf of our communities to reduce barriers to action.

Gawler has established 130 kW of solar power on its buildings and has commenced a project to maximise solar generation locally and across its sites.

Our staff are taking a lead role in an Electricity Procurement Working Group representing councils to advise LGA SA Procurement, aiming for 100% accredited renewable electricity for all SA councils from January 2023.

We have investigated the costs and benefits to upgrade Gawler’s public street lighting to LED, identifying that this project would deliver substantial electricity savings, cost savings, and GHG reductions. Council has endorsed an application for funding under the Federal Government's Building Better Regions Fund. 

Our fleet includes a number of hybrid and plug-in electric light vehicles (EVs). We are seeking to trial full EVs in 2021-22 and investigating a full EV transition. Council’s EV charging stations will be upgraded and household charging facilities are being considered for our staff that have vehicles for on-call duties or negotiated for private use.

For our Gawler Aquatic Centre, we are seeking to change pool heating from gas to heat pump technology which will deliver cost savings and reductions in GHG emissions. In order to achieve this, we may first need to upgrade the facility's power supply.

What is your organisation doing to create a better future?

In 2016 Council adopted an Environmental Management Plan, which contains both strategies and actions relative to Climate Change mitigation and adaptation. In addition, Council has declared a Climate Emergency and is currently in the process of preparing a Climate Emergency Action Plan.

Council has declared a Climate Emergency and is currently in the process of preparing a Climate Emergency Action Plan, which builds on existing commitments and seeks to establish targets for achieving: 

  • Net zero emissions for council operations
  • Supporting and advocating for zero community emissions
  • 100% accredited renewable electricity for council
  • Advocating the Federal Government for reforms to the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Legislation to support clarity and fairness in clean energy and offset markets
  • Transitioning from piped gas to electricity
  • EV light vehicles to be purchased
  • EV heavy vehicles to be purchased
  • Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and urban greening initiatives to be increased