Agreement to help prepare Yorke and Mid North for climate change impact

Geoff Brock MP
Minister for Regional Development

The State Government and Yorke and Mid North regional partners signed an agreement today – in what is a major step towards preparing the area for the impacts of climate change.

Minister for Regional Development Geoff Brock signed the Sector Agreement at the Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management office in Clare today.

The document cements a partnership between the State Government and regional stakeholders – including councils – and will ensure the region is prepared for climate change by focusing on adaptation and identifying the economic, environmental, and social opportunities for the area.

It will include the implementation of the Yorke and Mid North Regional Climate Change Action Plan, which aims to create a sustainable, prosperous and resilient region. The plan contains key actions in leadership, biodiversity, water resources management, industry and workforce development, infrastructure and planning, community development and emergency management.

Along with the recent announcements of the world’s largest lithium ion battery and the solar reserve being within its boundaries, this region is well on its way to achieving its goals.

The Yorke and Mid North region has been at the forefront of climate change adaptation planning, with their leadership acknowledged as the 2013 state winners in the local government category of the Australian Government’s Resilient Australia Award.

Background

The Yorke and Mid North region covers an area of approximately 34,930 square kilometres, and is bound by approximately 760 kilometres of coastline. It includes the majority of the Northern and Yorke NRM region and majority of the 15 councils, represented by the Legatus Group.

Climate projections for the region indicate that average temperatures will increase across seasons, and will result in more hot days, fewer frosts, and harsher fire-weather. Also that the region will see a decrease in overall winter rainfall, but with more extreme rainfall events; along with an increase in sea levels and height of extreme sea-level events.

The Sector Agreement for the Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Yorke and Mid North is an agreement between the Government of South Australia and the Yorke and Mid North Regional Alliance; a partnership between the Legatus Group, the Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board and Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North.

The Legatus Group is the name of the Central Local Government Region which undertakes the co-ordination, advocacy and representation of the constituent councils at a regional level.

The agreement was co-signed by Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North chair Bill Vandepeer, Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Management Board presiding member Eric Sommerville, and Regional Council of Goyder Mayor and Legatus Group chair Peter Mattey.

The agreement complements and supports South Australia’s Climate Change Adaptation Framework: Prospering in a Changing Climate, which provides a co-ordinated approach towards preparing for the impacts of climate change in South Australia, along with a number of other existing policies and programs.

Voluntary sector agreements have been established to underpin climate change adaptation planning and action in several regions including Eyre Peninsula, Limestone Coast, Northern Adelaide, Resilient East and Resilient Hills and Coast (Kangaroo Island, parts of the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula).

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Geoff Brock

This region hosts some of the most important and diverse industries in our State, from wine producers to grain farmers to tourism operators. Supporting them to adapt and respond to climate change is critical in ensuring the region remains a thriving and sustainable place to live and to visit.

The agreement will help us further explore opportunities to collaborate at all levels of government, and with business and the community, to adapt to the effects of climate change, and to help build resilience in the Yorke and Mid North community.

The impacts of climate change will be felt by all areas of business, industry and residents, and this agreement helps ensure climate change adaptation is incorporated into decision-making at a local and state level, ensuring a more resilient and prosperous community.

South Australia’s leadership in reducing emissions, adapting to climate change and transitioning to a low-carbon economy is now well-known across the world, not least due to leadership from regions such as Yorke and Mid North.

The South Australian Government’s investment in renewable technologies to help us transition to a low-carbon economy is strongly felt in this region, which is soon to be home to the world’s largest lithium ion battery to store energy from the wind and sun.

Quotes attributable to Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North chair Bill Vandepeer

Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North recognises both the challenges and opportunities that climate change will bring to this region.

Each year we conduct case studies of business and practices that increase productivity through environmental sustainability, and this agreement will provide a collaborative platform from which key regional agencies can support business and industry into the future.

Quotes attributable to Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management Board presiding member Eric Sommerville

The Northern and Yorke NRM Board, together with our community, have a legislative responsibility to protect and improve our natural resources.

After all, our livelihood and our lifestyles are reliant on them, and our changing climate presents many new challenges to us.

The Board believe successful partnerships such as this sector agreement are an important part of responding to these challenges in positive ways which ensures our environment is healthy and sustainable for the continued prosperity of our region.

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