Individuals and communities have housing, food and financial security and access to the services they require and are supported in emergency events

Goal Feedback 1.2

Climate ready housing and shelter that targets the most vulnerable in our communities

Heat waves are severely impacting individuals and families that are living in thermally inefficient housing, (including public housing, private rental and privately-owned accommodation).

The highest temperatures in the region are often recorded in the lowest socio-economic areas where there is a lack of green space and a high proportion of people who are vulnerable to heat. This includes the elderly, those who are socially isolated, and those who either don’t have or cannot afford to run air-conditioning.

Living in these conditions considerably decreases their capacity and ability to activity adapt and recover from the effects of extreme heat and heatwaves. The flow on effect puts a significant burden and cost onto local health, social and welfare services.

Objective Feedback 1.2.1

Build resilience of local food systems

Climate change is already affecting food security through increasing temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and higher frequency of extreme events.

Impacts of COVID-19 on food supply also highlighted how reliant many communities are on non-local food supply. There has been an increased resurgence in locally grown fresh produce, home gardens, regenerative and permaculture growing, and interest in traditional foods such as Yam Daisy and Kangaroo Grass. Many of these practices have the potential to be scaled up to advance adaptation and local food security.

Objective Feedback 1.2.2

Communities equitably share in the benefits of new technologies and are supported through regional education and employment opportunities

The challenges of climate change also bring opportunities.

While the rapid growth in renewable energy in our region is a positive mitigation action, it’s important that the benefits of these new industries are equitably shared with local communities.

Renewable energy isn’t the only climate-related sector primed for growth. Opportunities in health and human services, in eco-friendly construction and in green space management to helping regional towns and cities prepare for changes in climate. The technologies and skills required for climate change jobs will provide an opportunity for regional youth to innovate and develop new skills and competencies needed in a future workforce.

Objective Feedback 1.2.3

Our people and communities have reliable access to the services they need

The vulnerability of regional communities to the impacts of climate change is influenced by their ability to access services.

People living in small regional towns and isolated communities (particularly the elderly and those with existing health conditions) may already have limited access to health services, are not serviced by public transport or experience economic disadvantage and digital inequity. An unfavourable combination of these factors leaves many communities in rural and remote Australia more vulnerable.

Objective Feedback 1.2.4

The most vulnerable in our communities are supported in emergency events

Climate change-induced crises such as bushfires and floods exacerbate existing vulnerabilities in our communities.

These include the elderly, those living with disability or existing health conditions, pregnant women and babies, and Aboriginal people. Emergency events have also been shown to worsen domestic violence rates to which women and gender diverse people are particularly vulnerable.

While we all have a role to play in managing risk and responses to emergency events, we cannot expect people to prepare if they don’t have the physical capacity or funds to do so. We need to support local communities and neighbourhood groups to identify those at most risk and support them with the resources required to address the risk

Objective Feedback 1.2.5