Climate Change Action

Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. Since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the extraction of energy from the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil and gas), which produces heat-trapping gases.

In January 2011, Council supported a Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale Climate Change Position Statement. In May 2015, Council adopted a Climate Change Strategy and Local Action Plan, which was a clear commitment to the importance of addressing climate change with our community. This remains the Shire’s current Strategy and Action Plan.

Impacts of climate change

Climate change will have a range of impacts on our community. These impacts are forecast to be the result of particular climatic change factors, including:

  • Increases in temperatures, with more extremely hot days and fewer extremely cool days;
  • More heat waves that will be longer and hotter;
  • A decrease in cool‐season rainfall;
  • More frequent, longer and intense droughts;
  • More intense heavy rainfall, particularly for short‐duration storm bursts; 
  • An increase in the number of high fire weather danger days and a longer fire season; and
  • Changes to biodiversity, including native plants and animals facing increased environmental stresses.

These changes have the potential to impact our community greatly, and therefore is an important responsibility for us all to combat.

More information about climate change can be found in reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations' body for assessing the science related to climate change.

What action is the Shire taking to combat climate change?

Consistent with the 2015 Strategy and Action Plan, 20 actions have been adopted which provide the broad framework to the Shire’s response to climate change.

Climate Change Strategy and Local Action Plan

Climate Change Strategy and Local Action Plan Implementation

A number of additional actions are being undertaken that also contribute to combating the impacts of climate change. These include:

Policy framework updates

  • Urban and Rural Forest Strategy 2018-2028, contributing to the greening and cooling of urban areas;
  • State of the Environment Report 2019, outlining key pressures and suggested responses;
  • Gold Waterwise Council, with a Waterwise Action Plan which contributes to lower and more sustainable water use;
  • Founding member of the South East Regional Energy Group (SEREG) since 1999, which coordinates regional actions;
  • Switch your Thinking corporate and community behavior change programs, developed with other member local governments.

Planning, urban design and building regulation

  • Ensuring structure plans provide for mixed use walkable communities, with safety and shade built into design in order to encourage walking and reducing private car use as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Ensuring integration of the new Byford Passenger Rail Station into the urban fabric of the town, which will provide maximum station accessibility for all modes of transit, thus also encouraging reduced car use;
  • Emphasising opportunities for bike path planning, such as that associated with the primary and secondary bike path network for the new Byford Passenger Rail project and Tonkin Highway extension linking to local networks;
  • Ensuring built form responds to the bushfire risk on the landscape, through imposing the Australian Standard for bushfire prone construction.


  • The library regularly runs sustainability-themed programs and events;
  • Community Development school holiday events frequently feature environmental or sustainability topics;
  • Switch your thinking runs a number of sustainability and energy-efficiency programs and events, including Rewards for Residents (discounts on sustainability services and products) and Energysmart SMS Tips (monthly energy efficiency tips).

ICT programs

  • Our e-waste strategy ensures that no e-waste goes to landfill;
  • Our Strategic Information Systems Plan has sustainability as a key theme;
  • Our cloud-based strategy aims to reduce on-premise equipment and power consumption, and move applications into the cloud as they develop capacity;
  • Our follow-me-printing system sees significant reduction in paper use, and encourages staff to reduce the paper use.


  • Solar panels have been installed on the administration building and 13 other Shire facilities; 
  • Sustainable power purchase agreement has been negotiated through the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA);
  • LED street lighting is required in new developments, with associated lower power consumption and running costs; 
  • Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) seeks to capture and recharge the local environment with water;
  • Footpath extension and renewal programs have seen greater walkability and reduced car use;
  • Playground renewal has particularly been focused on increasing shade, enabling safe play through greater times through the year.

Landscaping and parks

  • Low water use plants are used in planning and retrofitting of parks and gardens;
  • Ease of maintenance and resilience are prioritized in planning and retrofitting parks and in planting programs;
  • The free verge plant program provides free local native seedlings to residents for vegetating their verges, reducing water use and cooling the local area;
  • Free street trees are planted on verges, contributing to the urban forest and reducing the urban heat island effect.

Risk management

  • Maintaining bushfire and emergency support brigades, and ensuring appliances are continually upgraded and added to as a result of risk; 
  • Funding mitigation efforts across the landscape, with dedicated human resources to undertake this important function;
  • Bringing to the attention of other agencies (for example Main Roads WA and Arc Infrastructure) the need to manage the risk of vegetation fuel levels along South Western Highway and the rail.

Photo: Vanessa Slater

Efficiency and resource actions

  • Encouraging events to consider reusable cutlery and solar lighting;
  • Battery and light bulb recycling programs operating at the library and recreation centre;
  • The recreation centre café removing single use plastics, and instead using bamboo, paper and reusable materials;
  • A recent energy efficiency report on the recreation centre making a number of recommendations;
  • The Shire’s Re-use shop at the transfer station opening in the second half of 2022.

Future actions

In June 2022, Council resolved to take further action to adapt or mitigate for the community around climate change management. This resolution included:

  1. Signing the Western Australian Local Government Association Climate Change Declaration

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale acknowledges that:

  • Evidence shows that climate change is occurring;
  • Climate change will continue to have significant effects on the Western Australian environment, society and economy, and the Local Government sector.
  • Human behaviours, pollution and consumption patterns have both immediate and future impacts on the climate and environment.
  • As a Local Government, it is part of our role to mitigate and manage the impacts of climate change on our community.

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale supports the:

  • Environmental, social and economic benefits of addressing climate change immediately.
  • Opportunity for Local Government to demonstrate leadership in climate change management at a community level.
  • Development of equitable and implementable State and Commonwealth strategies for climate change management.

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale commits from date of signing to:

  • Continue to implement and report against the Shire’s 2015 Climate Change Strategy and Local Action Plan.
  • In conjunction with the community, develop an updated Climate Change Strategy and Local Action Plan within two years of this declaration.
  • Encourage, empower and assist where possible the local community and local businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
  • Support WALGA to work with State and Federal Government to ensure achievement of greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets as set out in key National and International agreements.
  • Support WALGA to work with State and Federal Government to implement key actions and activities for climate change management at a local level.
  • Work with key stakeholders within the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale to ensure achievement of the actions set out in the 2015 Local Action Plan, and which may be set out in future Local Action Plans on Climate Change.
  • Assess the locally specific risks associated with climate change and implications for our services, and identify areas where appropriate mitigation and/or adaptation strategies should be developed and implemented.
  • Ensure that, at appropriate review intervals, our climate change Action Plans/policies/strategies are reviewed and amended to incorporate the latest climate science, and to reflect the climate change management priorities and progress achieved to date.
  • Monitor the progress of our adaptation and/or mitigation actions and communicate our achievements to the Councils and Community.

Join in the journey

This is an exciting and important time in enhancing our commitment to climate change effects. While we will be undertaking consultation as part of the upcoming Strategic Community Plan review process, we would also love to hear your thoughts on initiatives and actions that can help us collectively manage the effects of climate change, and what we can do to make the Shire a leading sustainable community environment.

If you have any ideas or suggestions you would like to share, email