Climate Ready Places
How we protect our natural and built environments
To strengthen and support the resilience of our region’s unique assets we want to support local approaches that safeguard against climate vulnerabilities, both now and into the future.
Our resilience goals
What We Value
Loddon Mallee communities have identified what in the natural and built environments that they most value and want to protect in a changing climate. This informed the goals, objectives and priority actions of the Climate Ready Plan. This is what we heard:
Country of First Nations’ People
‘Always was always will be Aboriginal land’
The Loddon Mallee region covers more than a quarter of the state. It and includes the unceded lands of 12 First Nations groups and is home to countless places of cultural significance. Our natural and cultural environments are tourist drawcards, generating more than $1 billion each year. Almost 40 per cent of Victoria’s threatened species call our region home with 18 endangered ecological communities, with four Ramsar Wetlands, 17 million hectares of public land, and 25 state and national parks. Our region is a food bowl of national significance. Most of the land is used for agriculture, with a plethora of fruit, wine, and cattle production. With two of the largest solar farms in the state and one in four households having rooftop solar, the Loddon Mallee has one of the highest rates, 69 per cent, of renewable energy in the state. However, more than half of all homes are over 30 years old, and many homes are built with no energy efficiency standards.
Through our engagement we learnt that addressing the accelerated fragmentation and degradation of terrestrial and aquatic habitats was a key concern, due to the potentially irreparable harm from climate change and existing threatening processes including pests and land modification. The responses indicated that a successful approach would increase the extent of ecosystems exhibiting integrity, as well as the conservation status of threatened species and ecological communities.
The loss of public and private spaces was also discussed in relation to human populations and biodiversity. Respondents emphasised the importance of having access to built and natural environments that promote adaptive skills and capabilities, provide respite and cooling, and are future proofed from increasingly extreme weather events.
There was a general sentiment that there is a lack of preparedness for these weather events, leading to significant risks for physical and mental health wellbeing, social and technological connectivity, workers’ health and safety, and business operations and processes. While these were recognised as being disruptive to people’s ability to live well in the region, they were also mentioned as opportunities; enabling individuals, communities, and businesses to engage with new skills, industries, and technologies as the region transitions to a low carbon future.