Annual review of the Environment Pillar
The Environment Pillar is delighted that the G21 Board has endorsed ‘Water for our Future’ as a Priority Project. The G21 region is facing the challenge of a hotter and drier climate, which is resulting in less rainfall and reduced inflows into local catchments and reservoirs. The program is currently engaging with the community in developing a vision and ideas for how water will be sourced and managed into the future.
The Barwon River Parklands has had exciting developments. This long-envisioned idea, which is a G21 Priority Project under the ‘Adventure Trails’ project, will create a continuous active travel path extending from Geelong to Barwon Heads along the Barwon River. The newly-convened Barwon River Parklands Steering Committee has identified the need to complete a master plan review to renew momentum and work towards full implementation. The G21 Board has provided $5,000 towards development of a business case.
An Integrated Water Management Plan for the Northern and Western Geelong Growth Areas will optimise water supply, water quality, flood protection, and sustainability. This is now recognised as an integral element of the G21 Regional Growth Areas Priority Project.
The Pillar also assessed renewable energy in the region, with a number of organisations looking into the significant challenge of dealing with waste and the concept of transitioning to a circular economy.
The G21 Board wrote to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change voicing concerns about the waste recycling crisis in Victoria arising out of the closure of SKM recycling depots. The State Government has developed a Recycling Industry Strategic Plan to help the recycling sector transition to a more resilient model. The Pillar are identifying short-term and long-term actions that support the delivery of this.
From G21's Report to the Region