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Climate Change


Local Government has a significant leadership role in assisting local communities to understand and adapt to the long term physical impacts of climate change, and to reduce carbon emissions. As the peak body representing councils in South Australia, the Local Government Association has a key role to provide coordinated and relevant support to its members as they strive to achieve this.  

This page provides information on several of the LGA's key climate change initiatives including:

  • Science to Solutions Program
  • Adaptation Guidelines Series
  • SA Integrated Climate Adaptation (Regional Adaptation Planning)
  • Building Upgrade Finance
  • Sustainable Public Lighting
  • Energy Efficieny Projects
  • Sea Level Rise Problem Definition Paper
  • Coastal Adaptation Decision Pathways
  • Climate Change Sector Agreement with the SA Government
  • MLS Climate Adaptation Program
  • Quantifying the Cost of Climate Change Impacts on Assets
  • Solar Councils Innovation Fund



Sea Level Rise

This page is currently being updated.

Documents previously developed on this topic can be found below:

LGA response to consultation on the Sea Level Rise Problem Definition Paper can be found HERE.





South Australian Integrated Climate Change Adaptation

Climate change adaptation action in South Australia (SA) developed over a number of years as governments, regions and private parties began to understand the implication of climate change. The statewide collaboration that currently exists evolved from the individual needs and perspectives of Local and Regional Councils, and is underpinned by documents including the Climate Change and Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Act 2007, South Australia’s Greenhouse Strategy 2007-20, the South Australian Climate Adaptation Framework and the LGA Climate Change Action Plan 2013-2017.

The LGA has provided a pivitol role in the development of the SA methodology for integrated climate change adaptation, and has provided a range of tools and technical guides to facilitate the climate adaptation process. A case study developed by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) describing the SA approach can be found below:

Case Study- South Australian Integrated Climate Change Adaptation(853 kb) here.

Climate Adaptation Guidance:

The LGA has developed the Climate Adaptation Planning Guidelines found below:

Climate Adaptation Planning Guidelines(24856 kb)

The LGA are currently developing a series of function specific adaptation guidelines for:

  • Planning
  • Asset Management
  • Public Health
  • Economic Development
  • Financial Risk Management

The documents will be added to this page once they are finalised.

Science to Solutions Program

The Science to Solutions (StoS) Program is a partnership between the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGA) and the State Government Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR), as part of a wider collaborative effort to develop strategies and tools to provide targeted support for improved climate change adaptation planning and decision-making across South Australia. 

This project, is part of a suite of climate adaptation activities being progressed in SA, that aims to better understand the challenges to adapting to a changing climate, so that the LGA SA and DEWNR can provide more targeted and supportive strategies, tools and resources to assist in adaptation planning processes.

Stage Two of the Program Commenced in August 2015. Deliverables and Information Papers will be added as they are finalised below:

Program Deliverables

Background and Good Practice Review

Research Framework

Case Study

Final Report

Project Information Papers:

Information paper One

Information Paper Two

Information Paper Three

South Australian Climate Change Showcase 2014

South Australian Climate Adaptation Showcase 2014

The South Australian Climate Adaptation Showcase 2014 was held on 13 and 14 of February at the Science Exchange in Adelaide. The event was co-hosted by the LGA and the DEWNR and sponsored by the CSIRO, Environment Institute (Adelaide University), Goyder Institute, URPS and Seed Consulting.

Minister Hunter and Acting LGA President, Lorraine Rosenberg opened the Showcase, which was attended by over 200 representatives from all spheres of government, university and industry leaders. The LGA Secretariat has received excellent feedback from attendees who were particularly impressed by the applicability of topics to Local Government and quality of speakers, panel sessions and workshops. 

Presentations from the Showcase can be found at

LGA Climate Change Action Plan 2014-2017

The LGA Climate Change Strategy 2008-2012 has now been reviewed and finalised. A copy of the strategy with final comments on progress of initiatives can be accessed here.

The LGA CLimate Change Action Plan 2014-2017 has been endorsed by the LGA Board and can be accessed here.

Climate Change Sector Agreement with the South Australian Government

In the development of the LGA's strategic climate change approach, the LGA Secretariat has been acutely aware of the need to effectively collaborate with the SA Government and their climate change initiatives. This is to ensure that LGA initiatives complement those of the SA Government, and attracts its support and assistance.

The development of a Climate Change Sector Agreement under the Climate Change and Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Act 2007 has provided many climate change gains for both State and Local Government. The first sector agreement was signed in 2008 and was in operation until the end of 2013.

In October 2013, a second Climate Change Sector Agreement was developed based on the LGA Climate Change Strategy review and input from the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. The updaed schedule in the agreement reflected current mandates and drivers for climate change action.

The current sector agreement can be found here

Previous sector agreements can be accessed below:

Final - Schedule - Climate Change Sector Agreement 2008 Final%20-%20Schedule%20-%20Climate%20Change%20Sector%20Agreement%202008 (46 kb) 

LGA Climate Adaptation Project (MLSCAP)

The LGA Climate Change Strategy includes the completion of a sector based Climate Change Risk Management Assessment and Adaptation Program. From the years 2008-2012, the LGA Mutual Liability Scheme (MLS) has successfully delivered the program to 63 of the 68 South Australian Councils.

The aim of this Climate Adaptation Project (CAP) is to capture relevant risk /opportunity related data based on predicted climate variables that will support Local Government in South Australia to develop individual/regional based climate adaptation modeling and adaptation plans. Further, the framework of the CAP has enabled the development of a sector profile relevant to climate change adaptation risks and opportunities that are recognised as a priority for South Australia.

The work was completed in early 2013. The final summary report for the program can be accessed below:

LGA Climate Adaptation Project Final Report(2548 kb)

Other documents developed during the program can be accessed below:

DRAFT LGA Climate Adaptation Project Brochure 2010 DRAFT%20LGA%20Climate%20Adaptation%20Project%20Brochure%202010 (1808 kb)

Quantifying the Cost of Climate Change on Assets

Australia’s 560 Local Government authorities are responsible for the management of depreciable assets valued at approximately $300 billion. Many of these assets (buildings, roads, footpaths, coastal retaining walls, water infrastructure, etc.) have a life span greater than 50 years and so will be affected by long-term shifts in climate.

How these changes in the climate will impact on existing Council assets and their management has not been well understood and existing financial and asset management tools have not effectively incorporated climate change scenarios into Council planning processes.

In 2011 the LGA embarked on a project aimed at developing tools that assisted Councils incorporate climate change impacts and calculate the likely flow-on effects into asset and financial management plans.  The project delivered a research report (refer and a financial modelling tool for integration into the existing Institute of Public Works and Engineering (IPWEA) NAMS.PLUS asset management framework for use by Local Government staff.

For more information regarding the integration of this LGASA tool into the IPWEA NAMS.PLUS asset management framework please contact IPWEA via

In 2013 this LGA project was identified by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) as a 'Climate Change Adaptation Good Practice - Case Study'.  This case study can be accessed below.

LGASA Good Adaptation Practice Case Study(904 kb)

Coastal Adaptation Decision Pathways Project

In 2011 the LGA was succesful in receiving funds from the then Commonwealth Department of Climate Change and Energy Eficiency under the Coastal Adaptation Decision Support Pathways program.

The LGA project aims to assist Councils assess and quantify the likely impacts from coastal inundation and erosion as a result of climate change on existing assets, and identify decision pathways for a range of adaptation options.

The deliverables from the project are detailed in the attached report and include:

  • a review of the likely climate changes and climate change impacts for the Australian coastal zone;
  • a review of the identified policy options for addressing coastal climate change impacts both in Australia and overseas (Appendix 1 and 2); and
  • an easy to use decision map to guide decision makers through the steps associated with determining the likely costs and liabilities associated with climate change impacts on existing coastal assets. The accompanying Excel ® financial simulation model was designed to be a generic pilot financial model for evaluating the costs associated with identified policy and investment options in the coastal zone.

LGA CADP final project report 2013(9417 kb)

Solar Councils Innovation Fund

The Solar Councils Innovation Fund was established in January 2010 in conjunction with the Solar Councils Pilot Program. The Fund is generated through contributions from ZEN Home Energy Systems, for every solar unit sold under the LGA Pilot Program and is targeted at research and development of renewable energy projects.

Funding Guidelines Solar Councils Innovation Fund Funding%20Guidelines%20Solar%20Councils%20Innovation%20Fund (359 kb)

Round 1

Round one of the Solar Councils Innovation Fund was announced on 29 November 2011 (see LGA circular 48.2) and saw seven projects funded totalling $150,000.

Applications were assessed by an Independent Advisory Committee comprising representatives from Renewables SA; the LGA Climate Change Sector Agreement Steering Committee, Barbara Hardy Institute and the LGA Secretariat. Recommendations from the Advisory Committee were considered by the LGA State Executive Committee at its November 2011 meeting.

Successful Council applicants for funding were:

  • Adelaide Hills - ($20,000) - Local Energy Security and Investment Strategy;
  • Tea Tree Gully - ($10,000) - Renewable and/or energy efficiency feasibility studies;
  • Victor Harbor - ($30,000) - Sustainable lighting for community areas. Hybrid renewable energy options;
  • Campbelltown - ($25,000) - community investment in renewable energy generation;
  • Port Lincoln - ($20,000) - Solar installation and community education and awareness program;
  • Mount Remarkable - ($25,000) - Investigation of large scale solar farm development opportunities; and
  • Flinders Ranges - ($20,000) - solar public lighting.

Project outcomes

Adeladie Hills - Local Energy Security Strategy

This project developed a Local Energy Security Strategy for the region.

Adelaide Hills Council Final Report(3077 kb)

Adelaide Hills Council Final Report - Summary(12 kb)

Campbelltown - Community investment in renewable energy generation 

This project will investigate how community members can directly invest in clean energy generation at Council-owner premises.

Campbelltown Final Report October 2012 - Executive Summary Campbelltown%20Final%20Report%20October%202012%20-%20Executive%20Summary (575 kb)

Campbelltown Final Report October 2012 - Council Guidelines Campbelltown%20Final%20Report%20October%202012%20-%20Council%20Guidelines (587 kb)

Campbelltown Final Report October 2012 - Case Studies Campbelltown%20Final%20Report%20October%202012%20-%20Case%20Studies (957 kb)

Flinders Rangers - solar public lighting

This project involved the installation of solar street/park lighting. The final report will include a full analysis of the project including strengths and weaknesses, recommendations for improvement and documentation that may provide as templates to other Councils.

Flinders Rangers Council - Solar Innovation Fund Executive Summary Repor Flinders%20Rangers%20Council%20-%20Solar%20Innovation%20Fund%20Executive%20Summary%20Repor (388 kb)

Flinders Ranges Council - Solar Innovation Fund Final Report Flinders%20Ranges%20Council%20-%20Solar%20Innovation%20Fund%20Final%20Report (89 kb)

Port Lincoln - Solar Powering Ravendale Sporting Complex

This project will invole the installation of a solar system on a community sporting complex and community education program.

Port Lincoln Final Report(70 kb)

Port Lincoln Final Report - Summary(65 kb)

Port Lincoln Final Report - Photos(1575 kb) 

Tea Tree Gully - Renewable and/or energy efficiency feasibility studies

To analyse three diverse facilities in terms of the opportunities for renewable energy generation and energy efficiency.

Solar Innovation Fund - Tea Tree Gully Final Report Solar%20Innovation%20Fund%20-%20Tea%20Tree%20Gully%20Final%20Report (37 kb)

Tea Tree Gully - Solar Councils Innovation Fund Energy Audit Report Tea%20Tree%20Gully%20-%20Solar%20Councils%20Innovation%20Fund%20Energy%20Audit%20Report (3441 kb)

TTG comparative analysis - Summary Review TTG%20comparative%20analysis%20-%20Summary%20Review (142 kb)

District Council of Mount Remarkable - Farming the Sun

Investigation of large scale solar farm development opportunities.

Mt Remarkable - Farming the Sun Final Report(1275 kb)

Mt Remarkable Options Papers(487 kb)

Mt Remarkable Map 1(478 kb)

Mt Remarkable Map(489 kb)

Round 2

Councils were invited via LGA Circular 35.2 to apply for funding under Round 2 of the Solar Councils Innovation Fund. Applications close COB 5 October 2012.

City of West Torrens

Solar PV Battery Storage System - a Case Study

City of West Torrens - Solar PV Battery Storage Systems(1769 kb)

Resources & Information Papers

As part of the strategy to provide SA Councils with current and locally relevant information about climate change, the LGA will progressively issue resources and information papers on key topics.

1. Update on climate change science and changes in SA May 2011 Update%20on%20climate%20change%20science%20and%20changes%20in%20SA%20May%202011 (909 kb)

2. Australia's two lead climate science agencies - the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology - have produced a snapshot of the state of the climate to update Australians about how their climate has changed over the last 50 years and what it means. Click here! to access this report titled 'State of the Climate'.

3. Update on the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act and Applicability to Local Government - December 2009 Update%20on%20the%20National%20Greenhouse%20and%20Energy%20Reporting%20Act%20and%20Applicability%20to%20Local%20Government%20-%20December%202009 (267 kb)

4. To support the LGA Education and Training Program 'Emissions Measurement and Management' provided by Balance Carbon the LGA has commissioned the development of a comprehensive course workbook. This workbook will not only provide a valuable resource for those Council staff and elected members undertaking the training program but also for those unable to attend that have an interest in understanding the implications of a carbon constrained future. The LGA Emissions Measurement and Management Course Workbook can be found below.

LGASA emissions measurement and management workbook Nov 2010 LGASA%20emissions%20measurement%20and%20management%20workbook%20Nov%202010 (828 kb)

Balance Carbon has also developed the Local Government Greenhouse Gas Inventory Worksheet. This worksheet is designed to provide a quick guide to assist Councils in calculating the energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with their operations for the purpose of internal reporting or public disclosure. The worksheet complements the workbook and can be found below.

Local Government Greenhouse Gas Inventory Worksheet Local%20Government%20Greenhouse%20Gas%20Inventory%20Worksheet (91 kb)

5. The following discussion paper was commissioned by the LGA SA to assist Councils understand the provisions of the National Carbon Off-set Standards (NCOS 2009)

LGA NCOS briefing paper LGA%20NCOS%20briefing%20paper (132 kb)

6. The LGASA has commissioned the production of this paper to assist Local Government Officers in understanding the carbon offset market and issues associated with the selection and purchase of offsets to achieve certain goals.

LGASA CarbonOffsetsPaper Oct 2010 LGASA%20CarbonOffsetsPaper%20Oct%202010 (274 kb)

7.  The Clean Energy Council of Australia has produced a Consumer Guide to Solar PV at the following link .  Councils may find this resource useful in communicating to their communities.

8.  As part of the LGA Renewable Energy Pilot Program the LGR&D Scheme funded building audits for participating pilot Councils on selected buildings, the result of which provided Councils with data and strategic advice on options for investing in solar systems on Councils' own infrastructure. An output of this project was the below discussion paper outlining the solar energy opportunities and barriers for Councils and the Local Government sector. Key discussion within this paper includes;

  • are you solar ready?
  • issues around bulk purchase arrangements
  • a model business case
  • Clean Energy Futures package
  • carbon price; and,
  • solar credits

EnergyMark Trial

In late 2009 the LGA SA with support and funding from the Department of Premier and Cabinet Sustainability and Climate Change division engaged the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) to undertake a South Australian trial of the Energymark program.  This trial commenced in August 2009, following on from a successful national trial and concluded in July/August 2010. The CSIRO working together with the LGA SA, aim to create momentum at the community level around the topic of climate change and energy use.

Energymark draws on previous work conducted in the water sector to develop a process that can increase knowledge and understanding about reducing greenhouse gas emissions to bring about behavioural change in individual energy consumption.   The data collected enables assessment of Energymark's impact on individual behaviour over time as well as evaluation of information exchange through social network analysis.

This final report provides the Local Government Association of SA with an analysis of the results achieved throughout the 2009-10 Energymark trial.

LGASA EnergyMark Final Report 2010 LGASA%20EnergyMark%20Final%20Report%202010 (840 kb)

Clean Energy Future Package

Passed by the Australian Parliament on 8 November 2011 the Clean Energy Future (CEF) package is Australia's principal climate change action plan forged in response to clear scientific advice that the world is warming, that carbon pollution from human activity creates significant risks and that we can avoid the worst potential impacts by reducing carbon pollution.

This reform package includes introducing a carbon price, promoting innovation and investment in renewable energy, encouraging energy efficiency, creating opportunities in the land sector to cut pollution.

To support Councils with this Commonwealth policy agenda the LGA will post relevant supporting material as it becomes available.

Clean Energy Future

The LGA has developed the below information paper to assist Councils in understanding the key elements of the Clean Energy Future package. Further information can be found on the Clean Energy Future website

LGA Information Paper - A Clean Energy Future May 2012 LGA%20Information%20Paper%20-%20A%20Clean%20Energy%20Future%20May%202012 (285 kb)

Carbon Price

The following briefing papers/resources will assist Councils to understand the carbon price mechanism and how it applies to Local Government in SA.

Financial Implications of the Carbon Price on South Australian Councils May 2012 Financial%20Implications%20of%20the%20Carbon%20Price%20on%20South%20Australian%20Councils%20May%202012 (334 kb)

LGA Carbon price briefing paper April 2012 LGA%20Carbon%20price%20briefing%20paper%20April%202012 (260 kb)

LGA Carbon price briefing paper clarification QandA April 2012 LGA%20Carbon%20price%20briefing%20paper%20clarification%20QandA%20April%202012 (254 kb)

LGA Media Release - Carbon price impacts unpredictable May 2012 LGA%20Media%20Release%20-%20Carbon%20price%20impacts%20unpredictable%20May%202012 (104 kb)

Beyond Carbon - Local Government Climate Change Summit

Beyond Carbon - Local Government Climate Change Summit

The LGA hosted a major Local Government Climate Change Summit on 4 and 5 June 2008 at the Mercure Grosvenor Hotel. The summit was part of the Beyond Carbon Conference held from 3 to 5 June 2008 that drew together national climate change expertise and experience and focussed on imparting practical knowledge and understanding of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions and opportunities for Councils. Development of the summit program was informed by the results of the SA Local Government climate change survey and other key resources. Please click here for further information. Information and resources from the summit will be available on this page in the coming weeks.

We would like to thank our sponsors:

Beyond Carbon Conference Principal Sponsor:

University of Adelaide Logo For further information go to :

Local Government Climate Change Summit Green Sponsor:
EnvironArc logoFor further information go to :

LGA Renewable Energy Forum

The LGA hosted a Renewable Energy Forum on 26 November 2009 at the Old Town Hall, City of Unley. Please click on the links below for copies of the agenda and presentations.  


Local Government Renewable Energy Forum Agenda - 26 November 2009 Local%20Government%20Renewable%20Energy%20Forum%20-%2026%20November%202009 (252 kb)


Renewable Energy - state of the State and Nation - Tim OLoughlin - Presentation Renewable%20Energy%20-%20state%20of%20the%20State%20and%20Nation%20-%20Tim%20OLoughlin%20-%20Presentation (480 kb)
RECs Who What When Where - Dr Tim Moore - Presentation RECs%20Who%20What%20When%20Where%20-%20Dr%20Tim%20Moore%20-%20Presentation (303 kb)
Wind and Solar Renewable Energy Type Costs Efficiencies Futures - Professor Mike Young - Presentation Wind%20and%20Solar%20Renewable%20Energy%20Type%20Costs%20Efficiencies%20Futures%20-%20Professor%20Mike%20Young%20-%20Presentation (353 kb)
Renewable Energy solutions for Councils and Communities - Richard Turner - Presentation Renewable%20Energy%20solutions%20for%20Councils%20and%20Communities%20-%20Richard%20Turner%20-%20Presentation (850 kb)
Council Case Study - Ian Baldwin - Presentation Council%20Case%20Study%20-%20Ian%20Baldwin%20-%20Presentation (1184 kb)
Council Case Studies - Phil Cameron - Presentation Council%20Case%20Studies%20-%20Phil%20Cameron%20-%20Presentation (8800 kb)
Council Case Studies - Roy Ramage - Presentation Council%20Case%20Studies%20-%20Roy%20Ramage%20-%20Presentation (486 kb)

Dave Barry - Acting Director, Development services City of Towong, VIC - presentation can be found at

More detail on information presented at the forum can be found at:

file:// outlining the City of Victor Harbours C-PREP program.

A podcast of Roy Ramage's presentation can be found here -

For more information please contact Adam Gray, Senior Policy Officer - Sustainability at the LGA on (08) 8224 2055 or email

Whats New

  • Sea Level Rise Problem Definition Paper
  • Climate Adaptation Planning Guidelines


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