Armidale Regional Council has developed its “green print” strategy for environmental sustainability. Entitled EcoARC, the strategy guides Council’s own operations and aims to assist groups in the community to improve sustainability in the Armidale region.
EcoARC is a document prepared as part of Council’s commitment to the 2017-2027 Community Strategic Plan. Protecting the environment, reducing pollution and waste and encouraging climate friendly lifestyles were priorities identified by the community in the Community Strategic Plan 2017 – 2027. The development and implementation of EcoARC is central to ensuring the community and Council’s environmental priorities will inform the four yearly Delivery Plan and annual Operational planning process. It also highlights opportunities to work with community groups and other organisations to instigate projects or partner in initiatives with common objectives.
EcoARC was developed by Council staff and community representatives and includes nine topics, Global, Air, Biodiversity, Future, Living, Resilient, Transport, Waste and Water. EcoARC was placed on public exhibition in April 2019 and was adopted by Council on 11 December 2019.
The document’s scope and objectives are broad, because the means of achieving its goals are likely to grow and change over time. As well as environmental conditions, community expectations and interests and opportunities such as partnerships with government programs are also likely to evolve over the lifespan of EcoARC.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the United Nations in 2015. These Goals integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development, the social, economic and environmental. To recognise this ongoing global commitment within our community, EcoARC aligns the UN Goals with council’s EcoARC.
EcoARC Strategy (PDF 8.1MB)
Climate Emergency Working Group (CEWG)
Armidale Regional Council declared a Climate Emergency at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 23 October 2019 after receiving a petition of over 1,800 signatures calling for Council to declare a Climate Emergency, and a Global Strike for Climate in Armidale on 20 September 2019.
A report - A Framework for Climate Action - was subsequently prepared by a working group of the Environment and Sustainability Advisory Group, the Climate Emergency Working Group.
The report provides recommendations on current initiatives and additional future actions that may be undertaken in the short, medium and long term. The actions identified in this report provide independent advice to Council and is not considered to be an endorsed strategy of Council. Council is grateful to the members of the CEWG for their commitment to providing expertise, advice and suggestions on future environmental sustainability strategies.
1. Reduce greenhouse emissions aiming, by 2030, for no additional contribution from our region to the global temperature rise;
2. Adapt to current and anticipated climate change impacts;
3. Reduce atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, e.g. Sequester and store carbon in trees and soils.
The Climate Emergency Working Group (CEWG) was formed in March 2020 and an Interim report was provided to Council in April 2020 with their final report A Framework for Climate Action (PDF 856.3KB) tabled at the ESAC meeting on 10 August and as part of the committee minutes at the Ordinary Council Meeting on the 19 August 2020.
A $60,000 budget allocation in alignment to the Community Strategic Plan and Delivery Program was provided in the 2020/21 budget. Any further initiatives identified in the report developed by CEWG would need to be considered by Council and funding allocated in future budgets. The final funding split has been allocated to:
• Solar panels at Monckton Aquatic Centre; community education and risk analysis on outcome of climate change