Mount Barker, the first Australian city to join the BreatheLife community and one of the country’s fastest-growing regional centres, will focus on urban greening, walking and riding trails and improving public transport options to keep its liveability high.
The largest town in Adelaide Hills and on track to become South Australia’s second-biggest regional city, Mount Barker also intends to improve its municipal waste management, promote and use clean energy, and reduce open burning of agricultural waste. It has a large wastewater treatment programme, one of their main focus areas.
Reduced food waste and a healthier and more sustainable food production is also on its to-do list.
“The Mount Barker District Council recognises that air pollution is a major health and environment risk for all, and action needs to be taken at all levels in society to raise awareness and take measures to improve health and wellbeing for all,” said Mount Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson.
Mount Barker is a member of the Global Compact of Mayors and will develop a climate change action plan in 2018.
Meanwhile, its efforts are already geared towards fulfilling guidelines in the Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island Region.
These include building more energy efficient housing, supported through government incentives and local government encouragement of use of energy efficient building materials and fixtures and working with the development industry and research institutes.
It also includes encouraging the development of low carbon communities, with energy- and water-efficient housing that is climate change resilient.
As part of the climate change adaptation plan, the city intends to monitor and reduce its energy consumption where possible from its buildings, fleet and through procurement policies and procedures, and to create a climate resilient open space network, among other things, by increasing the tree canopy cover through an extensive tree planting program.
Mount Barker’s interim goal is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 3 per cent this year.
Read more about Mount Barker’s energy and climate change efforts here.
The Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island Region can be found here.