Adapting to changes in climate

electric car

1. Overview

Council takes an active interest in the changing climate and seeks ways to work with the community to best adapt to changing climate impacts.

Council is committed to reducing its emissions and energy use, and to working with its community to increase awareness and assist in transitioning to a low-carbon lifestyle. 

We include adapting to changes in climate as a consideration in our everyday operations – a normal part of our decision making process.


The following sustainability concepts all play a part in the management of changes in the climate -

  • Water conservation
  • Smart energy use
  • Clever building design
  • Locally grown, low impact food
  • Waste prevention, minimisation, and reuse
  • Low emission mobility, transport
  • Living contentment and wellbeing


2. Government  Initiatives

Advice, support and adaptive measures are available from a range of government sources:

National: The National Climate Change Authority provides independent, expert advice to the Australian Government on climate change policy.

State GovernmentThe Tasmanian Climate Change Office leads the State Government’s response to the challenges and opportunities of a changing climate.

Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management: actively assists communities in north-west Tasmania to manage and improve their natural resources to ensure a healthy future for our region with a number of Climate Change Adaption Fact Sheets and Reports 


3. Council Plans and Strategies 

Council is committed to the following strategies under the Council Plan 2022-25

The Council is committed to being Environmentally Responsible by protecting and improving our environment as a whole, to minimising Council’s negative impact on our environment, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and reducing Burnie’s waste stream to landfill while also supporting our community to improve our environment for future generations.

Minimise Council’s negative impact on our environment
Mitigate the impacts of climate change
Reduce Burnie’s waste stream to landfill
Support our community to protect and improve our environment

Achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030
Progress against Council’s mitigation strategies
Divert 50% of all municipal solid waste from landfill by 2025
Grant initiatives awarded; environmental actions undertaken

How we support these plans and strategies:


  • Prepare for and respond to the future impacts of climate change: rainfall patterns, temperature, frosts, extreme events
  • Identify risks and mitigation measures that local government can advise and implement: bushfire risk, sea level rise planning allowances, coastal vulnerability inundation map, coastal erosion maps


  • Reduce Tasmania's greenhouse gas emissions
  • Identify measurements and targets
  • Participate in reduction initiatives (energy, industry, transport, waste)
  • Encourage sustainable living communities


  • Find opportunities from a changing climate and the low carbon future
  • Develop new industries, future farming initiatives


  • Support a low-carbon economy including carbon farming
  • Invest in renewable energy


4. Local Activities

Council along with the wider Community have the opportunity to participate in several Climate Change adaption activities locally.

The National Construction Code includes provisions for Energy Efficiency Requirements and natural disaster mitigation.

Flood management and modeling: 
The Community Flood Resilience Project includes flood mapping and flood studies of major waterways and low-lying areas in Burnie. It informs Council service levels for stormwater management and regular culvert clearing.

Waste management
Burnie's Waste Strategy(PDF, 1MB), the Cradle Coast Waste Management Group (CCWMG) and together support national, state and regional initiatives according to the waste hierarchy, waste best practices, and targets for reducing waste to landfill.

Environmental Management:

  • Sustainable water supply includes managing and protecting catchments, bores and water tables. 
  • Renewable energy and energy minimisation - Council has an action plan to support the achievement of its energy reduction target. 

Emergency Management:

Land Use Planning:

Community Initiatives:

  • Sustainable Living Tasmania - to build a sustainable living movement in Tasmania that drives transformational change.
  • North West Environment Centre - to inspire a new perspective on our relationship with the environment and each other so that we may all act to create a socially harmonious and ecologically sustainable future. 
  • Hilltop Central Fresh Produce project - emergency food relief group in Tasmania's north-west, redirecting surplus food through free food hub, community food growing workshops, school gardens.
  • Burnie Community House - providing opportunities to the community and provides a meeting place for company, advice and support - Including sustainable living concepts. 
  • University of Tasmania Education for Sustainability Community of Practice - Sustainable practices supporting the University's commitment to reduce environmental impacts, achieve economic efficiency, demonstrate social responsibility and enhance student experience.