Wednesday, 27 September 2023 10:40

President’s Message: A busy and productive time… Featured

WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert WSROC

Doubtless, you will have seen the recent media coverage about Sydney’s warming climate, including reports about this year’s summer temperatures being above normal due in part to an El Niño phenomenon.

Everywhere, communities are grappling with the impacts of climate change.

WSROC initiated its ‘Turn Down the Heat Strategy and Action Plan’ back in 2018, taking a collaborative, multi-sector approach to building a cooler, more resilient future for Western Sydney.

The Action Plan was co-designed by over 55 stakeholders who realise that the response to extreme heat and heatwaves is a shared responsibility.

The strategy outlines five key areas for action, namely:

  • Taking action together
  • Designing and planning to cool the built environment
  • Cooling with green space and water
  • Building a community that is healthy and prepared, and
  • Innovative and responsive infrastructure.

WSROC has been working in collaboration with a range of organisations to build heat resilience into policy, tools and governance across all sectors.

For example, WSROC has been working with Green Building Council of Australia to develop heat resilience credits for version two of its Green Star - Communities development accreditation platform. We were excited to see the draft revision list WSROC’s Cool Suburbs tool as a key pathway to demonstrating a development’s heat resilience.

Collaboration at the national level has seen the Bureau of Meteorology update its heatwave warnings to include health advice, and heat was included as an eligible hazard under National Emergency Management Agency funding programs.Shaded playgound WSROC 500

A particular highlight this year under the ‘Turn Down the Heat Strategy and Action Plan’ was the launch of the Greater Sydney Heat Taskforce which seeks to establish an all-of-society approach to heat resilience, thanks to funding from the NSW Reconstruction Authority and the Commonwealth Government.

The Taskforce includes senior executives from state and federal agencies, councils, emergency services, as well as industry and community sector organisations.

These key decision-makers have committed to leading the co-design of a Heat Smart City Plan which will outline agreed actions for building Greater Sydney’s heat resilience.

At the local level, WSROC is also working with councils to develop a Heatwave Management Guide and Risk Assessment Methodology to support councils develop planning, policies and procedures for the management of heat impacts.

If you are interested in getting involved in these projects, please get in touch with the WSROC team.

For those looking for guidance now, WSROC’s Heat Smart Western Sydney resources may be of use and are available for download at

WRSOC is also partnering with the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership network to enhance collaboration on clean energy and climate initiatives.

By entering into a Regional Partnership with the network, Greater Western Sydney councils have the opportunity to collaborate on shared climate goals with over 185 other councils from across the country.

Elsewhere, WSROC is focusing efforts on our new Western Sydney Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2022-2027; our Future Proofing Residential Development in Western Sydney project; the excellent cross-cultural 'Moving House' illegal-dumping prevention campaign, and many other such excellent initiatives.

It’s a busy and productive time here at WSROC, indeed.

Barry Calvert — President, WSROC

Last modified on Wednesday, 27 September 2023 10:46

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