Friday, 29 September 2023 15:33

Helping councils plan for heatwaves

Temperature reading in a Western Sydney playground Temperature reading in a Western Sydney playground

WSROC, in partnership with Resilient Sydney, has kicked off development of a Heatwave Management Guide to support Greater Sydney councils better prepare for heat.

The Guide is one of a series of projects funded under the Greater Sydney Heat Taskforce.

The Greater Sydney Heat Taskforce is funded under the joint Australian Government — NSW Government National Partnership Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction.

WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert said:

 “The need for practical guidance to support local heatwave planning preparedness has never been higher.

“Council staff have told WSROC they are increasingly concerned about the impacts of heat on council operations and community wellbeing.

“Unfortunately, there are currently no standard risk assessment, guidance, or risk management protocols to support councils planning for heat events – whether low intensity or extreme heatwaves.

Councillor Calvert noted that while councils don’t have a clearly defined role in NSW’s emergency arrangements for heatwave, they still need to manage heat impacts.

“Councils have a responsibility to manage community and staff safety across our facilities and ensure business continuity of essential services such as waste, childcare centres and community transport,” he said.

“We know that communities expect councils to support them during times of extreme heat, whether through formal programs or more informal measures such as extending opening hours of cool council facilities.

“Councils need practical, evidence-based guidance to help us understand our options and manage limited resources effectively. This is what the Guide hopes to provide,” said Clr Calvert.

The Heatwave Management Guide will be designed by councils, for councils. We are currently seeking input from staff across all areas of council operations to understand the types of resources, information and guidance they would find useful. This includes areas such as:

  • Emergency and resilience planning
  • Facilities management
  • Community development
  • Communications
  • Governance and administration
  • Strategic planning
  • Human resources

I encourage all councils grappling with this issue to get involved in the Heatwave Management Guide.

Have your say

User needs survey:

The below survey has been designed to help us understand current practice and user needs across all areas of council operations. It takes around 7 minutes to complete.

Survey link here.


Co-design workshops:

WSROC will also be running a series of workshops with council staff to help develop the content of the guide. Workshops will cover a range of disciplinary areas. If you would be interested in participating in one of these workshops please contact Kelly Gee (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 October 2023 09:33