Yallingup Beach in the Southwest of Western Australia

Energy Efficient LED Street Lighting

Street lighting is a key consideration for Local Government from several perspectives, including environmental, economic and community safety. The information resources below provide background information on energy efficient street lighting and examples of where LED street lights have been installed in WA. For further information about WA Local Governments who have LED street lighting projects type "LED" or "Public Lighting" into the filtered search on the Local Government Project Map.

Urban Forests

The loss of urban green space and native vegetation is a very important issue for Local Government, particularly in urban areas where there is clearing of land for infill and greenfield development. Reduced canopy cover impacts on public amenity, human health and biodiversity and as trees are often replaced with hard surfaces, this generally leads to increases in average temperatures creating urban heat islands. This often results in increased energy and water use for homes and businesses.
Local Governments have been playing a leading role to address this issue with many developing and implementing urban forest and/or greening strategies, adopting significant tree registers and tree bonds and making amendments to Local Planning Schemes.
WALGA have been actively involved with supporting Local Governments in the preparation of reports, papers and hosting of workshops, including:

In November 2018, WALGA along with the Western Australian Planning Commission and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage released the Better Urban Forest Planning Guide. The Guide will assist Councils, developers and government agencies in their planning and policies around urban greening, tree retention and replacement. It includes information on planning, market based and regulatory ‘tools’, case studies that highlight ‘best-practice’ actions and how to access CSIRO’s Urban Monitor data, which is also available on WALGA’s Environmental Planning Tool. The tool allows users to view and interrogate the Urban Forest Canopy data in the context of other environmental or land use planning issues such as connectivity of protected natural areas via ecological linkages, hydrography, contours or land use provisions of lands identified as priority for vegetation canopy cover increase.
For further information about urban forests:

To support Local Governments efforts to maintain their urban tree canopy, it is vital that State Government provides the necessary statutory guidance and planning policies and WALGA will continue to advocate strongly for these changes.

Climate Change and Coastal Areas

Coastal areas are vulnerable to impacts from climate change such as erosion and inundation. The level of risk is influenced by adaptation plans, community response and recovery capacity.  Relevant resources include: The Local Government Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Planning (CHRMAP) Forum provides opportunities for officers working in coastal Local Governments in WA to share information, challenges and experiences in relation to coastal hazard risk management adaptation planning and coastal adaptation in general. If you are interested in being involved in this Forum please email or call (08) 9213 2049.
The last Forum held on 20 March 2018 included a presentation from NSW coastal expert,  Angus Gordon. The presentation covered many issues and challenges that coastal planners and managers face in the coastal zone. His key message was that Local Governments need to be aware of past, current and future coastal risks and put appropriate plans in place for areas currently at risk and / or potentially at risk in the future.

CoastAdapt was developed by the NCCARF with expert advice from 64 authors and funding from the Australian Government. CoastAdapt is a new information delivery and decision support tool, designed to help coastal managers and Local Governments in Australia adapt to climate change and sea-level rise. The tool provides up to date information on all aspects of climate change, from the science through to the impacts on the environment, the economy, and wellbeing, to the legal aspects of adaptation. The tool includes databases, fact sheets, information booklets and case studies from all over Australia. CoastAdapt also provides a document on how to engage with coastal communities to ensure participation when implementing adaptation measures.

The West Australian Government provides a list of Coastal Vulnerability Assessment projects that have been conducted in Western Australia and Australia wide, which can be found here.

For information about WA Local Governments with a Local Government Coastal Hazard Risk Management & Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP), type "Coastal Planning" or "CHRMAP" into the filtered search on the Local Government Project Map.

Legal Advice

The following documents are various legal opinions on potential liability for Local Government in relation to climate change and planning decisions. 


In the Local Government sector, fossil fuel divestment refers to removing investment from banks and superannuation funds that invest in companies involved in fossil fuel projects. WALGA prepared a discussion paper that provides an overview of divestment and examples of Local Governments around Australia that have divested.

Fossil Free Australia provides a step-by-step guide on how to divest from banks and superannuation. For information about Local Governments across Australia that have divested visit the Fossil Free Australia website here, and for information on international divestment commitments, visit the Fossil Free website here.

For further information about WA Local Governments that have divested, type "Divestment" into the fitlered search on the Local Government Project Map or see the list of all Counciles in Australia that have divested on the Fossil Fuel Australia website.

At the Climate Change Collaborators meeting in June 2016, the City of Fremantle and presented on divestment. Presentations can be found on the  WALGA Events: Past Presentations page.

Funding Opportunities for Local Government Projects

State Government Funding

  • Coastal Adaptation and Protection (CAP) grants provide financial assistance for Local Government projects that identify and manage coastal hazards. CAP Grants are funded by the Department of Transport.  

  • CoastWest is a State Government initiative aimed at providing opportunities for Western Australians to learn about, conserve and protect our coast.  The Department of Planning administers the CoastWest program on behalf of the West Australian Planning Commission.  

  • Coastal Management Plan Assistance Program (CMPAP)  grants support coastal land managers to develop strategies and management plans for coastal areas that are, or are predicted to become, under pressure from a range of challenges. CMPAP grants are provided by the Western Australian Planning Commission and administered by the Department of Planning to implement State Planning Policy 2.6 – State Coastal Planning Policy (SPP2.6).  

  • Lotterywest Grants for Conservation of Natural Heritage help organisations conserve, protect, explain and share various aspects of our heritage. These grants fall into four areas: conservation of natural heritage, conservation of cultural heritage, interpretation of cultural heritage and community histories. 

  • Riverbank Funding is supported by the Department of Parks and Wildlife and is available for projects that address the following priorities:

    • Protection, enhancement and management of fringing indigenous vegetation and habitat to enhance the ecosystem structure and function of the foreshore.
    • Protection and enhancement of riverbanks to mitigate erosion that threatens the environmental, recreational, aesthetic or cultural values of the foreshore.
    • Improve enjoyment of the foreshore by addressing the risk to public amenity values, safety, infrastructure and environment. 

Federal Government Funding

  • ​The CEFC Clean Energy Finance Corporation are funding the Local Government Finance Program, which can help councils invest in projects such as LED street lighting upgrades to reduce energy costs and lower carbon emissions.  

  • Emissions Reduction Fund aims to provide incentives for a range of organisations and individuals to adopt new practices and technologies to reduce their emissions. 

  • National Disaster Resilience Program supported by the Commonwealth and State Government, aims to develop safer, sustainable and more resilient communities, better able to withstand the effects of natural disasters. 

  • Smart Cities and Suburbs Program supports Local governments to work collaboratively with stakeholders to deliver smart city project, with the goal of improving the livability, productivity and sustainability of cities and towns across Australia.