The Environment and Sustainability courses provides Local Governments with a comprehensive grounding in the key areas of responsibility and management; climate change, biosecurity, biodiversity, sustainability and water.

As the closest tier of government to the community, Local Governments are in a unique position of being able to improve environment and sustainability at a local level, internally and across the community, and contribute to global benefits. The course assists Local Governments to meet their legislative obligations under Section 1.3 (3) of the Local Government Act 1995, which requires that Local Government, in carrying out its functions, “is to use its best endeavours to meet the needs of current and future generations through an integration of environmental protection, social advancement and economic prosperity.”

Elected Members play an important role in Council leadership and strategic direction, and it is important that environment and sustainability impacts are considered in all decision-making processes. Climate change affects many areas of Local Governments operations and business, and it is critical to mitigate local greenhouse gas emissions as well as reduce vulnerability to impacts and capitalise on opportunities. Biosecurity threats are increasing with new pest and disease incursions, and the range of many existing declared pests is expanding. Western Australia is one of the worst areas affected by the drying climate in the world, and a focus on sustainable water management and alternative water sources is required to sustain healthy ecosystems and communities.

Local Government Officers will also benefit from this course by learning about contemporary and innovative approaches to common issues, demonstrated by leading examples from within the sector. The modules also outline the advocacy work, policy initiatives and specific projects that WALGA, in some cases in partnership with external organisations, leads on behalf of the sector that Officers can connect with.