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Councils combat climate change with an open chequebook

There is little doubt that the one of the hottest debates in our country is climate change.

In Victoria our 79 councils are fast declaring climate emergencies and looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint or get to “net zero”.

So far almost 40 Victorian councils have joined the “cities power partnership

This partnership aims to link councils together to help them get to net zero as fast as possible and to ensure all aspects of councils operations minimise emissions and all power purchased is renewable only.

This is a noble pursuit but it’s missing a key component, Buying power!

The goals of the partnership neglect  a key aspect of the local government act (Vic) 2020.

Councils must provide services to the community with  “value for money” as a key requirement.

There is little doubt “renewable” electricity purchased from electricity companies is more expensive. There is cost in installing solar panels and batteries on all council buildings, changing petrol fleets to electric only (think council cars and garbage trucks). In reality there will need to be HUGE investment by member councils in replacing fleets and installing solar and battery - in many cases this will run into the millions. The goals of entering the partnership have to be realised within 5 years of joining.

Stupidly, the group buying power delivers NO COST SAVINGS on power bills.

None. Zip. Nada.

The program has missed the chance to save councils money and instead has cheaply gone for the emotional rhetoric and photo opportunities of the climate change narrative, but it will look great in their council newsletters - more tokenism.

Put simply, councils joining this program will need to spend more ratepayers money creating the narrative that they are combatting climate change.

Sadly this is our councils theology of today, if we look good, feel good, and “appear” to do good perhaps the residents won’t notice the open chequebook in our hands.

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