Friday, September 11, 2009

peak oil plan gets approval

report from the roundtable - 8 sep

Report from the Roundtable is my regular report back on the council meeting.

This week saw council vote on whether to support the development of a Peak Oil Response Motion that I put to them. The vote was tight with the motion being supported 4 votes for to 3 votes against.

For: Crs Samantha Dunn, Tim Heenan, Len Cox

and Terry Avery.
Against: Crs Graham Warren, Richard Higgins

and Chris Templer.
Absent: Crs Jeanette McRae and Noel Cliff

Motion :
a) That council develops a peak oil response plan for the Shire of Yarra Ranges.
b) That the plan consider matters such as council’s operations and vulnerability to oil supply constraints in the context of a short or long term reduction in available fuel supplies as well as impacts on the Shire of Yarra Ranges community.
c) That funding for the peak oil response plan be referred to the mid year budget review for consideration.

At a recent MAV conference I attended I was alerted to current trends in relation to Peak Oil and the issue of declining oil supplies across the world and the need to consider peak oil as a business contingency, risk management issue for local government operations.

With the predicted declining oil production, it is critical that council plans for likely high oil prices and reduced supply of oil to avoid the worst of consequences in Yarra Ranges. Oil scarcity has significant implications for local government and a recent Peak Oil Contingency Plan developed for Maribyrnong City Council indicated issues around staff travel, community mobility, food security, disadvantaged communities, climate change, new technologies, service delivery model changes and communication.

It is accepted that peak oil is an emerging risk to local government and Yarra Ranges Council should be proactive in developing a plan to respond to peak oil and an oil constrained future. I’m pleased that the motion received majority support, this is an issue that we need to focus on as it will not be long before it is impacting on the Shire of Yarra Ranges and its community.

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