Australia: What followed after declaring a climate emergency

A council declares a climate emergency – and then what? In a 45-minute podcast interview, Damien Williams, president of Zero Kingston 2030, tells the story about what happened in Kingston near Melbourne, home of 165,000 Australians, after the declaration.

Kingston’s Climate and Ecological Emergency Response Plan was endorsed in July 2021 to guide urgent climate action, after Kingston City Council had declared a climate emergency in 2020.

Kingson City Council has since been collaborating with the community and among other things signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Zero Kingston 2030 – the group of citizens which had been pushing for the declaration and for a more ambious level of action in the municipality.




The interview starts at 16:50 min

Podcast interview
On 26 October 2022, the Geelong-based podcast and radio show The Sustainable Hour published this interview with Damien Williams, president of Zero Kingston 2030, about his city’s experience with the climate emergency-declaration and the participatory democracy process that then followed.

“The group brought together people from existing environment groups in the area and other interest people and basically put together a set of demands that eventually evolved into a very ambitious climate plan for this city, the centrepiece of which is the goal for all of the community to be net zero by 2030, across the community and across the council. The group now is focussed on growing members and growing power and also on developing partnerships with the local government that are going to foster the creation of co-operatives in this area that are going to help meet the goals of that plan but also to build the social structures that are there so that in times of emergency people will have those connections to draw on when governments are slow to respond. I suspect in the next 12 months we are going to see a big change.”
~ Damien Williams, president of Zero Kingston 2030


Youtube video with Kingson’s mayor

→ To find out more about Zero Kingston 2030, go to: Kingston Net Zero 2030 or the Zero Kingston 2030 Facebook page


See also

Cedamia – 23 October 2022:
Engaging Australia in Climate Emergency action
“Good things Climate Emergency Declaration councils are doing.”



Date: Wednesday 26 October, 2022


Council adopted its Climate Emergency Plan 2022-2032 at its 25 October Council Meeting.

The Climate Emergency Plan provides context to the current and future impacts of climate change on Golden Plains Shire and will guide the work of Council to mitigate, adapt and respond to climate change in the Shire over the next 10 years.

Aligning to the relevant strategic objectives of the Council Plan 2021-2025, Golden Plains Community Vision 2040, and Council’s Environment Strategy 2019-2027, the Plan highlights the strong imperative for Council to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Feedback during the draft document’s exhibition period related to further transparency relating to the commencement years identified, reflecting that climate change is already having an impact on Golden Plains Shire, and clarity on differences between similar actions. This feedback was considered, and a number of small changes were made to the Climate Emergency Plan, including updating action titles, providing clarification on commencement years and updating language about the current impact of climate change on the Shire.

The Climate Emergency Plan sets out 48 key actions for Council to progress over the next 10 years across five themes: embedding climate action in Council; resilient and adaptive communities; caring for the land; climate adaptive development; and sustainable transport and travel.

Golden Plains Shire Mayor Cr Gavin Gamble says Council was pleased to adopt the final Climate Emergency Plan following significant community consultation.

“When Council declared a Climate Emergency in June 2021, we committed to developing a Climate Emergency Plan to put the declarations words into action. We’re delighted to have adopted the Climate Emergency Plan, which will help guide Council’s response to climate change over the next 10 years.

Council is committed to do our part to mitigate, adapt and respond to climate change, and work alongside the Golden Plains community as we all deal with the current and future impacts climate instability has on our Shire. We thank all of the community members who had their say on this important plan.

“With the new plan now in place, Council is committed to working with the community to implement its actions, and address the Climate Emergency.”

The adopted Climate Emergency Plan 2022-2032 will be available on Council’s website:, or a print copy may be requested at Council’s Customer Service Centres, 2 Pope Street, Bannockburn and The Well, 19 Heales Street, Smythesdale.

– ENDS –