Council's transition to EVs driving climate change action

Published on 11 September 2023


The role of local government has changed significantly over the past decade. While roads, rates and rubbish remain a core part of Council business, the sector, as the closest level of government to community, also plays a role in leading the response to a number of issues impacting communities.

One of those issues is climate change – an issue requiring commitment from all levels of government, and the community, to enable us to effect any change.

Transport is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, including in the northern region of Melbourne, and electric vehicles provide a significant opportunity to reduce emissions.

Nillumbik Shire is one of seven councils that form the Northern Council Alliance, which has developed a Community Electric Vehicle Transition Plan for supporting lower emissions transport options for the community, businesses and Councils.

The Alliance is also preparing to launch its EV Strategy, and will be calling on the Commonwealth and State Governments for support and funding to achieve the plan’s goals.

This week Nillumbik CEO Carl Cowie attended the ‘Climate Summit for Local Government’ (hosted by the Cities Power Partnership), which saw around 100 leaders from local councils across Victoria come together to identify key opportunities to embed climate action across council operations.

“As a Green Wedge Shire, Nillumbik understands we cannot work alone to affect change, and we are committed to working actively and collaboratively to help address climate change at a local level,” Mr Cowie said.

“As a member council of Northern Council Alliance, we have been collaborating closely on a Regional Transport Advocacy and Community Electric Vehicle Transition Plan, which will be launched early October.

“This plan will help prepare communities and businesses across Melbourne’s north for transition to electric vehicles.”

Mr Cowie said Council had invested in electric fleet vehicles and EV charging stations. He said every one of Council’s buildings had also received some form of retrofit energy efficiency upgrade to help reduce grid-sourced energy consumption.

“We have 100 charging stations (in the northern region); we need about 550, so a lot of work is still to be done,” he told Channel 7 news at the Climate Summit for Local Government.

Nillumbik Mayor Cr Ben Ramcharan told 3AW last week that the Council was transitioning its fleet towards electric vehicles, recognising their advantages in terms of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and lower running costs.

To find out more about the ways Council is taking climate action. and to get involved go to: