Draft Sustainable Hobart Action Plan

Snow on top of kunanyi / Mount Wellington

Project Overview


The City of Hobart endorsed the Draft Sustainable Hobart Action Plan 2020-2025: Responding to Climate Change for community engagement on May 25 2020.

The draft Plan describes 42 projects planned for the next 5 years. These have been created in response to the consultation undertaken with the Hobart community for the Community Vision document in 2018 and through the review of the Climate Change Strategy 2013.

The City’s Innovation Division has developed the Draft Sustainable Hobart Action Plan to guide the City’s response to the issues the community is facing from a changing climate in an intelligent, localised and community-focused way. These issues impact on the social, economic and cultural well-being of our residents and fabric of our communities and businesses.

The Draft Plan has been developed in consultation with the community, other parts of council and multiple external stakeholders. It aims to promote and develop the City’s climate action leadership by putting forward a series of practical steps to make Hobart a more sustainable city.


Find out more about the project


The City of Hobart has compiled the Draft Sustainable Hobart Action Plan. We have also compiled a fact sheet and have set up a FAQ section to answer some common questions. Please visit our Important Links section to read about the related City of Hobart strategies and plans as well as relevant climate change and sustainability documents.

In recognising that community involvement is critical to building a sustainable future, the City is now seeking community and stakeholder feedback on the Draft Plan. Feedback gathered during this phase of engagement will seek to determine the community’s level of support for the Draft Plan and will inform the final Plan.


Get involved and Have Your Say in the following ways:



Project Overview


The City of Hobart endorsed the Draft Sustainable Hobart Action Plan 2020-2025: Responding to Climate Change for community engagement on May 25 2020.

The draft Plan describes 42 projects planned for the next 5 years. These have been created in response to the consultation undertaken with the Hobart community for the Community Vision document in 2018 and through the review of the Climate Change Strategy 2013.

The City’s Innovation Division has developed the Draft Sustainable Hobart Action Plan to guide the City’s response to the issues the community is facing from a changing climate in an intelligent, localised and community-focused way. These issues impact on the social, economic and cultural well-being of our residents and fabric of our communities and businesses.

The Draft Plan has been developed in consultation with the community, other parts of council and multiple external stakeholders. It aims to promote and develop the City’s climate action leadership by putting forward a series of practical steps to make Hobart a more sustainable city.


Find out more about the project


The City of Hobart has compiled the Draft Sustainable Hobart Action Plan. We have also compiled a fact sheet and have set up a FAQ section to answer some common questions. Please visit our Important Links section to read about the related City of Hobart strategies and plans as well as relevant climate change and sustainability documents.

In recognising that community involvement is critical to building a sustainable future, the City is now seeking community and stakeholder feedback on the Draft Plan. Feedback gathered during this phase of engagement will seek to determine the community’s level of support for the Draft Plan and will inform the final Plan.


Get involved and Have Your Say in the following ways:


If you have a specific question on the Draft Sustainable Hobart Action Plan that you would like answered by Council officers, please enter it below.

Sustainable Hobart Action Plan

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  • I fail to see how the proposed energy proposals can work under the current regulatory arrangements in the National Electricity Market. There is not much gap between the FiT rate and what you would pay for kWhs on a competitive market contract. Also unless you are on network tariff with no charge / kWh network charges would be added to what you pay the householder for their FiT making it very unlikely to be viable.

    JackGilding Asked 20 days ago

    Hi Jack,

    Current regulatory arrangements certainly preclude certain types of activity on the grid. 

    In the recent past we have saved around a million dollars per year from our electricity bills, and in some cases this has been achieved by challenging or re-negotiating frameworks under which we operate. For example, we are currently pushing (along with a number of other cities) for changes to the AEMO rules around street-lighting in order to help us make street-lighting more efficient, more sustainable, better for biodiversity, cheaper to run and more controllable. Of course we would never push ahead with an action regardless of its business case or the regulations governing it. Rather, we engage with various stakeholders in the market (and with our own community and other councils) to determine whether as a reasonably-sized market player, we can push for changes that are beneficial to Council and other customers. 

    Many Council assets have a life of 25 years, so it would be remiss of us not to try to anticipate potential changes to regulatory frameworks. Otherwise we will be investing in assets that will still be in place in 2045, on the basis of regulations developed to suit the conditions of the mid- to late-20th century. You will find many other large entities (including Hydro, TasNetworks, the State Government and other councils) do exactly the same thing, and we meet regularly with many of these entities to determine how we can work together as we develop our respective strategies.

  • Have you done any modelling on the proposed energy storage proposal (ENER-02). Although it is true nationally that more storage is needed to support greater use of variable renewable energy, this is not really the case in Tas where our predominant use of hydro power means that the system provides almost free storage, simply by generating less hydro when wind and solar resources are high. What would be the business case for HCC to invest in additional storage at the local level (unless it can be done 'behind the meter' in conjunction with local PV or wind generation).

    JackGilding Asked 20 days ago

    Hi Jack

    Thanks for an insightful question. There is certainly a storage element in Tasmania’s hydro system, which provides “limitless” stored energy to supply and control the grid. However, while this is helpful to grid operation, as an end customer Council doesn’t necessarily see financial benefit of that storage. 

    There are numerous use cases where small to medium-scale storage can be valuable from a customer perspective. As an example, imagine a station with three 50 kW EV chargers. This could potentially serve 3600 kWh over 24 hours running at a constant 150 kW, yet it is very unlikely to get full constant use, and may see only one third of that energy output. 

    However, its power output will still reach 150 kW if all three chargers may be used concurrently at popular times. 

    A large power draw can attract demand charges and in some cases this can be as much as 50% of the total monthly bill, effectively doubling the levelised cost of energy to Council. A storage system on site can average out and reduce this power requirement without affecting the total energy required, particularly if it is combined with on-site solar to create additional energy savings. 

    A broader storage solution (i.e. outside of a particular site) does not necessarily attract immediate savings under our current retail/distribution/transmission arrangements, but we would investigate working with our stakeholders and suppliers in different ways as we examined a business case for larger scale storage.

  • In the feedback form on the Your Say page – we’re asking people to rank the actions in each of the action areas – how will that feedback be used for the final Plan and in the rollout of the actions

    21 days ago

    Some feedback has been online through forms, people have written submissions in, and we’ve had a face to face session at Mathers House. We’re asking people to give us feedback on the actions and the draft Plan overall 

     If it became clear that an action was extremely unpopular, then that may be the feedback that we need to decide to focus elsewhere. Ranking their actions – that’s a nice way to communicate to us and the elected members that certain types of actions are favoured by the community and that can help guide the direction and timing of how we do things. 

     We are also open to suggest other actions. So the previous question suggesting an edible playground in South Hobart is useful for us to know. If there was a community who said we want a feature in our area, then that helps us geographically plan the rollout of the strategy as well. 

  • Are there plans for an edible playground at the Wentworth St park/Wellesley St park?

    21 days ago

    The edible playgrounds haven’t been specifically planned yet, as Council hasn’t yet endorsed the Draft Plan. Because of this, we haven’t undertaken operational work on the actions in the Draft Plan. There is a community garden on Cascade Rd which isn’t quite the same thing; it’s a community garden that’s sitting in a space that we call our South Hobart Connected Precinct where we’re going to be trialling many smart city technologies and programs – that community garden will stay there and it may be that an edible playground will also fit in there. South Hobart is a key area for us as a place where we get a lot of traffic through South Hobartand there’s a good opportunity for further micro mobility and active transport initiatives along the rivulet. 

  • Can you tell us more about the strategic partnerships that the City of Hobart has?

    21 days ago

    We for a long time have been working with councils through the Southern Tasmanian Council Authority. What we’ve really been doing is trying to build the foundational components that Councils needs to take climate action. 

     These include: 

    • A methodology for how to work out council emissions which enables councils to target their actions in on areas that are going to produce real outcomes.  For example, Tasmania has hydropower so a lot of programs being developed on the mainland really don’t deliver the benefits we need down here. Our main action areas are in transport, and also housing and energy efficiency.  

    • Collaborating with the University of Tasmania with the Climate Futures work to build climate profiles for local governments down to a municipal level. We’ve recently completed a program where we’ve brought that modelling into a format that could be used across local government for its decision making  across warm, moderate and cold climates so councils can engage in risk management to build a risk profile – to understand what the risks may be and to make decisions to mitigate that risk.  

    • Working with the University of Tasmania to get a coordinated approach on how councils take climate action; looking at improving governance systems and climate literacy of councils to build strong adaptation and mitigation strategies 

    • Working with the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority to develop a regional coastal hazards strategy. This will bring alignment across local governments and will identify barriers and inconsistencies. Endorsement will be sought through the STCA, across councils and into the state government. We also meet quarterly with all southern councils, attended by Local Government Authority of Tasmania and by the Tasmanian Climate Change Office. 

  • When I’ve looked at the climate performance and actions of council compared to the state government the Hobart Council is quite far ahead. If I look at what Council has done in terms of energy reduction then Council is quite ahead and there are a lot of crossovers. I get a feeling that a lack of climate urgency at a state government level may be a barrier to Council being to do the best that it can do.

    21 days ago

    Thank you for the acknowledgement of the work that Council has done. There is a Tasmanian Climate Change Office which does have a program that the state government is running – there are some parallels between what we’re doing and what they’re doing. It’s sometimes difficult for them to pull the levers that we would and for us to pull the levers that they would – we play in very different zones. This action plan concentrates on the things that a City is well placed to do. We’re closer to the community than state government is, and much closer than the federal government is. More than ever we have a seat at the table, where the state and federal governments are genuinely listening to what we’re trying to achieve. 

  • Does Council receive adequate leadership and support from state government and adequate integration?

    21 days ago

    Most levels of governments tend to be fairly siloed. We have been keen, and so has state government, to break down those silos. We have spent time talking to federal and state and other local governments about how we can work together on these programs. Working together is extremely important in determining what is most beneficial for the people of Hobart and acknowledging what best serves greater Hobart; it’s about working out what the drivers are.  

     

    For example a public transport solution that only looks at Hobart city isn’t well considered, as most people using public transport in Hobart live outside the city. We meet regularly with the surrounding councils and state government to discuss how to solve some of these large-scale greater Hobart problems like public transport, energy, lighting, and to use the various layers of government to solve them together.  We do things around the city like counting cars to better use parking but state growth does the same thing – so pooling data together can give us a better idea of public transport needs and where we might be able to use micro-mobility to alleviate some of those congestion problems. In general we have close ties with our counterparts to work towards the same outcomes. 

  • Can you give some examples of the smart technologies in these actions?

    21 days ago

    We have a program called Connected Hobart that went through Council mid last year. We also have a section of the City of Hobart – City Security - which looks after the security of the city, our buildings and CCTV, optic fibre. All of those programs together, depend on being able to communicate data around the city. The first year of our Connected Hobart program has been putting in those foundational elements – laying fibre and sharing fibre with State Growth.  

     

    We’ve been putting in various radiofrequency communications systems so that we can talk backwards and forwards – one of those is LoRaWAN, which stands for long range wide area network. It’s a low cost way of transmitting small packets of data. One of the actions in the plan (Recognising and Monitoring Edge Habitats) involves putting in environmental sensors – which are low cost and low power (they can run on battery, solar or mains power). The two greatest risks to Hobart are flood and fire – and their impacts are dependent on how much water we can keep up on kunanyi/ Mount Wellington. We can work with other groups in Council including our Bushland Unit to keep water on the mountain when the Council builds tracks, by using the sensors to measure moisture in the groundWe can build tracks in a way to accumulate water in the ground, promote vegetation growth which accumulates more water – so it becomes a cycle. These monitors can also double as people counters and smoke sensors as well as monitoring the water content of the mountain. We’re able to get real time information about how much water is being retained on the mountain. 

  • Are there regulatory barriers to developing virtual power networks at present?

    21 days ago

    It depends if you’re on grid or off grid. If you’re on grid there are regulatory barriers but those barriers aren’t insurmountable. Sydney’s University of Technology, for example, had a desire to buy solar to increase their renewable energy use. They found a sheep farmer in Mudgee who had invested significant money to put in a large photovoltaic system on his farmBoth the farm and the university are on the grid and the university wanted to purchase all the power that the farm was producing locally. At first, they found that the energy retailer was unwilling to allow that model, but because of the university’s size and buying power they were able to work together. 

     As a city, we have that same kind of buying power. There are some regulatory issues that make it challenging and we’re keen to work with (and regularly talk with) the State Government, TasNetworks and Aurora to try to make these things achievable. If we can make it achievable it opens the door for other people to do it in the Tasmanian market. 

  • How has the City of Hobart been working with the community on sustainability?

    21 days ago

    Sustainability doesn’t just sit within one area of the City of Hobart; it’s spread across a lot of areas: 

    • When the City of Hobart was in charge of both stormwater and sewerage – the City of Hobart actively tried to improve performance to reduce environmental impacts 

    • Waste – we have driving push to reduce waste, including our commitment of zero waste to landfill by 2030, single use plastics, and an extensive education program. 

    • Our Bushcare programto revegetate and rehabilitate our bushland  

    • In parks and recreation, our parks provide environmental services such as clean air and water; and they promote general wellbeing and amenity 

    • In our roads areas we are looking at different mobility including bike lanes and initiatives to support cycling 

    • In community development we aim to increase sustainability by improving engagement with residents and offering better opportunities to participate in city life. We also bring strong messages to our residents about sustainability through public art 

    • We support city residents to reduce energy use in their houses and have a home energy toolkit program in which residents can learn how their house uses energy and learn how to make changes. We had a recent South Tasmanian Councils Authority home energy bulk buy, which will bring life-long savings to residents of $4m 

    • The City has also worked hard to reduce energy use over time in our assets. The City has prioritised taking action to reduce energy use rather than purchasing offsets.