The Council and community are working together to plan for the future and to think creatively about how we can tackle climate change, one of the biggest challenges of our time.

We believe our community has what it takes and we are looking forward to this journey together.

What is the Community Transition Plan and where does this discussion forum fit?

More project background

The Z-NET Community Transition Planning project is a community-led project, facilitated by Council, to develop a plan to reduce carbon emissions in the shire and adapt to climate change. 

The Community Transition Plan will provide the blueprint for how our shire can survive and thrive in a climate changed world, seizing economic opportunities in the low-carbon economy and reducing risks to our community and industry associated with extreme and unpredictable weather.

The Plan will be co-designed and owned by the community and include a collective vision for our future that recognizes our shared values, needs and identity and builds on these for a sustainable future. 

Phase 1

In this first phase, taking place between April to October 2020, the project has undertaken the following key tasks: 

  1. Collect data to inform a detailed carbon footprint (to be completed in Phase 2) of the shire using both bottom-up and top-down data, which includes a household survey online. Household survey results are here
  2. Conduct a historical context review of existing studies and efforts in the shire over the past decades that can inform both the footprint analysis and project concepts for emissions reduction and climate adaptation actions.
  3. Collect local ideas for climate action through the online portal, OurSay, which will build on the submissions to the Climate Forum and harness suggestions for projects with opportunities for the public to add and vote (ongoing until end March). 
  4. Develop a governance framework for the project that takes into account key stakeholders and offers different tiers of management and oversight (ongoing).
  5. Expand on the existing Z-NET model deployed by Hepburn Shire to include consideration of adaptation, circular economy and the role of the creative sector, through a co-designed approach. This is presented in the Phase 2 proposal, and through two companion pieces on the future economy and the role of the creative sector (forthcoming). 

Phase one of this project was co-funded by Sustainability Victoria and Mount Alexander Shire Council, with consulting work by Renew consulting and Castlemaine Institute, in-kind support from the Mount Alexander Sustainability Group, the Hub Foundation and the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance and all participating steering group members.

Sustainability Victoria is co-funding this project through its new Zero Carbon Community Transition program, and Mount Alexander Shire was one of a number of successful Councils to secure funding. 

Council’s involvement in this project helps to meet its commitment under the climate emergency motion at the Ordinary Meeting of Council of 17 December 2019 of “working with our communities to help reduce our community’s greenhouse gas emissions and increase our ability to adapt to climate change, including in the development of Council’s next climate change strategy.”


The governance for Phase 1 is: 

  • Project Control Group: Terry White (MASG), Jodi Newcombe (MASC), Allie Hanly (MASG), Taryn Lane (Renew)
  • Steering Group: current working group for Z-NET, which includes the PCG above and Linda Duffy (Sustainability Victoria); Sam Thomas (Creative Sector lead); Warwick Smith (Castlemaine Institute); Rob Law (Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance) and Vicki Anderson (MASC); Kath Coff (Nalderun) Deane Belfield (MASG and Regenerative Ag Australia); Bill Grant (MASG); and MASC Councillors (Bronwyn Machin and John Neiman); Lucy Young (Hub Foundation); Euan Williamson (Resident); Cohen Saunders (Youth, AYCCC).  


Following Phase 1, the Steering Group will be transitioned to a a new governance model involving a expanded involvement of the community representing different sectors and interests. 



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