I always enjoy photographing events that align with my interests, so following a recent conference featuring Saul Griffith and then the Offshore Wind & Green Hydrogen Summit at MCEC I was on a bit of a roll when the opportunity to photograph the Climate Summit for Local Government came up.

Hosted by the Cities Power Partnership, which is a Climate Council project, the Climate Summit for Local Government was an electrifying (pun intended!) 3 days summit of workshops, panels, expert presentations, walking tours and EV test drives.

Delegates from local councils around Australia came together on day one to experience a range of electric vehicles and trucks at the Melbourne showgrounds, arriving on a Kinetic electric bus before testing out vehicles from Polestar, BYD, MG, Mercedes and Hyundai.

Alongside the smaller electric vehicles were electric trucks, hydrogen powered garbage trucks and a range of electric powered equipment that you’ll find in use by most local councils such as mowers and street sweepers.

Kicking the summit off properly on the second day and following the climate science keynote by David Karoly, the former Commissioner of Fire and Rescue New South Wales, Greg Mullins gave the keynote address. Well, that had it all!  Terror, tears, tantrums from pollies.

I’m picking up his book ‘Firestorm’ from my local library this week. I’m guessing it’s not going to be the lightest of reads, but I’m very much looking forward to it.

With the summit MC’d by Craig Reucassel (ABC’s War On Waste) the first two presentations set the tone for a collaborative and impactful gathering and made great use of the comfortable surroundings and spaces of RMIT’s Storey Hall. I’m always pleased to photograph conferences and events in venues such as Storey Hall with it’s great acoustics and sight lines. 

Following the first day of the summit, delegates moved to the State Library for 2023 Climate Awards where some of the more progressive and environmentally proactive councils were recognised.

With Brimbank City Council recognised for its “world leading” sustainable design by the Green Building Council of Australia and then winning the Energy Efficiency Achievement Award at the awards night for the first all-electric aquatic centre in Australia I was prompted to contact my own local council to enquire how their new swimming pool planned for my area is going to be heated.  I’m pleased to report that it’s going to be an all-electric building, utilising heat pumps solar panels.

Overall, the Cities Power Partnership Summit provided the perfect platform for sharing knowledge, celebrating achievements, and inspiring collective action toward a more sustainable and resilient future for cities across Australia.

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    Simon Woodcock
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