Terms of Reference


Regional Climate Change Initiative

The Regional Climate Change Initiative,
established by the Southern Tasmanian Councils Board,
aims to provide regional leadership and facilitate collaboration on and coordination of
climate change activities across the region.

1 Purpose

The Terms of Reference define the operation of the Regional Climate Change Initiative (RCCI) across the southern region under the auspices of the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority.

2 Term

This Terms of Reference is effective from August 2018 to August 2020

3 Relevant Strategies, Policies & Plans

• Regional Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (Regional Strategy) Southern Tasmania, 2013 – 2020

• Community Bushfire Preparedness in a Changing Climate Action Plan
2013- 2015 (Community Bushfire Preparedness Plan)

• STCA Annual Plan

• Regional Climate Change Initiative Action Plan 2017 – 2019 (RCCI Action Plan)

• Climate Change (State) Act Tasmania

• Climate Action 21

4 RCCI Membership

4.1 RCCI Composition

Membership of the RCCI consists of nominated representatives of the 12 southern council including its RCCI coordinator, City of Hobart Climate Change Officer.

4.2 Other experts, guests or relevant stakeholders

Representatives from the Tasmanian Climate Change Office and the Local Government Association of Tasmanian shall be invited to attend and participate in RCCI meetings.

Relevant officers from member councils are also invited to attend on a needs basis.

Other experts, guests or relevant stakeholders be invited to attend meetings on the request of the RCCI.

4.3 RCCI Chair

The Chair of the RCCI shall be appointed by the STC Board once every two years.

The Chair will:

• provide for the effective leadership for the RCCI

• report and liaise with the STC Board and the RCCI on relevant matters

• provide support to the RCCI coordinator, City of Hobart Climate Change Officer for the planning of meetings and coordination of the development of agendas

• ensure the effective and efficient operation and function of the RCCI

• represent the RCCI as relevant in meetings and events.

4.3 RCCI Working Groups

The RCCI shall establish working groups, as necessary, to address specific adaptation and mitigation actions identified in the relevant strategies, policies and plans. These may be comprised of relevant stakeholders from councils, Tasmanian Government, LGAT and private and community sectors.

5 Operating Principles

The RCCI mitigation and adaptation activities, actions and strategies, policies and plans are framed around the themes of:

• Advocacy

• Education and Awareness

• Engineering and Technological

• Regulatory and Institutional

• Governance

• Further information

• Avoidance

The RCCI as appropriate and relevant shall:

• Establish and maintain good relationships with other tiers of government and stakeholders in order to provide an effective forum for communication of local government’s climate change adaptation and mitigation roles and responsibilities.

• Develop, support and coordinate regional activities through collaboration and resource sharing between councils and other stakeholders including:

• investigation of funding opportunities, and joint applications for funding;

• assisting councils to provide coordinated and consistent approaches to mitigation and adaptation issues;

• implementation of approved policies and undertake activities in response to climate change mitigation and adaptation;

• consideration of changes to the statutory and regulatory requirements affecting municipal and regional action and recommend necessary actions as appropriate; and

• promotion of the awareness of mitigation and adaptation actions, strategies, policies and procedures across the participating councils and the region.

• Build and maintain a public profile for local government climate change initiatives that supports regional and local activities

• Keep up to date, disseminate, undertake or instigate research and information on the impacts of climate change in Southern Tasmania and science, data, trends and information, including liaising with key stakeholders and development of performance indicators and recommend appropriate actions

• Undertake periodic review of local government risks and vulnerabilities associated with climate change including the:

• Southern Tasmanian regional risk register, associated with the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, is up to date in order to support effective and integrated risk management for southern Tasmanian councils; and

• emissions factors and methodologies for the purposes of greenhouse gas inventories.

6 RCCI Members’ Responsibility and Authority

The RCCI shall be responsible for:

• the review of relevant climate adaptation actions, information, strategies, policies and procedures on a regular basis;

• the review of RCCI work priorities annually;

• preparation of annual reports to the STC Board on operational issues and adaptation actions;

• preparation of reports, including recommendations as relevant, following each meeting, to the STC Board on strategic and community based issues and on the progress of its activities and undertakings;

• preparation of a budget and set of activities to be undertaken each year for endorsement by the STCA Board and then be charged with the implementation of this budget and associated activities and

• investigation of funding opportunities.

7 Meetings

The RCCI shall meet at least quarterly or more frequently as required by the Chair. Working groups will meet on an as required basis and report back to the RCCI and if relevant the STCA Board.

An agenda for each meeting shall be issued to members prior to each meeting. Minutes of each meeting shall be distributed to members and stored at www.stca.tas.gov.au

8 Public comment

While the Chair of the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority (STCA) remains the spokesperson for the Authority, the Chair may delegate that responsibility to the Chair of the RCCI for relevant matters and advocacy on those.

9 RCCI Members’ Communication Responsibilities:

The members of the RCCI shall:

• Ensure climate adaptation information and issues are communicated to their individual councils;

• Consult with and provide feedback from the individual councils they represent to the RCCI in respect of climate adaptation actions and their implementation; and

• Communicate with RCCI any matters which may impact on climate adaptation and mitigation.

10 Conflict of Interest

If a member of the committee has declared a conflict of interest it is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that appropriate actions are taken to ensure that the conflict of interest does not bring into question the propriety of decisions made by the committee.

11 Amendment and modification

This Terms of Reference maybe amended, varied or modified in writing after consultation and agreement by its members

Climate Change Science

There is overwhelming scientific evidence and consensus that the global climate is changing. It is projected that in the 21st century, along with an increase in temperature by at least 2 °C, extreme weather events and sea level rise will also increase.

It is equally understood that regardless of any current emissions mitigation efforts, climate change impacts will still need to be adapted to.

Tasmania is fortunate to have been the subject of the highest resolution climate change modelling conducted anywhere in Australia, which provides a firm foundation for adaptation planning.

The recently completed Climate Futures for Tasmania project provides a sound knowledge base for identifying climate related risks at a regional and local level and informs appropriate decisions to manage risks.

The Southern Regional Climate Profile completed for the RCCAP by Climate Futures for Tasmania showed that Tasmania’s maritime climate would buffer it against the severe climate change impacts that will be experienced across much of south eastern Australia.

The report notes however that climate change impacts will vary across the region dependent on the local conditions, characteristics and circumstances.

Under the A2 emissions scenario the following climate change impacts are projected:


• The greatest projected increase in temperature, over 3 °C, is in the west of the region, around the western half of the Derwent Valley, Huon and the Central Highlands.

• The frequency and duration of high temperature events across the region will increase.

• Warm spells that are currently 4–8 days in length are projected to increase by 2–6 days.

• Drought is projected to increase in severity in the central highlands by 2–4% whereas other parts of the region are expected to show little change or a slight decrease.


• The average annual rainfall is projected to increase moderately in the east coast, Tasman and greater Hobart regions but decrease by 6–10% in the Central Highlands.

• Around the east coast, greater rainfall is projected in summer and autumn with little change in winter and spring.

• Rainfall in the northern part of the Central Highlands (within the southern region) is projected to decrease in all seasons.

• The western area of the southern region is projected to experience greater rainfall in winter with a decrease in summer.

• Low-lying areas across the region may receive 1–6 extra very wet days per year, while the highlands may receive 2–3 days less.

Sea level rise

• Global sea level is projected to increase, on average, by 0.82 metres by 2100.

• The current 100-year storm tide event is around 0.9 to 1.4 m above average sea level, and is projected to increase to 1.87 metres by 2090.

• The current 100-year coastal inundation event may become a 50 year event by 20130 and a 2 – 6 year event by 2090.