Onkaparinga named Climate Awards finalist

Published on 25 August 2023

City of Onkaparinga is a finalist in the Cities Power Partnership’s fifth annual national Climate Awards, which recognise the work of councils paving the way to a zero-carbon future.

The council’s Green Buildings Initiative (GBI), which delivers energy efficiency improvements to the organisation’s highest energy emitting buildings, is one of three finalists for the Energy Efficiency Achievement Award.

The program is funded through a revolving resources fund, where savings from completed projects are reinvested into future ones.

Since 2020, the GBI has implemented 11 solar installations totalling 468kW on council buildings, five LED lighting upgrades and eight EV charging stations to support council’s electric vehicles.

The GBI primarily targets facilities where the council is responsible for paying the bills, focusing on larger sites to maximise impact and returns, which can be put back into future projects.

Support is also extended to lessees such as sporting clubs and community groups, helping them to reduce their energy bills.

One of the GBI’s next big targets is looking at a major electrification and solar project at the Noarlunga Aquatic Centre, which is expected in the next few years.

City of Onkaparinga Mayor Moira Were said she was delighted to see the council’s national leadership being recognised as a finalist in this year’s Cities Power Partnership Climate Awards.

“Our Green Buildings Initiative is a major success story for the council, helping us to reduce our corporate carbon emissions by 450 tonnes across 17 capital projects since 2020,” she said.

“It also plays a big role in our goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040, following our recent declaration of a climate emergency.

“It’s pleasing to be recognised for our hard work by being named as a Climate Awards finalist, but the work doesn’t stop here—we’ll continue playing our key role on the frontline of responding to climate change and helping our communities to mitigate and respond.”

Finalists were selected from entries submitted by diverse communities from rural townships through to capital cities across seven award categories including renewable energy, energy efficiency, collaboration and innovation.

Dr Portia Odell, Director of the Cities Power Partnership, congratulated the City of Onkaparinga for making the final shortlist for the awards, saying this year’s entries reflect a new level of climate action and ambition amongst local governments.

“From councils collaborating to source 100 percent renewable energy to power their operations, to supporting low-income households to install solar panels and insulate their homes, our finalists are leading the way,” she said.

“These local champions are a critical part of Australia’s climate solution. It’s time to celebrate the climate heroes in local government, who are helping their communities to drive down greenhouse gas emissions and creating a better future.”

The winners will be announced at the Cities Power Partnership’s Climate Summit for Local Government 2023 on Thursday 7 September in Melbourne.

The Climate Summit is the premier climate and energy event for local government leaders in Australia. It will explore opportunities in clean transport, clean energy transformation, climate risk, building resilience and adapting to climate change, and working together for greater impact. 

About the Cities Power Partnership

The Cities Power Partnership is a free national program created by the Climate Council that celebrates and accelerates the emission reduction and clean energy successes of Australia in towns and cities.


The Cities Power Partnership awards recognise councils demonstrating climate mitigation action across the listed 39 action pledge items under the Cities Power Partnership. Each of the 7 categories were judged to ensure their respective criteria were met.


  • Josh Byrne, Environmental scientist, researcher, author and TV presenter
  • Liz Owen, Director, Jaragun Ecoservices
  • Hollie Cheung, Researcher, Climate Council
  • Jerome Laxale MP, Member for Bennelong and former City of Ryde Mayor