Meet the Climate Hub Advisory Panel: Dorean Erhart

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Bio

Dorean Erhart has worked in the climate change space for years, most recently as a lead at the Local Government Association for Queensland (LGAQ) providing state and national representation on behalf of Queensland Local Governments.

In big news, Dorean recently stepped down from her role at LGAQ and has founded her own company - Linden Climate Advisory - where she aims to support corporations and private and public organisations in their quest to become climate risk responsive.

Dorean’s most influential work includes, the Queensland Climate Resilient Councils and QCoast2100 programs, the Reef Council Rescue Plan and the Coastal Councils Adaptation Taskforce (C-CAT). She has also co-authored several climate risk management guidelines and support documents for local governments.

 

Tell us about your role at the LGAQ

I worked with the LGAQ for over 11 years. Despite leaving, I’ve been contracted to continue to manage the delivery of the Queensland Climate Resilient Councils Program which is designed to provide the knowledge, tools and capability building by  local governments to respond to climate change in timely and effective ways. I work with councils to ensure their internal decision-making frameworks and processes are robust enough to respond to climate risk in both the short and long term. The program is a partnership between the State Government and the LGAQ and has been running for over 4 years.

An important part of my role as Lead for the climate change portfolio at the LGAQ was to work with Queensland local government elected members, , research institutes and universities to advocate to State and Federal governments for improvements to policy, assistance to implement new policies and gain funding for climate change initiatives.

“Climate change isn’t a one-off issue, it’s never going to be ‘finished’ so councils need to be set up to respond to it in the long term."

 

What is the link between climate change and the Great Barrier Reef?

“Quite simply, climate change is the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. If we don’t cap our global warming, we won’t have a Barrier Reef.”

It is more important than ever to have somebody with a local government perspective and climate change knowledge sitting on the Reef Advisory Committee, to support stakeholders’ understanding about the risks of climate change to the Great Barrier Reef. We’re proud to have successfully advocated to include actions for mitigation of greenhouse emissions in the next Reef 2050 Plan. This is an international document, a global callout, that should inspire the world to support Australia in saving the Great Barrier Reef. 

 

What value do think the Hub adds to local and surrounding councils?

“The Hub is a wonderful innovation in its own right.”

There are commonalities across all local governments when approaching climate change and there is opportunity to complete pieces of work that affect many local councils beyond the Whitsunday region. The Hub supports this opportunity.

The Whitsunday Regional Council have made a commitment to be leaders in the climate change space and The Hub provides the platform to demonstrate that leadership - leading by example, but also leading through supporting both present and future projects that will help reduce climate risk across Australia. 

 

Could you please explain the Queensland Climate Resilient Councils Network and what the program is achieving?

“Part of building capability and maintaining awareness is creating and maintaining a community of practice.”

The Q CRC program has established the Queensland Climate Resilient Councils Network, which has nearly 300 members and is growing every day.  We’re working to set up systems to connect members with each other using readily available digital platforms.  The program is also developing  an online, open source interactive platform where members will have the opportunity to upload their resources, rate existing resources for their value and accessibility and leave comments and notes to support others thinking about using that resource or tool. The platform will be available by June 2022.