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Good Shepherd welcomes the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Climate Resilience, and its focus on built environment resilience to climate change impacts.

Climate health and justice is a focus of Good Shepherd’s 2023-2027 strategic plan. Climate change is increasingly shaping the lives of the women and families we work with in our family violence, child and family, and financial services. The majority of Good Shepherd’s clients are social or private renters. Landlords are failing to provide climate-safe homes, which drives up energy bills, and has disproportionate health consequences for women and children. Faced with low incomes and constrained housing options due to family violence, our clients are also being pushed into more dangerous places in the context of climate change, such as hotter suburbs and disaster-prone places.

The Victorian Government has taken some important first steps towards greater climate resilience in the built environment. Priorities from here include:

• implementing the expanded minimum rental standards regime (see Good Shepherd’s submission)
• retrofitting more social housing homes
• exploring the feasibility of a government-administered insurance pool
• expanding heat protection and cooling equity strategies at local levels
• taking a gender lens to disaster resilience planning.

Ultimately, climate resilience requires mitigation of climate change itself. The best resilience strategies will involve both decarbonisation and adaptation measures wherever possible.

Good Shepherd submission to Victorian Inquiry into Climate Resilience