Climate Resilience in the Built Environment

Feedback to the Inquiry into Climate Resilience in the Built Environment.

An image of the front page of the report

The Inquiry into Climate Resilience in the Built Environment provides an important opportunity to examine how the Victorian Government can improve our buildings and infrastructure, and ultimately better protect people experiencing disadvantage from the impacts of climate change.

Public and community buildings and infrastructure are vulnerable to our increasingly extreme climate. Many of these buildings have already been badly affected by heavy rainstorms, floods, extreme heat, or bushfires. Across Victoria, public and community buildings tend to be insufficiently insulated and have ineffective, inefficient heating and cooling systems. In many community facilities, regular maintenance is often delayed due to insufficient financial resources.

These spaces should be safe for both community members and for the people who staff them even during extreme weather. The consequences of their structural vulnerability can be devastating, leaving people literally exposed to the elements.

This submission addresses what must be done to better prepare Victoria’s built environment and infrastructure, and therefore the community, for future climate disaster events. The submission focuses on extreme heat as the main risk of climate change facing the entirety of Victoria, but also discusses climate change risks that will be more localised in Victoria including flooding, bushfire, increased intensity of rain events, and sea level rise.

A key message of this submission is that prevention is key. While we cannot fully prevent the impacts of climate change from occurring, we can prevent them from getting worse through climate mitigation activities across society. Many of these mitigation activities within our buildings and infrastructure also contribute to climate resilience, which prepares us for the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Adequate preparation of our buildings and our people will ultimately require fewer financial resources than waiting until climate impacts hit and then supporting repeated recovery efforts over the coming decades. It will also head off avoidable suffering and death and reduce inequality.


  • Continue to urgently invest in climate mitigation
  • Invest in community resilience
  • Improve the resilience of essential services infrastructure
  • Improve the ability of our buildings and infrastructure to withstand heat
  • Lead on home resilience improvements
  • Improve the resilience of new buildings and infrastructure
  • Strengthen Victoria’s Adaptation Action Plans

VCOSS is the peak body for Victoria’s social and community sector, and the state’s premier social advocacy body. We work towards a Victoria free from poverty and disadvantage, where every person and community experiences genuine wellbeing. Read more.

We welcome the opportunity to provide this input.

This work is authorised by VCOSS CEO Juanita Pope.

VCOSS acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country, and we pay respect to Elders and Ancestors. Our business is conducted on sovereign, unceded Aboriginal land. The VCOSS offices are located on Wurundjeri Woiwurrung land in central Naarm.