The council will prepare a climate change risk assessment as a step towards further action.
The assessment will identify the risks to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and develop appropriate mitigation and/or adaptation responses to the identified risks specific to the local government area.
A climate change information report, bringing together knowledge from a range of reputable sources, went before the March 18 council meeting.
Projected changes include increased temperatures, decreased rainfall, more intense storms and harsher fire weather, the report said.
The associated risks may require action by many areas of the council such as water security, emergency management, asset protection, flood and sea level inundation, community amenity needs and environmental management.
The climate change risk assessment will enable the council to better prioritise actions required.
Funding opportunities could then become available.
Deputy mayor Lisa Intemann said this was not declaring a climate emergency but it was an acknowledgement of the situation and the risks that we faced in a changing climate, and an acknowledgement that prevention was more cost effective than trying to deal with an ongoing series of crises.
Cr Peter Alley said he was particularly excited about the second part of the recommendation which talked about identifying risks, developing mitigation and adaption.
Cr Rob Turner said the report had done a really good job in making it real for us here and now.
He urged the community to read the report.
Climate change champion Rachel Sheppard sent her response to the report to councillors.
Ms Sheppard said the council and the community deserved warm congratulations for the ongoing engagement around the common goal of securing a safe and prosperous future for our community.
She said the climate change report and the actions council was undertaking showed a commitment to address the climate emergency to achieve this common goal.
"The report suggests that senior council staff no longer consider it tenable to wait for incremental changes between monthly meetings," Ms Sheppard said.
She said merely covering council's assets was not adequate in the face of the climate situation this report described.
"This report is publicly available, and our community will expect you to help us mobilise not just to protect council assets, but also to protect ourselves and build a climate safe and prosperous future," Ms Sheppard said.
She said a climate emergency declaration was still necessary.
The report said the council had already been proactive and implemented a number of mitigation and adaptation measures.
They include sea level rise mapping, low emission fleet procurement, the Long Term Energy Strategy and environmental education programs.
A climate change risk assessment progress report will come back to the July council meeting.
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