Wollongong is on track to become a "thriving, low waste, low emissions city", Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery says, as the city rolls out almost 100 new actions to combat climate change.
While it remains one of the Australia's biggest heavy centres, two landmark new policies - adopted unanimously by Wollongong City Council last week - will help transform the city into a hub of renewable energy sources, sustainable transport options, more trees and less waste, the Lord Mayor said.
At last week's meeting, he said it was vital for the council to take this leadership role on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions if the city was to have a future.
"I don't know about you, but I do not want to got back to the beginning of this year and the circumstance we confronted with the bushfire situation," he said
"I would do anything to avoid that catastrophe, and if it just means I have to modify my lifestyle... I will do almost anything to contribute."
He added that heavy industry players, like BlueScope, had already indicated "they are listening" and said they knew they would have to make changes in the way steel is made.
Wollongong is a beautiful city, but our past actions haven't always been positive for our natural environment.
Wollongong has been progressively becoming more environmentally friendly over the past several years, starting in 2017 when it became a signatory to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.
Two years later, it adopted targets for the city to be carbon neutral by 2050, and for council operations to meet this target 20 years earlier, by 2030.
The Sustainable Wollongong 2030: A Climate Healthy City Strategy and the Climate Change Mitigation Plan 2020 will help the city to meet these goals.
"Wollongong is a beautiful city, but our past actions haven't always been positive for our natural environment," Cr Bradbery said.
"Our vision is to transform Wollongong into a thriving, low waste, low emissions city that lives in harmony with its environment.
"There's still a lot of work to go before we achieve our vision of a sustainable Wollongong, but with our community's continued support, we will move forward to creating a climate resilient city."
Greens councillor Mithra Cox moved the motion to support the mitigation plan, and noted the council had taken steps to become carbon neutral well before adopting the plans.
She also said there had been significant changes in the national and international debate over climate change in recent weeks, with China and Japan both committing to net zero targets by 2050.
With the change of president, the United States is also expected to dramatically change its climate policies, and NSW recently announced a plan to get the state's network to net zero by 2050.
Cr Cox said the opportunities for Wollongong, in developing green jobs and renewables, "are huge" and said the council had signalled to industry that "we are willing, we are ready and we want to work on this future".