Photochemical smog exacerbated by hot weather, Western SydneyHeat is Australia’s most deadly natural hazard with significant and growing impacts on our communities, economy, environment, and infrastructure.  


Despite these impacts, previous work conducted by WSROC shows that Sydney has no coordinated arrangements in place to measure, mitigate or manage heat impacts.


The Greater Sydney Heat Taskforce program seeks to address this gap, aiming towards a long-term vision where people living in Greater Sydney can survive and thrive in a warming climate and during extreme heat events.


It will be important to ensure:

  • People know their risk and how to manage it.
  • Infrastructure is designed to function in hotter conditions.
  • Homes and suburbs support life safety and cost of living.
  • Programs are in place to help the vulnerable.


To do so, a Greater Sydney Heat Taskforce comprised of senior leaders across local and state government, industry and the community sector will be established to coordinate governance across the city and implement the following program of works:


  • Project 1 (Governance): Heat Smart City Plan

Codesign a coordinated, 5-year program of activities for implementing city-wide heat mitigation and adaptation measures as well as improving heatwave management.


  • Project 2 (Policy): Cool Suburbs NSW

Expand the heat resilience rating and assessment tool, Cool Suburbs, to be applicable across all NSW climate zones and maximise useability for different users (industry, government, community).


  • Project 3 (Data): Heat Risk Methodology

Develop a holistic methodology and neccessary agreement on defitions and thresholds for assessing local heat risk and pilot in three high-risk LGAs.


  • Project 4 (People): Heatwave Management Guide

Develop a suite of evidence-based tools to help local authorities advance their heatwave planning.



Funding: $1.3m through the joint Australian Government–NSW Government National Partnership Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction


Timing: Delivered 2022 – 2024


Partners: This project is a major collaboration with partners from Australian, NSW and Local Governments, academia, industry and community sectors. Partners include, but are not limited to:

Bureau of Meteorology, Nepean Blue Mountains PHN, Western Sydney LHD, South Western Sydney LHD, Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, Western Sydney University, Sydney University, UNSW, Blue Mountains City Council, Blacktown City Council, Cumberland City Council, Liverpool City Council, Hawkesbury City Council, Resilient Sydney, Lendlease, Green Building Council, NSW AMA, Western Sydney Community Forum, Sweltering Cities and Doctors for the Environment.


Greater Sydney Heat Taskforce attends its first planning session Friday 4 August 2023
Greater Sydney Heat Taskforce attends its first planning session (Friday 4 August).