Carbon tax? We’re ready
  • Tuesday 12 July 2011

Sunshine Coast Council’s early preparation for a potential carbon tax has paid off, with the organisation in a better position than most other local governments.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Keryn Jones said the weekend announcement of a proposed carbon price of $23 per tonne will be absorbed with little pain thanks to more than three years of hard work.

"We recognised the need for change and have been taking action," Cr Jones said.

"The proposed carbon tax will provide funding for new clean-tech industries to grow – and we’re ready to take advantage of that opportunity.

"Council has been working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the region to cut the community’s exposure to the anticipated carbon tax.

"The 2010 Climate Change and Peak Oil Strategy set a target for council to be a carbon-neutral organisation by 2020, also setting a benchmark for sustainability.

"Developing a carbon-neutral plan for the organisation takes into account this proposed carbon price.

"Work is already underway to address council’s largest emissions including those from council’s landfill sites."

The strategy aims to:

  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • cut oil dependency
  • help the Sunshine Coast’s transition to alternative energy sources
  • adapt to the prospect of climate change
  • build business capacity for the council and the region.

"Council’s 2010 Energy Transition Plan focuses on ways to build low carbon market opportunities and help our community prepare and respond to changing energy costs," Cr Jones said.

"Council has also approved $2.2 million towards three council-implemented spearhead energy projects.

"In addition, the plan helps to facilitate renewable energy projects such as the recently approved 10-megawatt solar farm at Valdora."

Council has also been working with the community on the:

  • Living Smart program since 2008 to help reduce household carbon footprints and energy costs
  • ecoBiz program with Sunshine Coast businesses to reduce energy consumption and costs
  • Energy Conservation Communities program, in partnership with Energex to bring energy conservation to local communities.

Council has also begun developing a Community Emissions Reduction Plan to reduce emissions further and investigate participation in a future emission trading market.

More details can be found on council’s website.