Ecological sustainability in council’s sights
  • Tuesday 30 June 2009

Council demonstrated its dedication to achieving environmental sustainability on the Coast, with significant funding allocated to environmental programs and projects in the 2009/10 budget.

Environment portfolio councillor, Cr Keryn Jones said preserving our natural environment will ensure that the unique biodiversity of the Sunshine Coast is maintained and enhanced.

“In planning for the future, council aims to lead by example in valuing, promoting and protecting the ecological and diverse values of the region,” Cr Jones said.

“It will also endeavour to address key environmental issues, such as climate change, waste management and healthy waterways.

“However, this budget demonstrates how essential the community is in the success of these environmental initiatives, projects and programs.

“From land for wildlife partnerships to reducing waste at the landfill, supporting residents is a key element in achieving carbon neutrality on the Coast.”

PRIORITY PROJECTS

Waste management strategies

  • Closure of two landfill sites and conversion to transfer stations - $5.4 million.
  • Landfill gas equates to 63% of council’s carbon footprint and $1 million is allocated to implement gas management solutions at landfill sites across the Coast.
  • eWaste diversion from landfills - $151,000
  • Waste to energy program that converts timber waste from landfill - $85,000
  • Recycling service to be extended to commercial and business premises
  • Kerbside collection of bulky items to extend across the region
  • $750,000 is committed to help recycle 80% of all construction and demolition waste received across the region. This project alone will eliminate 40,000 tonnes of waste going to landfill and create four new green jobs to be source from the private sector.
  • Education is an essential element toward reducing waste to landfill and the current waste education budget has tripled to $750,000 in 2009/10.

Biodiversity
With an eye firmly on protecting and enhancing biodiversity on the Sunshine Coast, council has allocated $340,000 for priority weed management, $35,000 for turtle conservation and $30,000 for riparian rehabilitation. These programs enable staff and residents to continue with essential preservation and enhancement of coastal biodiversity.

Environment Levy
Community partnerships were identified as an essential element in maintaining biodiversity on private land and as such, significant funds from the environment levy are allocated to supporting and engaging landholders in conservation practices. $3 million in levy funds will be used to purchase environmentally significant land, with funds potentially doubling or tripling through federal government grants.

Climate Change
Council has put significant dollars behind its mandate to work towards carbon neutrality, allocating $50,000 for development of a climate change strategy and $20,000 to continuing the work of the Sustainability Advisory Panel and Energy Transition reference groups. A further $200,000 will be directed at carbon reduction programs.