The report card for East Gippsland Shire Council’s 2018-19 environment and sustainability projects and programs is in, and there were some great achievements.
Mayor Cr John White said Council has a role in maintaining, protecting and enhancing the region’s natural environment.
“Our Environment Sustainability Strategy helps protect, preserve and enhance our environment and provides a framework towards a more sustainable future,” Cr White said.
“We do this by using our resources more efficiently, by reducing our everyday impacts, and encouraging locals and visitors to do the same.
“Council was pleased to recently be able to adopt the Environmental Sustainability Strategy Annual Report 2018-19. This annual report monitors and reports on the environmental actions from both Council’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy, and the revised Council Plan 2017-21.”
Annual report highlights included:
- Installation of grid connected solar on multiple council buildings.
- Treated more than 480 kilometres of roadside weeds.
- A decline of 1,052 tonnes of CO2 (compared to the baseline in 2014/15) for Council operations.
- Supported community environmental outcomes through grant funding; and
- Commenced planning for electric vehicles as part of Council’s fleet and the charging of electrical vehicles to encourage tourists to travel through our area.
Cr White said the Lakes Entrance Aquadome now has 140 solar panels with 46kW system installed, making it the biggest solar system on any Council facility so far.
“The installation of grid connected solar on the Aquadome, Bairnsdale City Oval and The Hub in Bairnsdale, saves 84 tonnes of CO2 and $9,000 a year,” Cr White said.
“Also, the solar bulk buy program, with local installers, was also a great success with 62 new solar systems and eight batteries installed. In addition, for every system sold a percentage was donated to install solar on the Cann Valley Bush Nursing Centre building.”
Council is being very proactive in the way it initiates sustainability initiatives and advances projects across many sustainability sectors, including conversion to renewable energy; environmental sustainability initiatives and a broad range of community education projects, as outlined in the report.
“It’s not just about saving dollars but protecting the wider environment and looking at innovative ways to keep up with energy network costs in our region,” Cr White said.
“One of the initiatives introduced during the year was the Energy Information Hub, which provided advice to residents about measures that could reduce energy use in their home and power costs. More than 270 residents used the service and 24 events were organised.
Cr White encourages everyone to read the report and see why, what and how Council is implementing various programs and projects to improve environmental and sustainability outcomes, educate, and look for cost savings and funding opportunities.
“Our latest Environmental Sustainability Strategy Annual Report for the 2018-19 year can be found on our website or accessed at our customer service or outreach centres,” Cr White said.