An annual review of Council’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy has shown continued success and progress to improve sustainability, local biodiversity and enhance community education.
The strategy outlines Council’s commitment and action plan to working towards a more sustainable future focusing on three key areas – natural environment, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and sustainable development.
Originally adopted in May 2018, the four-year strategy is reviewed annually to ensure it remains on target and relevant to Council’s environmental sustainability goals and objectives, which include (but are not limited to):
- Protecting and sustainably managing Baw Baw’s environment.
- Preparing for impacts and consequences of climate change.
- Safeguarding and enhancing our natural environment and biodiversity for present and future generations.
- Improving community health and well-being by providing access to high quality bushland reserves, waterways and open spaces.
- Facilitation of more sustainable development within Baw Baw’s residential growth areas and improving the sustainability of natural and built environments.
- Provision of information to the community on how to improve their sustainability, reduce energy costs and water consumption and to build community resilience in preparation for extreme weather events.
Results of the second annual review conducted in May 2020 show many of the strategy’s ongoing commitments have been implemented successfully.
Key annual review highlights
- Release of Council’s Sustainable Living Guide which includes practical advice and information to assist the community in living more sustainability.
- Joining the Cities Power Partnership, a national program that brings together Australian towns and cities making the switch to clean energy.
- Extensive works to improve drainage and upgrade popular walking tracks in Neerim South.
- Recent solar panel installations at the Drouin Early Learning Centre and Warragul Senior Citizens Centre.
Overall, 48 per cent of actions have been completed, with a further 28 per cent currently underway and the remaining 24 per cent of actions to be addressed in coming years. The full annual review report is available here.
Council’s acknowledges the ongoing input from the Environmental Voice Advisory Committee who also assist with the annual review process.
As stated by Deputy Mayor Cr Peter Kostos
“As a Council, we’re proud to continue to deliver important projects through this strategy to create a sustainable future for our Shire. Practical initiatives from the strategy include the new Sustainable Living guide, offering relevant information to help our community to achieve a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.”
As stated by Cr Mikaela Power
“It’s fantastic to see the progress that has been made over the past two years, with many actions in the strategy completed or in progress. I’d especially like to acknowledge the ongoing input of Council’s Environmental Voice Advisory Committee who have shared their valuable knowledge throughout the review process, helping us to make better decisions.”
Image: The new 10 kW solar panel system recently installed at the newly expended Drouin Early Learning Centre, in addition to the existing 5 kW solar system installed in 2018. Both systems will generate 13,750 kWh per annum with an annual saving of $6,100. The expected savings are 60 per cent on annual cost and the annual carbon emissions reduction will be 14 tonne per annum.
Image: The new 15kW solar panel system recently installed at the Warragul Senior Citizens Centre. The solar power will generate 13,750 kWh per annum, which is an annual saving of $6,100. The expected savings are 70 per cent on annual cost and the annual carbon emissions reduction will be 14 tonne per annum.
Image: Recent revegetation and drainage improvements along the Red Hill Creek walking track at Neerim South to ensure the tracks and the creek can cope during periods of higher rainfall and continue to be an asset to town for many years to come.