Changes to council energy use planned under new power partnership

BATHURST Regional Council has become one of the 70 councils across Australia to sign up to the Cities Power Partnership.

New member councils – also including Orange, City of Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin – were announced at Lismore on Tuesday during the launch of Australia’s largest floating solar farm.

Climate councillor and international climate scientist Professor Will Steffen said the 70 councils represented about 7.5 million people.

“As the tier of government that’s closest to the community, local councils have the power to genuinely transform the way we generate and use energy,” he said.

“Each of these councils have different things they do, by linking up they can share knowledge about what they do.

“One thing is for council to look at its own opportunities before going community wide.”

Bathurst mayor Graeme Hanger said council would use its membership of the partnership to build on its green credentials.

“Joining Cities Power Partnership gives Bathurst Regional Council an opportunity to showcase the work we are doing at a local level to embrace energy efficiency, deliver energy savings to the local community and reduce Council’s carbon emissions,” Cr Hanger said.

“It also provides council with opportunities to learn from other councils and from experts in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transport.”

Cr Hanger said environmental sustainability was a key plank of the Bathurst Community Strategic Plan and council was committed to reducing the city’s environmental footprint and encouraging less car dependency.

“Council is also currently investigating projects in the area of energy efficient street lighting and sustainable transport, including electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” he said.

“Council anticipates that being a Cities Power Partner will help it leverage learnings made by other councils and organisations and increase the likelihood of successful project outcomes in these areas.”

This article first appeared in the Western Advocate on 30 January 2018.

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