Douglas Shire

Is a Power Partner
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28 actions

to become more sustainable in the next 5 years

1.2 million tourists

visit Douglas Shire every year

The Douglas region is comprised of World Heritage listed areas of natural beauty, ancient and complex ecosystems and is renowned for the biodiversity of its flora and fauna. The rainforests of the Wet Tropics and the reefs and waters of the Great Barrier Reef support a strong economic with 1.2 million tourists visiting the Shire every year. We recognise that climate change is the most significant issue facing human civilisation and ecosystems today and understand the important work that the Climate Council undertakes, particularly around advocacy for climate change mitigation action. The Cities Power Partnership sends a strong message that Australian towns and cities are committed to a sustainable, non-polluting energy future and Douglas Shire Councillors have therefore voted unanimously to join.

Mayor Leu

Douglas Shire Council past achievements in energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability

Douglas continues to be committed to playing its role in the mitigation of climate change, particularly around maintaining important carbon sinks, including protecting and increasing areas of rainforest, riparian vegetation wetlands and mangroves; as well as by reducing carbon emissions.

Last year Douglas launched the “Keep Paradise Plastic Free” campaign aimed at reducing the usage of disposal plastic bags in the Douglas Shire. Statistic show that Australians dispose of 4 billion plastic bags a year with the average being used for just 12 minutes yet it takes 1000 years to break up.

Plastic in our environment severely impacts on marine wildlife including birds and endangered turtles and the visual amenity of our beautiful Shire. The manufacture of single use packaging is also an unsustainable use of fossil fuel reserves and places pressure on waste management and drainage systems. Local governments play an important role in managing the impacts of disposable plastic but the expense is ultimately borne by our communities.” Mayor Leu said.

What does Douglas Shire Council hope to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy or broader sustainability?

Council has recently committed to undertaking 28 actions over the next 3 years to become more environmentally sustainable. Climate change mitigation actions featured in the strategy include calculating and verifying Council’s carbon footprint, setting carbon reduction targets and exploring carbon reduction opportunities.

Commissioning local erosion mapping and developing a Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy will also be addressed. Other actions include integrating sustainability practices into Council operations, further engaging with government departments on sustainability-related principles and working in partnership with community groups on environmental issues with a number of public workshops to be facilitated aimed to educate our communities on environmental issues and sustainable practices.

 

Media Coverage

ABC Far North QLD Radio Interview. See Transcript

Douglas Shire Action Pledge Coming Soon!

In the meantime, check out some pledges that councils can choose from:

Set minimum energy efficiency benchmarks for all planning applications.

Power council operations by renewables, directly (with solar PV or wind), or by purchasing Greenpower (from electricity retailers). Set targets to increase the level of renewable power for council operations over time.

Support community energy projects (with location and planning support) so that residents (such as renters) can band together and invest in community renewable energy projects.

Ensure Council fleet purchases meet strict greenhouse gas emissions requirements and support the uptake of electric vehicles.

Install renewable energy (solar PV and battery storage) on council buildings for example childcare facilities, libraries, street lighting, recreation centres, sporting grounds, and council offices.

Incentivise the deployment of energy efficient heating and cooling technologies.

Ensure that the practices of local government contractors and financing such as banking, insurance, and super are aligned with council goals relating to renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport. Set appropriate criteria for council procurement.

For communities reliant on a local coal industry, local government can support the transition away from fossil fuels, by lobbying for state and federal support for a just transition for workers, families and the community and encouraging local economic development and opportunities based on a low carbon economy.

Implement an education and behavior change program to influence the behavior of council officers, local residents and businesses within the municipality to drive the shift to renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport.

Support community facilities accessing renewable energy through incentives, support or grants.

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