“The Wingecarribee Shire is one of the most naturally diverse areas in Australia with over 370 native animal species and 1500 native plant species found within our boundaries. It is also home to one of the largest koala population in southern NSW. Being surrounded by such natural beauty has meant our community has a high appreciation for environmental protection and the need to reduce our carbon emissions.These principles are so important to our community that they are now engrained in our long-term Community Strategic Plan. By joining this program, and in-line with our community’s goals, Council will demonstrate its commitment to addressing the issue of climate change.We recognise that local government has the ability to drive change in our community. We look forward to working with and learning from other Councils and sharing experiences and knowledge, so that we can collectively implement measures that will reduce GHG emissions across Australia.Joining the Cities Power Partnership is a natural fit for Wingecarribee Shire Council.”
Mayor Ken Halstead
Council is committed to energy management and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
The creation of a Revolving Energy Fund (REFund) in 2011 has provided a dedicated funding source for projects focused on reducing our billed energy consumption. To date seven Council projects have been completed through this fund.
Council has installed 214kW of Solar PV on six of our buildings including a 99.75kW system on our Moss Vale Aquatic Centre. LED lighting upgrades have been undertaken at various sites including our Civic Centre and Libraries.
Maintenance and renewal actions within or Sewer network have reduced storm water infiltration which results in a reduction in energy consumption at our treatment plants during wet weather events.
Our Shire is a state leader in domestic waste recycling with a recycling rate in 2014-15 of 83%. Council supports community recycling through its Community Recycling Centre which enables our community to recycle a large variety of materials inlcuding soft plastics, e-waste, and household chemicals.
Looking at the broader sustainability of our shire, Council supports a range of programs focused on improving our local biodiversity and waterways. Our 140 volunteer’s work with council staff to plant over 6,000 plants each year. Council manages over 40 significant bushland reserves totaling over 4,000 Ha, and our private land conservation program supports nearly 3,000Ha of important bush land on private properties with the aim of conserving wildlife habitat and corridors.
What would Council like to achieve in the future
Council is developing an energy management plan that will support ongoing actions for energy management.
We will be focusing on improving energy efficiency at our facilities initially by undertaking more detailed energy monitoring of our sites to help identify efficiency opportunities.
We aim to increase our use of renewable energy at locations where there is a sound business case to do so, and will periodically re-assess opportunities in line with technology advancements and cost benefit.
Public lighting is also a focus area for our Council as is increasing the sustainability of our community through investigating how we can influence sustainable development in the shire.
What Council hopes to gain from being a member of the Cities Power Partnership?
We recognise that local government has the ability to drive change in our community. We look forward to working with and learning from other Councils, sharing experience and knowledge so that we can collectively implement measures that will reduce GHG emissions across Australia.