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BUNDABERG is an Australian leader in the uptake of solar power and, according to Mayor Jack Dempsey, there’s no reason we can’t build a reputation as Australia’s solar city.
“Clean energy options are front and centre of council strategies in meeting the challenges of rising energy costs and expectations relating to environmental standards,” he said.
“Bundaberg Regional Council has had its Clean Energy Bundaberg strategy in place since 2014 and since its introduction council has adopted a sharper focus on means to save money while playing a role in supporting state and federal renewable energy initiatives.
Cr Dempsey said he was proud of the council record in aligning itself with numerous opportunities to utilise clean energy options.
“Council appreciates it lives in a modern world and is required to have a more objective view of utilising available resources when it comes to clean energy options,” he said.
“Since the implementation of the Clean Energy Bundaberg strategy, council has committed around $2 million towards the installation of products and procedures that will have a positive impact not only on council’s energy spend, but also positive environmental outcomes.
“As a council we have implemented gas flaring at two of our waste management facilities which is significantly reducing methane gas production to less damaging carbon dioxide.
“We have invested significantly in major solar projects including Rubyanna, the Bundaberg Multiplex, three of our wastewater facilities and at the Bundaberg Airport.
“As at April this year, council has saved almost $1.3 million in electricity costs.”
Cr Dempsey said by engaging in clean energy, the council was playing a leadership role in the community by raising awareness while achieving cost savings in energy consumption.
“Low lighting along our coastal strip provides a positive impact on our turtle population,” he said.
“The tens of thousands of trees we are planting at Barolin Nature Reserve and other locations throughout the region provide habitat and an incredible environmental footprint for the future.
“Council is in conversation with investors who propose to develop new clean energy industry for the region.
“This may be achieved through a two-stage development of a Biofutures Hub incorporating biogas and biofuels.”
Cr Dempsey said solar was a rapidly emerging area of economic development.
“Council needs to be financially prepared to secure opportunities as they emerge – be it through initiatives supplied by the State or Federal Governments or a need to incentivise private development,” he said.
“Such is our commitment to the future of clean energy that council will join the Cities Power Partnership to be launched in July as an inaugural member.”