Byron Shire has set a goal to become Australia’s first Zero Emissions community over the next ten years. The new goal came about following the offer of support from Beyond Zero which allows our shire to have access to unprecedented research and specialist resources and apply them in a local context.
Our zero emissions outcomes build on our adopted Byron Shire Low Carbon Strategy, widening it to include the whole community rather than just Council’s own operations. We are actively talking with the agricultural industry, building, energy, waste, transport and businesses to support their efforts in reducing reliance on coal-fired energy.
To achieve this ambition for 100% zero net emissions across the shire, Council is exploring various energy generation opportunities and soon will complete our Biomass Prospectus which will direct us on how best to utilise our shire’s biomass for energy generation. Plus we are exploring reactivating Australia’s first hydro system which provided 100% hydro power to the town of Mullumbimby 100 years ago, and will soon consider implementing a project for a site identified and trialled as part of ARENA’s recently completed project: Facilitating Local Network Charges and Virtual Net Metering.
Being a relatively small community, a key Byron Shire strength is the residents’ commitment to sustainable living and the high value it places on land management. It is community that does not chase the corporate dollar, but looks for collective outcomes that support social and environmental.