“The phenomenal Great Barrier Reef and ancient Daintree Rainforest make the Douglas Shire a one-of-a-kind region renowned for its complex and precious natural environments. Our two World Heritage listed wonders, through their unique appeal and natural beauty, helps us draw about 1.2 million visitors to the region every year, making it incumbent on Douglas Shire Council to ensure we protect and preserve them for future generations. We recognise that climate change is a significant issue and understand the important advocacy that the Climate Council undertakes, particularly around climate change mitigation and action. The Cities Power Partnership sends a strong message that Australian towns and cities are committed to a sustainable, non-polluting energy future. Council is leading this cause on the national stage by actively advocating for an environmentally-friendly energy solution for residents and business owners in the Daintree Rainforest.”
Council has chosen the following pledges
Power council operations by renewable energy, and set targets to increase the level of renewable power for council operations over time.
Opening up unused council managed land for renewable energy.
Roll out energy efficient lighting across the municipality.
Create a green revolving energy fund to finance energy efficiency projects.
Support cycling through provision of adequate cycle lanes, bike parking and end-of-ride facilities.
What has Douglas Shire Council achieved in the past in energy efficiency, renewable energy or broader sustainability?
Douglas Shire Council 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.
Council is using solar energy at different Council buildings and is exploring more options to increase the level of renewable power for its operations. Additionally, the Council is adopting energy efficiency measures to reduce energy usage, carbon footprint and also reduce operational costs.
With over 100 km of coastline, Douglas community values its coastal region. For climate change adaptation, the Council was the first in Queensland to develop a Resilient Coast Strategic Plan. The plan outlines actions to mitigate coastal hazards related to climate change, sea level rise, cyclones and coastal erosion.
What does Douglas Shire Council hope to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy or broader sustainability?
Council has committed to undertaking actions under a Corporate Sustainability Strategy. The strategy provides a framework and identifies priorities for Council’s operations under Council’s Sustainable Principles, which are:
- Preserve and restore the natural environment;
- Utilise resources efficiently;
- Protect and enhance biodiversity;
- Monitor and reduce Council’s environmental footprint;
- Strengthen Council’s resilience to climate change; and
- Display strong environmental leadership.
Actions under the principles include, but are not limited to:
- Improving energy efficiency
- Utilising renewable energy
- Supporting sustainable transportation
- Managing water and waste
- Improving environmental quality, habitat protection and biodiversity
- Engaging with government departments on sustainability-related principles
- Working with partnerships on environmental issues
- Implementing community consultation and education on sustainability initiatives