The Douglas region comprises 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 economy 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.
Partnership action pledges
Our power partners are committed to switching to non-polluting energy and reducing emissions in their communities.
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.
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.