What has Council Achieved in the Past?
Nambucca Shire Council has formed a Clean Energy Committee which reflects the community’s desire to reduce high energy costs and to move towards a sustainable low carbon energy future. The committee is working with the community to reach the understanding that investing in renewable energy has many benefits, including a high rate of return. The Committee is progressing an assessment of Council’s energy outputs with the view to installing roof-top solar on council infrastructure.
As a coastal Shire, Nambucca has isolated and mitigated for future damage from sea level rise and has completed extensive flood plain, estuary and coastal erosion studies to enhance future planning decisions. It has done extensive work on reinforcing riverbanks and preventing and repairing coastal erosion throughout the Shire. Council has also constructed an off-stream flow-transparent storage dam to ensure the Shire has water security for any future planning needs and to reduce the environmental impacts of pumping water from our river aquifers during low flow periods.
A waste alliance with two neighbouring councils has provided the capacity and scale to implement processes that reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and give each participating council some of the highest recycling rates in NSW. All green waste, both vegetation and food-based, is converted into a nutrient-rich high quality compost which is widely used by home gardeners and businesses in our region.
Big Belly Bins have been installed by Council in our public areas. These solar powered bins compact rubbish and send a text message to Council’s Town Services when they are full. This enables Council staff to plan smart routes to collect rubbish, save money and reduce vehicle emissions as fewer kilometres are travelled.
What does Council hope to achieve in the future?
Nambucca Shire Council will take on a leadership position to help the community move towards a zero net carbon emissions future within the 2030 to 2050 time frame. We aim to achieve this by seeking to progress the following actions:
- Installing renewable energy (solar PV) on council buildings and setting targets to increase the level of renewable power for council operations over time.
- Investigating using unused council-managed land for renewable energy, for example landfills, and road reserves.
- Rolling out energy efficient lighting (particularly street lighting) across the Shire.
- Providing EV charging infrastructure at one or two key locations in the shire for electric vehicles.
- Implementing an educational program to encourage local residents and businesses within the Shire to drive the shift to renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport. This will be a regional goal, carried out in partnership with Bellingen Shire Council and Coffs Harbour City Council, subject to their agreement, through the Our Living Coast partnership.
What do we hope to gain by being a member?
Council hopes to gain access to a community of councils who are driving change and building a more sustainable, energy efficient future. It hopes membership will provide access to inspiring partners, who are active in the low carbon space and willing to share in finding solutions we can all benefit from.