City strives for zero emissions
THE City of Greater Geelong council has unveiled a 10-year environmental strategy with ambitions towards becoming a zero-emission, climate-ready region.
Community consultation will run for eight weeks with residents able to have a say on the 2020-2030 draft Environment Strategy, as well as the 2020/22 Environment Strategy Action Plan.
Following extensive community consultation, the strategy focuses on five goals, highlighting the city’s response to protect the regions environmental assets through:
- Creating greener community spaces
- Contributing to circular economy by reducing waste
- Protect, enhance and restore the region’s biodiversity, and
- Better integrated water management through planning and design; and moving towards becoming a zero-emission, climate ready city region.
Key actions to achieve goals include amending the Sustainable Building Policy to strengthen energy-efficiency standards and support carbon-neutral operation of all city owned facilities.
The strategy also highlights plans to consolidate and renew existing efforts in climate change through the development of a climate change response plan, while sourcing renewable electricity for the city’s operations and public infrastructure.
The city have proposed planting 20,000 Indigenous plants every year in conjunction with a new biodiversity strategy to guide actions to protect and improve the region’s nature reserves.
During consultations, residents highlighted a desire for improvements to biodiversity and waste management, sustainable urban development and water usage, and decreased greenhouse gas emissions.
As such, the environmental strategy seeks to undertake innovative recycling projects, such as the PlastiPhalt recycled plastic road material trial, to divert recyclables from landfill.
Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher said she was pleased the council had ticked off another key action outlined in the Sustainability Framework, through delivering a draft environmental strategy.
“The other two pillars of our Sustainability Framework comprise our financial and social impacts, and we have draft reports for each of these also out for consultation.
“The draft 2020/21 Budget and the draft Social Infrastructure Plan contribute to our success as a sustainable organisation and we encourage a holistic view of our operations and feedback on all our proposed activities.
“This environment strategy sets out a clear way forward to build resilience against the effects of climate change, protect the region’s beautiful natural environment and enhance our built environment. We look forward to community feedback on this draft.”
The council’s environment portfolio chair Cr Eddy Kontelj said the strategy contains
“many great initiatives” including the use of recycled materials such as glass and plastics in roads, recycled concrete in footpaths and recycled plastics and rubber in playgrounds and outdoor furniture.
This strategy will be supported by the Urban Forest Strategy, Stormwater Services Strategy and Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy.
Community consultation is available online at yoursay.geelongaustralia.com.au