THE Surf Coast Shire has not yet put any trees in the ground as part of its plan to create a carbon offset near Lake Modewarre, with the project still in the planning phase.
Three months ago, the council resolved to allocate $10,000 to sign and register a formal Carbon Agreement with Greenfleet to plant trees on 12 hectares of land at 185 Waltons Road, Buckley.
Under the Carbon Agreement, the shire is committed to retain the trees for at least 50 years.
The land is the northern portion of a 20-hectare lot next to Lake Modewarre that contains the clubrooms of the Modewarre and District Angling Club, and is not used for any community purpose.
In response to questions from this newspaper, a shire spokesperson said the council “was still in the planning phase of this project and we can provide further updates as the project progresses”.
According to the report presented to councillors at their January 19 meeting, Greenfleet has been establishing offset plantings since 1997 and is keen to work with the shire at the Buckley site.
“The benefits to council of partnering with Greenfleet to plant out the site include sequestering approximately 800 tonnes of carbon at a low cost and demonstrating council’s commitment to local climate change action, providing opportunities for community involvement, and creating a biodiverse planting that adds to the habitat around Lake Modewarre,” the report stated.
“The land would also be available for compatible recreational uses once the site is past the establishment phase.”
At the January 19 meeting, Cr Kate Gazzard, who successfully moved the motion, said the Carbon Agreement was an excellent initiative made by the council’s staff.
“Obviously, in a climate emergency, we want to be reducing our greenhouse gas emissions wherever we can but also offsetting is a really good way of sequestering carbon, so planting trees, which will be, per Greenfleet, on the land for 50 years for local government; or up to 100 years for other companies.”