Qantas unable to meet Council's demands in carbon-offset deal
DOUGLAS SHIRE COUNCIL
Eighteen months of discussions between Douglas Shire Council and Qantas were literally washed away when additional and unacceptable requests were made during negotiations into a Healthy Reef Partnership forcing any agreement to be stalled.
In a statement today to Newsport, an airline spokesperson said Qantas Future Planet “has been in discussions with Douglas Shire Council for the past 18 months, however, we have been unable to finalise an agreement.
“In the past month, Douglas Shire Council made a number of additional requests that we were unable to agree to.
“These additional requests are unrelated to helping Council offset its carbon emissions and not something we have in agreements with our existing partners,” said the spokesperson.
- HEALTHY REEF PARTNERSHIP NEGOTIATIONS WITH QANTAS BREAK DOWN
- COUNCILLOR SPEAKS OUT AGAINST CARBON OFFSET PROPOSAL
- CARBON CREDITS: PETITION BRUSHED ASIDE; TPDD BOARD IN DARK
- COUNCIL CANDIDATE WEIGHS IN ON REEF PARTNERSHIP DECISION
Newsport was unable to obtain comment from Council at the time of publication to ascertain what demands had been made (to Qantas) which they were unable to agree upon.
It is believed some of the demands included publicity in the in-flight magazines and other marketing tools.
Qantas’ other carbon-reducing projects include Carbon Neutral Kangaroo Island, North Kimberley, Papua New Guinea and Tasmania.
Earlier this week, and following a closed session in Council Chambers, Douglas Shire Council advised that it had ceased current negotiations with Qantas regarding the partnership.
At a June Council meeting, Council voted 4-1 – Councillor Michael Kerr opposed the partnership – in favour of a partnership with Qantas, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) and GreenCollar to offset the Council’s carbon footprint through carbon sequestration projects.
But this week, Mayor Julia Leu said (at the closed session) she would put forward a motion at the 10 September Ordinary Council Meeting proposing Council stops negotiating the proposed partnership with Qantas.A resolution was passed at the closed session which directed Council to purchase land in the Douglas Shire for tree planting, habitat regeneration, and wetland restoration after negotiations with the airline stalled.Qantas said in its statement that it wished Council all the best in their efforts to go carbon neutral. “Qantas Future Planet has been in discussions with Douglas Shire Council for the past 18 months, however, we have been unable to finalise an agreement.
- LETTER | QUESTIONS FOR COUNCIL ABOUT CARBON OFFSET PLAN
- LETTER | WHY I VOTED FOR THE HEALTHY REEF PARTNERSHIP
- LETTER | HEALTHY REEF PARTNERSHIP A FARCE OF POLICY
- LETTER | THE HEALTHY REEF PARTNERSHIP WILL BENEFIT DOUGLAS
“Qantas Future Planet is the world’s largest airline offsets programme, which partners with 33 Australian and international organisations to help offset their emissions.
“Together with Qantas and Jetstar we have helped these organisations offset more than three million tonnes of carbon in the past 10 years,” the statement said.
The decision to cease negotiations with Qantas was well received in a number of circles with one commentator questioning whether Council had finally heard the voice of the residents; or whether they had been caught out.
But the relationship with Qantas is not totally lost and in an interview with the Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, told Newsport he had been in touch with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
“I have invited him to visit the region and he seemed interested in the possibility. If this comes off, I’ll be in a good position to provide an understanding of the region.
“But I also want to say that ceasing of this partnership is a good thing. I congratulate the people of the Douglas Shire for investigating what the partnership would mean to the shire, something which Council failed to do,” said Mr Entsch.
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