Council launches education process to better understand carbon-offset project
HEALTHY REEF PARTNERSHIP
With a major objective of educating Douglas Shire residents about the recently approved Healthy Reef Partnership with Qantas Future Planet, GreenCollar and Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD), Council today released a detailed factsheet to clarify the carbon-offset project.
Council has created a dedicated webpage featuring key steps, frequently asked questions and links to resources about the National Carbon Offset Standards.
The three-year partnership covers Council’s operations only and is the first step as part of a longer-term, ecotourism vision to make the whole shire carbon neutral.
Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said Council hoped to educate residents and businesses about the exciting initiative.
“Council would like to acknowledge that its delivery of the announcement of its carbon neutral vision may have caused some confusion and after feedback from the community, we have released more in-depth information,” she said.
“The Healthy Reef Partnership and offsetting our carbon footprint is the first step of a revolutionary vision to make Douglas Shire the number one ecotourism destination.
“Council is already doing many things to reduce its carbon footprint and is now actively looking for more local carbon offset projects that complement the three-year partnership.”
Council has updated its website and Facebook page to more accurately reflect the long-term aspirations of the project, as well as more accurately defining what the three-year partnership hopes to achieve.
Council and TPDD aim to finalise the details of the Qantas partnership in the next six to eight weeks.
“Council will continue striving to protect our most precious natural assets because our tourism industry depends on it,” Mayor Leu said.
“With spectacular natural areas such as the Daintree Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef and Mossman Gorge at our fingertips, Council continues to invest in initiatives that protect our environment and boost our destination marketing.”
Council has current and planned strategies to reduce the scope of its emissions:
- Undertake remaining actions in the 2017-2020 Corporate Sustainability Strategy
- Founding Cities Power Partnership member
- Climate Change General Policy (Council Operations)
- Using renewable energy to power council buildings
- Installing variable speed pumps throughout Council’s Water and Wastewater network and Mossman swimming pool to reduce power demand consumption
- Reduction in waste to landfill & development of reuse and recycling programs for materials
- Reducing water loss and misuse (works at Mossman WTP), and the relining of Council’s sewerage network to reduce infiltration
- Increased usage of recycled water from Council’s WWTP
- Planting native trees in parks and gardens and developing strategy for the re-planting of suitable Council controlled areas
- Planning, replacing and building new walking and cycling networks to encourage walking and cycling as an alternative to vehicles
- Undertaking works on public buildings that reduce cooling needs through insulation and painting
- Installing solar lighting and replacing existing lighting with LED lighting where appropriate. This includes some public areas and Council buildings as existing lighting requires replacement.
The 2019-2024 Corporate Plan articulates several strategies to reduce Council’s footprint:
- Implement carbon neutral strategy
- Continue to develop renewable energy options for Council operations including a solar engineering study for Port Douglas Waste Water Treatment Plant
- Develop a Waste Strategy with the aim of moving towards a circular waste economy.
- Implement a Cape Tribulation transfer station
- Council will develop a new Corporate Sustainability Strategy for the period 2020 – 2025.
For more information, visit https://douglas.qld.gov.au/healthy-reef-partnership/
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