Could Council's dream of a carbon-neutral future be over?

DOUGLAS SHIRE COUNCIL

Victoria Stone-Meadows

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Douglas Shire Council CEO Mark Stoermer
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Douglas Shire Council CEO, Mark Stoermer, yesterday cast doubt over Council’s decision to work towards a carbon-neutral future.

Mr Stoermer made the comments at a public Think Tank meeting in Mossman in response to a question from a member of the public.

The question was raised concerning the recent Healthy Reef Partnership deal with Qantas falling through and Council’s plan to invest in carbon sequestration projects in the Douglas Shire.

“We are taking a step back to think through the whole process and we are starting that discussion very soon,” he said.

“We will take a step back and think about the whole entire strategy.”


Related Coverage:
HEALTHY REEF PARTNERSHIP NEGOTIATIONS WITH QANTAS BREAK DOWN
QANTAS UNABLE TO MEET COUNCIL'S DEMANDS IN CARBON-OFFSET DEAL
VOCAL OPPONENTS WELCOME TERMINATION OF CARBON OFFSET DEAL


The public meeting, the second of which, was attended by about 50 people and was facilitated by Dr Alexandra Bernhardi to discuss the economic, environmental, and general health of the Douglas Shire region.

His comments come just days before the Council vote on a motion by Mayor Julia Leu to repeal the decision to enter into a deal that would have seen Council working with the airline to offset their carbon footprint. 

Council’s agenda for the meeting on Tuesday, 10 September, includes directives to formally withdraw from the Healthy Reef Partnership.

The motion also directs council officers to Consider adoption of the National Carbon Offset Standard and investigate local carbon offset projects.

It was revealed late last month that negotiations between Qantas and Council had broken down after the airline could not meet the marketing demands Council wanted as part of the deal.

Since then, Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said the Council would turn its focus to green projects within the Douglas Shire. 

“Council has snapped into action on a plan to invest in a local project that will offset our carbon footprint as we continue to work on reducing our emissions,” Mayor Leu said in August.

“Investing in local regeneration projects will give the most long-term value for ratepayers and we know the broader community wants Council to work on projects that protect the environment and develop the economy.”

The initial decision for the Council to invest in carbon sequestration projects in Rawbelle, Queensland as part of the deal drew ire from the community.

It is yet to be determined where the Douglas Shire Council plan to acquire land and invest in local green projects. 


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