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Environment

It is an exciting time to be involved in environmental management with Councils, governments, businesses and community ready to tackle the challenges of climate change and other issues of environmental sustainability.

Council is committed to further developing partnerships and taking advantage of opportunities to work collaboratively, break down the barriers to unsustainable behaviour and create a mixture of big picture and small action solutions to progress to environmental sustainability.

Council actions to tackle climate change include:

The Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) collection– this has now been rolled out across the city.

Council has begun a glass collection trial. Importantly this is being done without additional truck movements with those in the trial moving from a weekly to a fortnightly rubbish bin collection.

Council has advocated for a hydrogen economy. Council advocacy and the international partnership with the progressive regional city of Mariestad has resulted in $2 million in funding for Deakin University to stablish a hydrogen precinct in Warrnambool, the project will focus on: 

  • Research and development;
  • Hydrogen for transport;
  • Hydrogen as substitute for natural gas; and
  • Fuel cell manufacturing – industry development.

Council will continues to work along our University to advocate and lead the transition to a green hydrogen future, which could result in: decarbonisation of Council fleet, reduction of the dependency of natural gas for heating purposes and so on.

Solar campaign

During 2018/2019 Council promote residential solar uptake through a solar advice program for residents interested in Solar could get impartial advice. As result of the program over 300 residents accessed to solar PV quotes and advice.

Business Energy audits and financing opportunities for business

Council provides free energy audits for businesses in Warrnambool. The audits provide business owners with a report of where major savings opportunities are. The program aims to support business to reduce utility costs carbon footprint. As part of this program Council helps businesses access a financial mechanism for business to invest in renewable energy or energy efficiency solutions.

Community Engagement Workshops

Council has identified that the community will play a vital role in achieving the goals of the Green Warrnambool Plan, Council has conducted and/or supported the following forums/workshops:

  • Community Owned Renewable energy model
  • Mariestad – Hydrogen Forum
  • Sustainable house day

The events highlighted solar technology and sustainability initiatives at residential level and for the whole community.

Street lighting program

Council is expanding the street lighting replacement program. The project is in the design stage and expected to be completed later in the year. It is anticipated this will further reduce 7% to 10% of Council’s total carbon emissions (approximately 500Tof CO2). 

Power Purchase Agreement

Council has committed to purchase 40% of its electricity usage through renewable energy.   The PPA is expected to commence in July 2021, this will further reduce Council’ emissions by 40%.

Emission and Energy reporting

Council is taking control and closely monitoring energy consumption across more than 100 buildings in order to identify opportunities to improve Council’s sustainability performance. The street lighting program was the result of an opportunity report conducted at Council buildings.

Unconventional gas extraction

In December 2014 Council unanimously voted to:

  • oppose the exploration and mining of coal, and unconventional gas within Warrnambool and the Great South Coast Region.
  • remain informed on this issue and any changes to the State Government moratorium of Coal Seam Gas exploration licences.
  • And if there were any changes to the current State Government moratorium of Coal Seam Gas exploration licences that Council respond to State Government without delay.

 

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