The Sunshine Coast city council has proudly said that the impending carbon tax will not hurt them as much as it is likely to impact on other cities in Australia. Thanks to the years of hard work, planning and anticipation of the council, the region is in a strong position to with stand the implementation of tax and its flow on changes and financial implications.
The Sunshine Coast has already implemented measures to absorb carbon tax fairly; the council has been working to reduce carbon emission across the region for several years now to reduce the resident’s exposure to carbon tax. The 2010 Climate Change and Peak Oil Strategy aided the community to make significant cuts to their carbon emission even before the hype of the solar power boom on the Sunshine Coastand the issues of the looming tax.
The program also set a benchmark for green energy sustainability in the region. The council had set a target of carbon neutrality by 2020 and work on that began started several years ago. For instance in 2008 the council launched the Living Smart program which tackled home energy efficiency and how households could cut their electric bills. The program also focused on extensive public awareness campaigns throughout the region about what must be done to save the environment.
The Coast has also launched two more exciting programs to assist the community in the transition to renewable energy and to cope with the carbon tax. Firstly the EcoBiz program was launched to keep businesses as green as possible by reducing their energy consumption and being able to offset their carbon emissions.
And secondly The Energy Conservation Communities Program is a community centered program designed to bring wise energy options to the city, and further assist the region in being able to meet its ultimate carbon reduction goal by 2020.
Aside from these programs and financial assistance, the Sunshine Coast Council has also embraced the potential of large scale solar investments in the region. The planned 50 hectare solar farm development in Valdora will be the largest of its kind in the region, and is expected to generate about 10 megawatts of clean and renewable energy for the coast.
More Sunshine Coast Program
The city of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland has expanded and progressed rapidly compared to some other major cities in the country, and of course this population growth of the city is directly proportional to its carbon emissions. The city council is now concerned about how to reduce their carbon footprint and the impact of spiraling electricity prices without compromising the economic potential of the city.
In response to that, the council has launched a transition program to prepare residents and business owners on the Coast for major changes in energy production.
The Sunshine Coast Energy Transition 10 year Plan launched last year is driven by environmental concerns and energy prices, and will also tackle current energy difficulties, and how to nurture new opportunities in the future.
The transition plan will primarily aid the city in:
Reducing the dependence on expensive fossil fuel produced electricity.
Nurturing work opportunities through clean energy projects.
Creating a sustainable future, with environmental issues and quality of life for residents a major consideration.
The city aims to achieve the above goals by implementing the following actions:
Extensive support for solar power on Sunshine Coast and also other potential renewable energy sources like wind, hydro and new age technologies.
Establishment of a biodiesel industry.
Energy efficiency measures in all government owned buildings and facilities.
The transition program is a giant leap in the Coast’s “Our Place Our Future” campaign, which aims for a strategic approach in a sustainable and better Sunshine Coast in the future.
The program sets a strong framework for all future projects of the city directed towards clean energy and carbon reduction. The strategic approach will revolutionise all projects and will minimise policy errors and project failures.
There is extensive education and information to be given to the community to ensure widespread acceptance of the transition process and better coping mechanisms for small businesses for all the favorable and unfavorable changes that it might bring.
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