- Friday 27 June 2014
Sunshine Coast Council’s focus on the environment has been given the green tick of approval, with $23 million allocated in the 2014/15 budget.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said this $509 million budget protected the environment and would also build confidence for a stronger community.
“Continuing to protect our greatest assets, our beaches our bushland and our way of life is pivotal to this budget,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Council’s $60 environment levy remains unchanged and will raise $7.6 million.
“The levy will purchase $1.8 million of environmentally-sensitive land and $1.2 million will go towards supporting major projects such as coastal dunal rehabilitation, on-ground Pumicestone Passage rehabilitation project and shoreline erosion management
“More than $1.6 million will fund community engagement projects including Land for Wildlife, Healthy Waterways and Landholder Environment Grants. More than $3 million will be put towards environmental operations such as pest management.
“We will continue building on our past achievements, which in the past 12 months have included purchasing almost 400 hectares of environmentally-significant land at a cost of $5.7 million at Mt Ninderry, Verrierdale, Cambroon and Ilkley."
Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said in the past year council had also supported 26 not-for-profit community groups through the Community Environment Partnership Program with an investment of almost $870,000 and with volunteers’ help, established 15,000 native plants along Maroochydore/Alex Beach to rehabilitate the coastal dune.
“One of the most exciting projects was starting the largest fauna monitoring project ever undertaken in council’s environmental reserves to improve conservation management practices,” Cr McKay said.
“These initiatives are another example of council striving for the Sunshine Coast to become the most sustainable region in Australia.
“Through dedicated funding programs, council and community partnerships, Sunshine Coast is working towards achieving that goal as together we build a healthier environment.”
Key environmental initiatives:
- Natural areas and waterways management
- Coastal management
- Conservation partnerships
- Environment levy program
- Community nature conservation programs and partnerships
- Maroochy and Pumicestone Passage catchment planning
- Sustainability initiatives
- Visitor education facilities
- Support for the Federal Government’s Green Army