Environment Levy projects get the green light
  • Thursday 27 August 2009

Sunshine Coast Council today gave environment projects designed to deliver on council’s vision for the Sunshine Coast as Australia’s most sustainable region the green light.

The projects – funded from council’s Environment Levy and valued at $35 million plus over five years – include land acquisitions, a Waterways and Coastal Foreshores Strategy, a Biodiversity Report Card for the region and a raft of community grants and funded partnerships.

The projects are tied to council’s Environment Levy Policy which was endorsed today at the Ordinary Meeting of council held at Nambour.

Environment Portfolio holder, Keryn Jones said strength of purpose was achieved by combining the best of the three existing levy policies.

“Environment levies have been part of the Coast since the 1990’s demonstrating each of the former council’s vision for the environment,” Cr Jones said.

“The new regional policy and program builds on past strengths and lays out five years of exciting, strategic projects – impossible without the stimulus of Environment Levy funds – that will deliver real environmental outcomes in our lifetime and beyond.”

“There is a strong focus on permanently protecting valuable habitat and ecosystems by acquiring high environmental value land parcels and in boosting available funds with assistance from other levels of government.

“There is also a major focus on partnerships with private landholders and community groups to assist them to preserve and enhance biodiversity values and ecosystem services.”

Key environment levy funded initiatives outlined in the Policy include -

  • $19.6m over five years for land acquisition. This will build on the existing conservation area network and focus on consolidating larger conservation areas for future generations to enjoy.

    Past land acquisitions include three blocks at the confluence of Coolum Creek and the Maroochy River, adding to the nationally significant Maroochy / Noosa Wallum corridor.

  • $7.1m over five years for developing and implementing a Waterways and Coastal Foreshores Strategy.

  • $317,000 over five years for developing and implementing a Regional Biodiversity Report Card.

  • $8.3m for community environment grants, voluntary conservation agreements on private lands and partnership agreements with community groups and non-government organisations to undertake environmental initiatives.

The Environment Levy is included in SCRC rates notices and is reviewed each financial year.

For more information on the Environment Levy Policy visit council’s website.