- Thursday 21 July 2016
Protecting and enhancing the Sunshine Coast’s natural environment was today secured as a top priority following council’s approval of the $9.28million Environment Levy Program 2016/2017.
Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the Environment Levy was a primary funding source that allowed council to invest in the protection, enhancement and sustainable use of the region’s biodiversity, waterways and coastal foreshores.
“To enable council to develop and deliver a progressive 2016/17 program, the rate for the Environment Levy will increase by $10 to $70 per property – the first increase since the levy was introduced eight years ago,” Cr Jenny McKay said.
“The overall Environment Levy Program increase of $1,559,100 will help keep us on track to achieve our vision to become Australia’s most sustainable region – vibrant, green, diverse.
“The purchase of environmentally-significant land will see the highest funding increase from this year’s program from $1.35million to $2.67million – enabling council to add to the 2,800 hectares of land already purchased for conservation purposes.
“This year, we will be investing $451,000 towards river restoration projects in the Pumicestone, Maroochy and Mary River catchments.
“The community plays an integral role in protecting and enhancing the environment so we will continue to work closely with them through our grants and partnerships programs with funding increased by $75,000 to $920,000.
“The levy will also go towards protecting our beaches and dunal foreshores – a big part of many Sunshine Coast residents’ way of life – with $775,000 to be invested, an increase of $155,000 from last year.
“Researching flying foxes to inform effective conservation approaches and educating the community about these unpredictable wild animals also remains a core feature in the year ahead, with funding increasing by $25,000 to $80,000.
“Council’s focus on protecting and enhancing our environment will benefit both our current residents as well as many generations to come.”
For further information about the Environment Levy Program 2016/2017 visit council’s website.
The 2016/2017 program aims to continue to deliver a range of outcomes towards the protection and enhancement of our natural assets including:
- $3.065 million towards the acquisition and establishment of environmental lands (increased by $1,388 million);
- $775,000 towards coastal rehabilitation activities (increased by $155,000);
- $451,000 towards river restoration projects in the Pumicestone, Maroochy and Mary River catchments (increased by $36,000);
- $920,000 towards community partnerships and grants programs (increased by $75,000);
- $470,000 towards pest management projects including a pest action and engagement program.