The long arm of the Environment Levy
  • Monday 12 January 2015
Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy Annual Report Cr Jenny McKay

Two confirmed sightings of a bird so rare it has never been photographed, acquisition of four new reserves, thousands of native plants in the ground and delivery of an extensive community support program.

These are just some of the highlights from the Environment Levy Annual Report 2013-14, out now, which for the first time Sunshine Coast Council is bringing directly to residents.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said Council was proud to have some of the most innovative environmental programs in the country.

“We are striving to become Australia’s most sustainable region—vibrant, green and diverse—and this annual report shows we are on track to achieving that goal,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“In one year, Council purchased four new environmental reserves totalling 398 hectares conserving them for future generations.

"That represents nearly 15% of environmental land acquired since the Levy was introduced in the early 1990s.  

“The Levy also provided $384,000 in landholder environment grants and $454,000 on coastal rehabilitation—the list goes on.

“We want to share those achievements with the community who have made them possible – it’s their Environment Levy. That’s why for the first time, they’ll find the report in cafes, waiting rooms, service centres – the places our residents actually visit.

“Distribution starts this week and I encourage residents to take a look.”

The report is also available to view on Council’s website, in Council libraries and customer service centres.

Readers can also complete a short survey about the Levy for a chance to win one of four $50 vouchers for an Environment Levy supported native nursery or Sunshine Coast restaurant/café of their choice. Survey closes February 23.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the fauna finds detailed in the report were the stand out achievements.

“The Environment Levy has enabled Council to pursue an extensive $570,000 fauna monitoring program in its reserves,” Cr McKay said.

“We’ve recently had two confirmed sightings of the Coxen’s fig-parrot. This bird is endangered and one of the smallest and least known Australian parrots.

“In 2000 it was estimated there were less than 100 mature individuals left.

“Finds like this really show the Environment Levy in action.

“Knowledge is definitely power and the more we know about our local environment, the better we are able to protect and enhance it.”