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Byron Shire
June 26, 2024

North coast councils win Sustainability Awards

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L to R: Environment minister Robyn Parker; Byron sustainability officer Graeme Williams; Bill Hartnett, local government super (joint sponsors of award with LGSA); Cr Maria Woods, vice-president Shires Association of NSW; Cr Keith Rhoades, president Local Government Association

Byron Shire Council’s sustainability officer, Graeme Williams, took out the Individual Sustainability Award at the Local Government and Shires Association (LGSA) Excellence in the Environment Awards in Sydney last week.

Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson congratulated Mr Williams and said the award was well deserved.

‘For the past five years Graeme has been a driving force building a culture of sustainability within Council and the Byron Shire community.’

Up the road, Tweed Shire Council took out the Sustainable Procurement in Practice – Best Project 2012 category.

Sustainable procurement refers to the purchase of goods or services that have a lesser impact on human health and/or the natural environment when compared with competing products and services that serve the same purpose.

The award recognised Tweed’s development of a Supplier Environmental Performance Schedule, which is required when Council is obtaining quotes for goods or services greater than $50,000.

Examples of Tweed sustainable purchases – such as solar street lights, recycled plastic bollards and drinking fountains, use of recycled stationery and Council’s fleet of bikes for staff travel – sealed the win for the Tweed.

Tweed mayor Councillor Barry Longland said it was reassuring for the public to see sustainability was such an important factor in Council’s purchasing decisions.

‘We all need to play our part and as Tweed Shire Council sources many million dollars’ worth of goods and services each year, our sustainable purchasing decisions are making a difference to human health and the environment in the Tweed,’ Councillor Longland said.

In Byron, the sustainability programs implemented have included the Sustainable Street Program, Northern Rivers Carpool, sustainability workshops, energy savings competitions, edible landscaping, newsletters and educational information.

Council’s executive manager of planning and environment, Ray Darney, said one of the most significant programs Graeme established was Council’s Revolving Energy Fund.

‘The fund works by reinvesting savings from energy-conservation measures to help fund future energy-saving retrofits and new technology.

‘To date over 505 tonnes of CO2 per year, that is $147,000, has been saved through solar hot water and lighting retrofits of Council buildings, solar-voltaic systems installed at the Myocum Landfill and Brunswick Valley Community Centre, and streetlight upgrades.’


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