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Byron Shire
July 16, 2024

Tweed Council – committed to a sustainable future

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Every year The Echo asks the five local Councils what they are currently working on to be sustainable and this year the response has been phenomenal – too much to put on the page. Keep your eye on our website for the full stories in the coming weeks.

Tweed Shire Council staff stand proud in front of the Tweed’s biggest solar
array, housed at the Banora Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. The facility became operational in August 2023. Photo supplied.

Tweed Shire Council is committed to a sustainable future and working with the
community to protect the region’s internationally significant environment.

To achieve this, Council is focused on reducing the environmental footprint of its
operations, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 19 per cent last financial year
compared to the previous year.

This positive result can be attributed to reduced electricity use – particularly in water
and wastewater pumps and treatment – and a return to pre-flood patterns of vehicle
use.

Supporting Council to achieve its emissions target is the Tweed’s largest solar array,
which became operational in August 2023. Covering the size of a football field, the
array powers one of Council’s most power-hungry facilities, the Banora Point
Wastewater Treatment Plan.

The array boasts 1,208 high-efficiency solar panels with a capacity of 604 kilowatts,
helping to substantially reduce its electricity use and contribute to reducing Council’s
greenhouse gas emissions count.

Stabilising the Tweed River

Council installed this artificial osprey nesting platform at Hastings Point Holiday Park in 2023. The nest was relocated from its precarious location on a light pole on the Hastings Point Tweed Coast Road Bridge.​ Photo supplied.

Significant work was undertaken to stabilise the banks of the Tweed River near Uki
following the devastating 2022 flood. Aiming to protect the Tweed River from future
flood impacts, the project restored 700 metres of damaged riverbank by installing
rock revetment along unprotected sections of riverbank and driving around 1,700
hardwood logs into the riverbed.

Works were designed to capture natural sand and gravel to rebuild riverbed levels and prevent ongoing widening and straightening of the Tweed River. Riparian vegetation will be restored over time to improve river health.

Tweed’s a Cool Town

Council’s Cool Towns Urban Forest Program progressed during the year, with the
aim of planting more trees in the Tweed to increase shade and cool down urban
settings where concrete, bitumen and built structures dominate. Not only do more
trees reduce the demand for heating or cooling by as much as 15 per cent but they are also known to increase property values by between 5 and 30 per cent, while promoting healthy activities such as walking and cycling.

Another significant sustainability initiative launched last October is the nappy rebate
scheme, where residents can receive a rebate of up to $100 on the cost of reusable
nappies as part of Council’s push to reduce landfill.

Tweed Shire Council is facilitating Community Action Network sessions to support individuals and community groups in taking positive steps towards climate
action. Image courtesy Salvador Cantellano.

Community Action Network

Council has also been hosting quarterly Community Action Network gatherings,
supporting residents to develop and progress community-led responses to climate
change and sustainability. These forums build on community co-design sessions led
by Griffith University as part of the Climate Ready Tweed project.

Sessions focused on topics including net-zero neighbourhoods, sustainable energy, sustainable transport and sustainable food.

Community perspectives will also add to the development of a Tweed Shire Council
Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The project responds to a Climate Change Risk

Assessment completed by Council in 2023 and asks participants to provide feedback
on Council’s plans to adapt to the effects of climate change across its infrastructure
and services.

The osprey population

A focus on community education continued in helping to protect the Tweed Coast’s
osprey population, a species listed as vulnerable to extinction in NSW, as well as the
elusive platypus.

Council launched new online StoryMaps to highlight both native animals – an exciting digital tool which provides a fun and interactive way for residents and kids to engage and learn about our amazing wildlife.

Mayor the 2023 Climate Ambassador

Council’s good work in the sustainability space was recognised nationally, with
Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry named the 2023 Climate Ambassador by the
Cities Power Partnership Awards.

The Cities Power Partnership is Australia’s largest local government climate network, with more than 100 councils, representing almost 11 million Australians, working together to find local climate solutions.

The award recognised Cr Cherry’s leadership in driving climate action and keeping
climate on the national agenda following the devastating 2022 floods and ongoing
flood recovery.

Find out more at tweed.nsw.gov.au/environment.

 

 

 

 


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