The Sunshine Coast has welcomed “several incredible initiatives” that will protect the region’s precious environment and help it preserve its enviable lifestyle.
The Sunshine Coast Council on Wednesday (21 September) released its 2021/22 Environment and Liveability Strategy Annual Report, which highlights the organisation’s progress in creating Australia’s most sustainable region.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the report provides a comprehensive overview of the council’s leadership and actions contributing to a sustainable Sunshine Coast.
“During fiscal 2021-22, we have continued to stay true to our vision and have executed several incredible initiatives,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The greatest of these was our international recognition as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which we achieved together with our community.
“From international recognition as a biosphere, to strategic acquisition of environmental land, to planning recovery outcomes and developing ways to respond efficiently and innovatively to a changing climate, the implementation of the Council’s award-winning Environment and Quality of Life Strategy is extensive.
“While we conserve, protect and enhance our natural environment, the Council has also continued the implementation of the environmental levy program and our commitment to expanding our green spaces.
“In total, we have provided a $13.17 million environmental royalty program that supports the acquisition of more than 165.5 hectares of new land for conservation, field activities, research and community partnerships.”
Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Quality of Life Councilwoman Maria Suarez said a number of initiatives implemented in 2021/2022 show the council’s commitment Expansion of our recreational opportunities.
“In line with the strategy, the Council has approved the Recreation Parks Plan, which outlines the strategic direction for parks across the region through 2031 and supports the delivery of even better experiences for our community,” said Cr Suarez.
“As a further outcome, the Council recognized that we are in a climate emergency that requires urgent and sustained efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2041.
“As part of our ongoing response to climate change, the Council has advanced the development of a regional climate action roadmap to identify ways to address climate risks and build our collective capacity to respond efficiently and innovatively to changing climate change.”
Peter Cox, Member of the Sunshine Coast Council’s Environment and Quality of Life Council The report showed the council’s environmental sustainability performance, including its carbon emissions.
“Becoming a zero-net emissions organization by 2041 is a transformational measure of strategy,” said Cr Cox.
“Tracking our progress towards this goal is important to understand our effectiveness in reducing these emissions and the adjustments and further investments that may be needed.
“Now in its fifth year, the Environment and Quality of Life Strategy continues to set the long-term strategic directions to guide growth, protect the environment and shape the region for future generations.”
Snapshot of Achievements: Environmental Viability Strategy Annual Report 2021/2022
Official recognition as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The Sunshine Coast today stands proud as an international location of excellence and an area of natural beauty.
Provided a $13.17 million environmental royalty program to support land acquisition, community activities, research and community partnerships that protect and enhance our natural environment
Securing more than 450 hectares of new land for conservation and recreation purposes
Blue Heart Sunshine Coast project secures $2 million Commonwealth grant to study Blue Carbon restoration and over $35 million as part of South East Queensland City Deal.
assumption the stormwater management strategy that will result in more effective stormwater management for our community.
Planning continues for the proposed Sunshine Coast Ecological Park which has just completed its second phase of community engagement and will provide our region with a variety of opportunities to connect with nature.
Supporting the Recreation Parks Plan, which outlines the strategic direction for parks across the region through 2031 and supports the delivery of even better experiences for our community.
Opening of Mooloolaba Northern Parkland, which stretches 340 meters along the seafront to promote healthy and active lifestyles and provide residents and visitors with a new fun space.
Opening of the Beerwah Community Meeting Place, an innovative and sustainable new place for the community to meet and enjoy, built thanks to $1.65 million from the Queensland Government’s Unite and Recover Community Stimulus Package.
We recognize that we are in a climate emergency and are taking a collaborative approach with Noosa Shire Council to address climate risk now and in the future.
Installation of environmental sensors across the region to collect data for planning and decision making.
Ongoing advocacy to protect the Regional Interurban Break.
The full annual report can be found at els.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.