East Gippy Shire Climate Actions – some submission ideas

The East Gippsland Shire Council (EGSC) has just called for public comment on their proposed Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2022-2032 . The following suggestions were part of a submission to the EGSC in 2015. They are rated according to immediacy, then cost, then ease of implementation. Suggest H(igh) M(edium) and L(ow) priorities. Recent comments are in brackets. Suggestions are as follows:

1. Climate Emergency Planning Committee (H) Easy to implement and low cost.

2. Carbon accounting. Appoint a full time Carbon Accounting Officer whose role includes creating carbon budgets for all projects and activities (H) and use as a guide for shire decisions. (part of my platform when I stood for council in 2008)

3. Say no to CSG projects. (H) Easy to implement and no cost. An international carbon budget is necessary to prevent low level runaway global warming. This will mean a substantial proportion of all fossil fuels must be left undisturbed. (now prohibited by State government legislation)

4. Forget about Gas – about to be replaced by renewable energy in the next 10 years (M) Easy to implement at no cost. (and replace gas heating in aquatic centres with geothermal)

5. Various changes to planning to permit suitable developments & changes to housing (H)

6. Vary fees to a) encourage favourable activities and b) discourage others

7. Establish local roadside committees for creating carbon sinks, plantations, bio-energy feed sources on shire lands and roadsides. These management committees should be comprised of interested parties including local landholders and maximize fire protection by grazing, burning, pruning, thinning, establishing plantations for bioenergy or carbon offsets. Management guidelines should include tree planting, tree protection, tree pruning, grazing, mowing, ecological burns, property protection burns, weed control etc. where appropriate. (H)

8. Education a) of council b) of wider public (H) on a) basics of climate change and b) what it means to each and every one of us (immediate & continuing threats including practical responses, for instance where to go in heatwaves when the power system fails).

9. Speed up process of establishing a bio-energy plant at the Bairnsdale waste facility. (M) Councillors and council workers to visit functioning plants.

10. Plan for the establishment of micro-grids including co-operating & co-ordinating local communities and electricity suppliers. (M)(Expand on the excellent example of Mallacoota)