The East Gippsland Shire Council has just called for public comment on their proposed Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2022-2032. Here are more suggestions that were part of a submission to the East Gippsland Shire Council 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. Community energy projects. Coordinate & promote. (M) Low cost and may help invigorate some local communities. See the example of Waubra.
2. Sea-level Rise (L) make appropriate planning for worst case – that is a 2m rise by 2100 and makes changes accordingly
3. Plan long term retreat from coast (L)
4. Encourage the development of Geothermal Energy through the relevant companies and state government departments (M) (incorporate in Aquatic Centres)
5. To examine the possibility of large wind farm developments, possibly offshore? (M)
6. To purchase a fully electric vehicle with solar charging as part of fleet (H) (plan changeover of whole fleet, including garbage trucks, and other ICE vehicles)
7. To co-ordinate with education bodies various means of improving knowledge of students and citizens awareness of climate change and to implement identified approaches where practical. (H)
8. To expand shire gardening and nursery activities including a substantial increase in planting and maintaining trees and shrubs in towns. (H) (greenery helps reduce the “heat island effect”)
9. Tree removal should only be permitted under strict circumstances eg fire hazard. (H) The removal of each tree should be offset either by the remover planting a specific number of replacements or paying the shire to do so. The removed tree should be used for bio-energy (by pyrolysis) if possible. Root systems of dead trees should be left undisturbed if possible. Offsetting should only be used against tree plantations or shire plantings –not against established or natural bush.
10. To remove combustible material near towns as a continuing process by physical removal, heavy grazing, summer green crops, burning and other suitable methods. (H)