Finalist at the National Banksia Sustainability Awards
Bellingen Shire Council was a finalist in the 2014 national Banksia Sustainability Awards – Local Government Sustainability Category! The Banksia Foundation is firmly cemented as Australia's preeminent organisation recognising and promoting innovative sustainable development and practice through its Awards Program.
Now in its 26th year, the Banksia Foundation continues to provide a positive platform to showcase the best in Australian invention, innovation and ingenuity in the all-important sustainability space.
“The Bellingen Shire’s community vision is to create a sustainable future together for the good of all. Over the past three years, Bellingen Shire Council has taken significant steps to become a leader in implementing innovative sustainable projects and services to the community” said Mayor Mark Troy.
Further Mayor Mark Troy said “It is a very significant achievement to become a finalist in the Banksia Sustainability Awards. These are national awards showcasing leadership and innovation in sustainability across Australia and I am very excited to be one of only four Councils selected to be a finalist in the local government sustainability category”.
Council’s Manager Sustainable Environment and Waste has nominated projects that demonstrate leadership and innovation in the areas of resource recovery, climate change, estuary health and social wellbeing as part of the submission.
Working collaboratively with our inspired community and valued partners, the Bellingen Shire has been able to divert approximately 81% of its kerbside collection waste from landfill which has contributed to Coffs Coast Waste Services being the highest recycler in NSW. This has included setting up the Bowerhouse Reuse Centre, the only council run reuse shop on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Council has also explored further increasing landfill diversion targets by implementing kerbside bin clothing recycling trials.
Council has set an ambitious target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by the year 2020. In the last 12 months alone, it has reduced 240 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
In an Australian first, Council has contributed to estuary bank revegetation (1800 plants established), the installation of 520 metres of rock fillets (groynes utilising rock, reef balls and wooden pin groynes) and 150 artificial reef structures covering 210 metres, to protect the river bank from erosion, improve mangrove growth and develop fish habitats. The project covered a total of 1.87 ha.
Council is also committed to social and economic sustainability, and in collaboration with the local and indigenous community, recently constructed a labyrinth at Dangar Falls Reserve in Dorrigo. This winding paved pathway provides a recreational facility to the community with benefits for mental health. The project included the construction of 60 metres of raised wooden boardwalk to improve access to the falls. Ongoing bush regeneration and weed control continues in this Antarctic Beech Forest (endangered ecological community).
For more information please contact, Daan Schiebaan, Council’s Manager Sustainable Environment and Waste on 6655 7300.