The City of Newcastle has launched its Newcastle Environment Strategy, which will see the city adopt electric alternatives to fuel-powered vehicles and equipment in order to support Australia’s net zero efforts. 

The strategy provides a ten year roadmap for a sustainable Newcastle based on the priority areas of climate change, nature-based solutions and the circular economy. 

Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, said that the strategy would ensure the city continues its decades-long action and advocacy to protect and improve the environment.  

“The Newcastle Environment Strategy is our definitive roadmap for achieving our progressive environmental ambitions,” Mayor Nelmes said. 

“Through this strategy, we are sending a signal to the community that we are strongly committed to protecting and enhancing Newcastle’s natural environment today, and for future generations of Novocastrians.” 

15 key actions have been identified to be delivered by the City of Newcastle or in partnership with State and Federal Governments, business and the community within the first four years, including renewable energy initiatives, city-wide electric vehicle charging infrastructure, connected wildlife corridors and sustainable construction materials. 

Council said that it will continue its drive towards net zero emissions with a range of activities, including the development of a vehicle, plant and equipment transition plan. 

This will guide the implementation of low emissions and electric alternatives to slash the use of fossil-based liquid fuels, such as diesel and unleaded petrol, in Newcastle cars, trucks, plants and equipment. 

City of Newcastle was the first Council in New South Wales to use 100 per cent renewables in its operations, delivered in part through the construction of a council owned 5MW solar farm at Summerhill Waste Management Centre.

The transition plan will build on successful trials of electric vehicles within Council’s fleet, as well as a recent roll-out of electric plants and equipment to help maintain the city’s natural environment. 

“While we’ve been successfully trialling the use of electric vehicles within our fleet for a number of years, we’ve also recently purchased around 50 pieces of electric equipment, including hedge trimmers, chainsaws, blowers, pruners, shears and an electric mower,” Mayor Nelmes said. 

“These pieces of equipment have been fit for purpose for use by our City Greening and Natural Areas teams, as well as at Blackbutt Reserve and Summerhill Waste Management Centre, offering a range of benefits alongside important carbon emissions reductions by being quieter, lighter, faster to start and easier to maintain. 

“This initiative is just one example of how the City of Newcastle is continuing to invest in progressive actions to ensure we create an environmental legacy for future generations.”

Featured image: Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, and Deputy Lord Mayor, Declan Clausen, at the 5MW solar farm at Summerhill Waste Management Centre. Image credit: City of Newcastle.

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