Aerial view of buildings and coastline on Sunshine Coast, Australia

Sunshine Coast Council has released its Environment and Liveability Strategy Annual Report 2021/22, highlighting the organisation’s progress in creating Australia’s most sustainable region, and detailing initiatives that help the region retain its enviable lifestyle.

Some of the achievements outlined in the report include: 

  • Receiving official recognition as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
  • Delivering a $13.17 million Environment Levy Program to support land acquisitions, on-ground activities and research and community partnerships that protect and enhance the region’s natural environment
  • Securing more than 450haof new lands for conservation and recreation purposes
  • Blue Heart Sunshine Coast project securing a $2 million Commonwealth Grant to investigate Blue Carbon restoration, and over $35 million as part of the South East Queensland City Deal
  • Adopting the Stormwater Management Strategy, that will lead to more effective stormwater management for our community
  • Continued planning for the proposed Sunshine Coast ecological park, which has just concluded its second stage of community engagement and will provide the region with a huge variety of opportunities to connect with nature
  • Endorsing the Recreation Parks Plan, which outlines the strategic direction for parks across the region until 2031, supporting the delivery of even better experiences for the community
  • Opening the Mooloolaba Northern Parkland, extending 340m along the beachfront, to foster healthy and active lifestyles and provide residents and visitors with a new space to have fun
  • Opening the Beerwah Community Meeting Place, an innovative and sustainable new space for the community to meet and enjoy, constructed thanks to $1.65 million from the Queensland Government’s Unite and Recover Community Stimulus Package
  • Recognising that we are in a state of climate emergency and undertaking a collaborative approach with Noosa Shire Council to address climate risk now and into the future
  • Installing environmental sensors across the region to collect data to inform planning and decision making
  • Ongoing advocacy for the protection of the Regional Inter-urban Break

Sunshine Coast Council’s Mayor, Mark Jamieson, said the report provided a comprehensive overview of Council’s leadership and actions contributing towards a sustainable Sunshine Coast.

“During the 2021/22 financial year, we continued to stay true to our vision and delivered several incredible initiatives,’’ Mayor Jamieson said.

“The biggest of these was our international recognition as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, achieved in conjunction with our community.

“As we preserve, protect and enhance our natural environment, Council also continued its delivery of the Environment Levy Program and our commitment to grow our green spaces.

“In total, we delivered a $13.17 million Environment Levy Program, supporting the acquisition of more than 165.5ha of new land for conservation purposes, as well as on-ground activities, research, and community partnerships.”

Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said a number of initiatives delivered in 2021/2022 demonstrated Council’s commitment to enhancing recreational opportunities.

“In line with the strategy, Council endorsed the Recreation Parks Plan which outlines the strategic direction for parks across the region until 2031, supporting the delivery of even better experiences for our community,” Cr Suarez said.

“As part of our ongoing climate change response, Council progressed the development of a Regional Climate Action Roadmap to identify paths forward to address climate risk and to build our collective capacity to respond efficiently and innovatively to a changing climate.”

Fellow Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said the report showcased Council’s environmental sustainability performance, including its carbon emissions.

“Becoming a zero-net emissions organisation by 2041 is a transformational action of the Strategy,” said Cr Cox.

“Tracking our progress towards this target is important to understand our effectiveness in reducing these emissions and the adjustments and further investments may be required.

“The Environment and Liveability Strategy is now in its fifth year and continues to provide long-term strategic directions to guide growth, environmental protection and shape the region for future generations.”

To view the full annual report, head to els.sunshine coast.qld.gov.au.

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