sustainability

A Western Australian council is developing a new action plan to build on its work in helping the city reach critical sustainability targets.

The City of Cockburn will build upon previous sustainability efforts, which include planting thousands of trees and seedlings, installing more solar PV systems, running a zero emission fleet, upgrading 400 streetlights to LEDs and awarding over $1.07 million in grants to local residents, groups and businesses.

The City’s 11th annual State of Sustainability Report has been adopted by Cockburn Council with a new action plan due to be developed in 2022.

The annual report confirmed that 100 per cent of the 76 key performance indicators (KPIs) in the City’s Sustainability Action Plan 2017-2022 have either been achieved or are in progress.

In 2020-21, nine of 14 targets across important sustainability areas including water conservation, waste minimisation, energy and emissions reduction, and biodiversity were also achieved.

Highlights include the completion of the garden waste bin rollout, receiving a Platinum Waterwise award, production of renewable energy for council facilities and a zero emissions fleet.

City of Cockburn Sustainability Officer, Jennifer Harrison, said the achievements reflected the City’s commitment to pursuing sustainability excellence.

“We have progressed actions across all of the sustainability focus areas including environment, society, economy and governance,” Ms Harrison said.

“A new action plan will be established to align with the Strategic Community Plan as well as corporate KPIs to continue to ensure best practice in sustainability.”

The City has identified the need to improve its recovery and diversion rate for waste and has set a new long-term target for zero non-hazardous waste to landfill, supported by its Waste Strategy 2020-2030.

Electricity and gas usage has increased in some areas and the City will continue to work to reduce this, including upgrades to LED streetlighting to help meet new targets for net zero emissions, along with other actions identified in the recently-adopted Climate Change Strategy 2020-2030.

Obesity continues to be a major public health challenge in the Cockburn community and will be addressed in the upcoming review of the City’s Local Public Health Plan.

Sustainability highlights for 2020-21 include:

  • Installation of a 30kW solar photovoltaic system at the wetlands precinct
  • Exceeding the renewable energy target with more than 26 per cent of Council buildings powered by solar photovoltaic systems
  • 400 streetlights upgraded to energy efficient LEDs
  • Council approved funding for a City-wide LED streetlight upgrade program
  • 4.8ha of bushland rehabilitated
  • 76,000 seedlings planted
  • 1,400 street trees planted
  • Maintaining a zero emissions fleet via a carbon offset program
  • Providing 68 residents with a waterwise verge rebate
  • Allocating over $950,000 to 132 community groups and organisations
  • Awarding 12 sustainability grants valued at $38,000
  • Awarding 20 local economic development grants valued at $85,000
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