Carbon neutral target motion

Ballarat City Council could become carbon neutral in less than 10 years under a bold plan. 

Councillor Belinda Coates will put forward a motion at Wednesday night’s council meeting calling for carbon reduction and action on climate change.

Cr Coates’ motion calls for the City of Ballarat to develop a strategy and implementation action plan for council to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

The motion also calls for the development of a renewable energy action plan for the council to move towards 100 per cent renewable energy power by 2025 and to work with not for profits, community organisations and businesses to reduce community emissions.

“The intention (of this motion) is setting an aspiration.I feel like we didn’t have a strong enough position on renewable energy and it has been hard to get it listed as a priority item for council,” Cr Coates said. 

“It is clear that the community does want leadership from our council when it comes to action on clime change.” 

Two new solar electricity systems in Ballarat were installed earlier this year and reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as planting more 500 trees on the city’s streets. 

A 65 kilowatt solar electricity system installed on the rooftop of the Phoenix Building at Armstrong Street South is expected to cut electricity usage at the Ballarat City Council owned building by 20 per cent. 

The new system is expected to slash electricity usage at the gardens by 45 per cent within a year with both systems cutting Ballarat’s energy consumption by about 100,000 kilowatt hours per year.   

Cr Coates said it was essential that a strategy was developed and that council created a baseline aim. 

“We need to do this to get a sense of we can break it down – this target is not achievable,” Cr Coates said. 

“Council will work with the community and the business sector and have a real leadership role.

“I’m hopeful that the majority of councillors will support this motion. We haven’t had a clear target and the time is right for us to show leadership and lift the bar.”

The City of Greater Bendigo has already committed to reducing the organisation’s energy related carbon emissions to 50 per cent by 2020.

The council is installing solar PV installation, replacing vehicles and heavy machinery, replacing street lights with LED power.