The City of Ballarat will strive toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2025 under a bold new plan passed by councillors.
Councillor Belinda Coates’ motion for a carbon reduction and action on climate change plan was passed, with a minor alteration, on Wednesday night.
Six councillors voted in favour of the motion, with only three councillors opposing the plan.
Cr Coates said the time to develop a renewable energy action plan was now, with the community calling on council for environmental leadership.
"This is a terrific opportunity for Ballarat Council to lead on local action on climate change. I'm delighted to get this resolution over the line and there is an enormous amount of community support,” Cr Coates said.
"The task at hand is for the City of Ballarat to develop an action and or implementation Plan, to develop projects, work with the community and prioritise projects to make the organisation and services of Council carbon neutral and reliant on renewable energy.”
Councillor Daniel Moloney said changing the wording of the motion to “moving toward” made the target more achievable.
“We have been far too conservative in this space and I would like us to be bolder in our goals,” Cr Moloney said.
BREAZE president Ian Rossiter said the decision sent a strong sign that leaders recognise the need to explore renewable option.
“We are encouraged that this sends a strong sign that our leaders recognise that renewable energy is Ballarat’s new gold that will bring prosperity, reliability of energy and new jobs to our region while at the same time helping reduce the impact of climate change.”