Hepburn Shire's journey to tackle climate change by reaching zero-net emissions by 2030 is continuing to progress.
Hepburn Z-Net - a collaboration between Hepburn Shire Council, Hepburn Wind, local sustainability groups and residents - has launched a new website to offer practical information and resources for community members and businesses to access.
The website breaks information down into several categories - Homes, Farms, Schools, Work, Visit (Tourism) and Community sectors - and includes tailored information for programs which relate to each.
Taryn Lane, Manager of Hepburn Wind, said the website was user-friendly and combined the "incredible work already happening across the shire" as well as some of the technical details stemming from the Hepburn Z-NET Community Transition Plan.
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The plan, released in 2019, is the backbone of the partnership and provides a breakdown of the shire's existing emissions in addition to a roadmap and the approaches required to reduce it to zero.
"The website aims to be a living resource, full of existing and emerging programs, projects and resources that anyone can use," Ms Lane said.
In addition to the website, other work is continuing to increase sustainability and reduce emissions.
With the electric vehicle charger installed outside Daylesford Town Hall about four years ago damaged in an accident recently, a new faster 25-kilowatt DC charger will be installed soon.
And after much anticipation amid delays due to COVID, the Hepburn electric vehicle bulk buy will open virtually in November.
There have already been more than 150 expressions of interest.
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Meanwhile, the second round of the Hepburn Solar Bulk Buy is exceeding expectations, with systems still able to be installed despite stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria.
This financial year, the community has spent more than $290,000 on 45 new solar systems and eight batteries.
"We have a target that we wanted 200 new solar systems installed this year and so we're already a quarter of the way there within the first two months," Ms Lane said.
And when restrictions ease, the free energy audit program will resume, which involves a trained auditor performing an audit and then supporting the household to undertake upgrades. Rebates are available.
Ms Lane said with a lot of people feeling financial pressure as a result of the pandemic, many people were looking to save on bills.
"I think that's why solar has been going so well but it's also why the energy audit is important. It's a service that's really needed at the moment."
Work is also proceeding to develop a farming sector guide to reduce emissions on farms, with webinars to be run in October and November.
Council representative on the Z-NET Roundtable, Cr Fiona Robson, said many groups and organisations had been driving change in Hepburn Shire for decades.
"One of the benefits of this website is that it brings together the excellent work being done and makes it available to everyone."
The website was funded by Hepburn Shire Council, Creswick Community Bank and Sustainability Victoria.
Visit the website at: www.hepburnznet.org.au
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