Amid further concerns in regard to the environment, the Maroondah Leader has reported on the need to reduce energy usage and achieve carbon neutrality.

Councillor Alex Makin said the council needed to become a leader in combating climate change and to take immediate action.

It is important that council not only reduce its own emissions but also educate the community in how our municipality can collectively improve its urban sustainability.

“Victoria’s carbon emissions are spiralling out of control and we need to take action,” Cr Makin said. “The State and Federal governments are procrastinating and we at a local government just get on with the job.”

Victoria has seen a 30% increase in greenhouse emissions since 1990, largely due to a dependence on coal and a failure to provide transport choice and sustainable forms of transport for Melbourne’s outer suburbs. Meanwhile the Federal Government is awaiting the results of the Ross Garnaut report before announcing any interim reduction targets.

It is therefore important that Maroondah, as a form of government, undertake steps to reduce greenhouse emissions and to demonstrate that proactive change is possible.

“I do hope my colleagues view this as seriously as I do, because we need to acknowledge the seriousness of climate change.”

All councillors within Maroondah must view the need for reducing greenhouse emissions as a priority. It is imperative that we improve our urban sustainability so that we can ensure that future generations inherit a planet that is economically, environmentally and socially prosperous.

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email: alex@alexmakin.com.au

4 Comments

  • I’ve been campaigning for Port Macquarie – Hastings to be carbon neutral. See http://www.cam.com.au/Community/Articles/336.aspx. Also check out my other blog PoliticsNSW.com.

    Cameron Price

  • Alex Makin says:

    Hi Cameron,

    Thank you for your comments, it is great to see other community campaigners taking the issue of greenhouse emissions and sustainability with the seriousness it deserves.

    I’m not familiar with the situation in New South Wales but a number of Victorian councils, including the City of Maribyrnong and the Shire of Yarra Ranges have committed themselves to becoming carbon neutral.

    Maroondah currently has a target to reduce greenhouse emissions by 20% (based on 1995 levels) by the year 2010, but the information I have received demonstrates that council is not meeting this goal.

    I am hoping to secure initiatives through the budget process which will ensure that we meet our greenhouse reduction targets. I see this as the first step towards a carbon neutral council.

    I read about the dismissal of Port Macquarie – Hastings Council, it is a shame that local councils are subservient to the whims of State Government.

    Good luck in your campaigning in Port Macquarie – Hastings.

    Thanks,

    Alex

  • In 2002 Port Macquarie – Hastings Council set the goal of achieving 20% below 1999 levels by 2010, however through increasing our renewable energy to 80% we were able to take that to 45% below 1999 levels this year. We also take organics out of the waste stream and mix it with sewerage solids and create compost which is then sold. The carbon that would otherwise break down in landfill and be released will be either accounted for as carbon credits and sold or used to offset other functions of Council that do emit carbon in a move towards carbon neutrality.

    It is much more difficult for me to build on these successes in the absence of local democracy.

    Cameron

  • Alex Makin says:

    Cameron,

    Maroondah will be increasing its green energy component but I am keen to see the council aim to reduce its energy consumption prior to investigating the use of offsets.

    Council’s budget is currently out for public exhibition and it is disappointing that there is very little initiatives in regard to energy efficiency. I am hoping that this will change when the final budget is adopted.

    Council provided $1 million of water initiatives in last year’s budget to provide a proactive response to the drought and to reduce our potable water consumption and I believe a similar program is required to ensure that we meet and exceed our greenhouse targets.

    It is disappointing that while these targets were set several years ago by the prior term of council that very little had been undertaken to achieve them.

    I can certainly appreciate that it must be more difficult advocating for carbon neutrality in the absence of local representatives. We are fortunate in Maroondah to have strong environmental groups such as the Croydon Conservation Society and the Maroondah Climate Change Action Group. These groups have assisted in lobbying council to meet its greenhouse obligations.

    Maroondah’s Councillors as well as the executive need to realise that we must demonstrate leadership in our community through reducing our greenhouse emissions.

    Thanks,

    Alex

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