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Projects and initiatives

Solar panels

Find out more about the projects and sustainability initiatives recently we have completed or are currently underway to are deliver on our strategies relating to climate change and the environment.

ZNET community transition plan

Council is now working collaboratively with the local community on a masterplan for community-wide zero-net emissions, which is expected to be developed over the 2020-2021 period. Partial funding for this program has been secured from Sustainability Victoria under the Zero Carbon Community Transition Program and Mount Alexander Shire Council. The program is being led by Renew consulting in collaboration with the community. Renew led the Hepburn Z-NET program which was developed as an open-source model and all of the developed resources are being shared for the Mount Alexander Shire program.

Complete an online survey

As part of our Z-NET Project we are asking residents to complete an online survey about how they currently use their homes. This information will inform a baseline assessment of the shire’s carbon and water footprint.

Complete the household survey
Please note: We ask that you answer the questions in accordance with your typical behaviour, rather than your behaviour during COVID-19 restrictions. Only one respondee per household. The survey is open until December.

Next steps
A collaborative platform will be set up in late June 2020 to gather community climate action ideas and projects. This platform will include the existing ideas from the Climate Change Forum. We also welcome new ideas and participants will have the opportunity to vote on their priorities.

Read the media release announcing this survey.

LED street lighting

In 2015, almost 900 street lights were upgraded from the old mercury vapour style lighting to 18 watt LEDs. The new lights are up to 75% more efficient and save 308 tCO2e each year. Prospective developers are now required to install highly efficient ‘category P’ lighting.

Council is now pursuing the retrofit of 342 non-LED lights on major roads which, if successful, will deliver an additional 1,780 tCO2e over the next 20 years.

Rooftop solar

Council has a strong track record of delivering solar PV on the rooftops of its facilities. With 158kW generation capacity currently installed across 25 Council owned buildings, this supplied 38% of the Council’s 2018 energy consumption.

There is a further 15kW planned in for 2019/2020 financial year.

100% renewable electricity

Council is currently signed up to participate in a tender process with 48 Victorian Councils to form Australia’s largest ever buying group to switch to 100% renewable electricity. If this goes forward the effect will be to further reduce the Council’s own carbon emissions by an estimated 888 tCO2e per year from 2021.

Electric vehicle feasibility

Mount Alexander Shire Council is one of 43 Victorian regional Councils partnering on a feasibility study, Charging the Regions, that will enable Councils to understand the opportunities for a joint investment program for a dense and coordinated network of electric vehicle charging across the state.

Environmental upgrade agreements

Through our partnership with Better Buildings Finance, Council is enabling building owners, tenants and investors to better access long term finance for environmental upgrades, including LED lighting and solar energy, to existing commercial and non-residential buildings on attractive terms.

Land management rate program

Council supports and encourages responsible land management that improves the condition of the natural environment on privately owned land across Mount Alexander Shire. Successful applicants receive a 20% reduction off their property rate.

Green team

The Green Team, which is made up of Council staff, is tasked with assisting in the integration of climate change and environmental concerns across Council operations and enabling changes to staff behaviours so that consumption of resources and energy is minimised in the workplace.

Sustainable living workshops

Since 2013 Council has been offering a series of workshops to assist community in reducing their environmental impact and adapting to climate change. More than 600 people have participated over the past five years. Council is currently examining how to improve the reach of these workshops.

Cool it project

In 2020 Council will undertake priority heat vulnerability mapping of towns within our shire to further inform implementation of an emerging streetscape plan and design standards, including mapping for priority locations for street tree planting programs to improve the community’s resilience to increasing heat in regional Victoria.

TAKE2 climate pledge

Council has joined almost 200 councils, businesses and community organisations to take the Victorian Government’s voluntary TAKE2 pledge to take action on climate change.

The pledge commits Council to play our part to help achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions for the state of Victoria by 2050.

TAKE2 provides tailored, easy to understand information about what individuals and organisations can do to protect the planet for generations to come. Council encourages residents, businesses and organisations in the shire to take the pledge and become part of the movement to build a cleaner, greener future. For more information and to take the pledge, visit TAKE2.

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