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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage

19 August 1999

COUNCILS TAKE GREENHOUSE BATTLE TO BACKYARDS AND STREETS


Two local governments, their industries and constituents will be recognised in Melbourne this evening for their outstanding contribution to the national campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone MP, praised the Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Frankston City Council for being the first councils ever to have developed and adopted a local greenhouse action plan.

"The Federal Government's $13 million Cities for Climate Protection Australia program is aimed at helping councils, local businesses and householders develop cleaner and greener lifestyles than ever before," Dr Stone said.

"As a nation we face a major challenge in meeting the Kyoto greenhouse target. Local Government, with their close connection to the community, are in a unique position to influence household lifestyles and businesses practices," Dr Stone said.

The award winning Councils have reached the third milestone in the Federal Government's $13 million Cities for Climate ProtectionTMAustralia program, which encourages local government to work cooperatively with the community to reduce greenhouse emissions.

The Cities for Climate Protection Australia milestones are:

  1. a greenhouse gas emission inventory and forecast of council and the community,
  2. set an emissions reduction goal,
  3. develop a local greenhouse action plan to achieve those reductions,
  4. implement the local greenhouse action plan,
  5. monitor and report on emission levels and the action plan.
"Some of the councils' great ideas include car and van pooling for commuters, buying energy-efficient appliances for council buildings, incentives for households to convert to alternative energy like solar power, enhancing recycling from commercial and industrial sites and recycling organic waste into compost," Dr Stone said.

Dr Stone said Australia was regarded as a world leader in the local government greenhouse campaign, with 65 councils now signed up to the Cities for Climate ProtectionTMAustralia program; the fastest participation rate anywhere in the world. These councils represent 34% of Australia's population.

Another 16 councils attending the recognition ceremony have reached either milestone one or two.

"It's great to see rural and city councils from around Australia working side by side as part of the national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Macedon and Frankston Councils have been quick to appreciate that this marvellous program benefits the environment, as well as their bottom line," Dr Stone said.

The Federal Government's $13 million investment in the program is the largest to date of any nation. Additional measures by the Federal Government will boost spending on efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses to $1 billion over the next five years.

For further information about how to join the Cities for Climate Australia Program please contact the Australian Greenhouse Office on telephone 02 6274 1859.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415

Note: Summary of milestone councils and activities attached.

Commonwealth of Australia