AWARDS for environmental excellence are becoming a regular achievement for the Coffs Harbour City Council.
The latest accolade was a Highly Commended in the prestigious Local Government Excellence in the Environment Awards.
The submission on which the judgement was made outlined the council's approach to fulfilling its vision of being The Healthy City.
Sustainability is the key to this vision and is now part of the council's corporate culture.
Every decision taken by councillors and staff is balanced against its environmental, social and economic impacts.
Specific action strategies have also been developed to tackle particular issues including a Greenhouse Action Strategy.
This approach has already shown a range of positive outcomes including energy efficient street lighting which should save ratepayers $690,000 over the next 10 years.
The policy has also seen the establishment of the highly successful local Growers Market as well as a regional partnership with Bellingen and Nambucca councils that will reduce the amount of waste taken to landfill to just 13 per cent by 2008.
A Sustainable Settlement Strategy will be completed by the council by June 2005, and an Integrated Transport Plan providing safe, sustainable and healthy transport options is scheduled for comple- tion by June 2005.