Banksia Sustainability Award nomination for Bellingen Shire
THE BANKSIA Foundation has named Bellingen Shire Council as a finalist in the national sustainability awards.
Now in its 26th year, the foundation is firmly cemented as Australia's pre-eminent organisation recognising and promoting innovative sustainable development and practice.
Bellingen Mayor, Cr Mark Troy, said the community has become a leader in implementing innovative sustainable projects and services.
"It is a very significant achievement to become a finalist in the Banksia Sustainability Awards," he said.
"These are national awards showcasing leadership and innovation across Australia and I am very excited we are one of only four councils selected to be a finalist in the local government sustainability category."
The shire is recognised for national leadership and innovation in the areas of resource recovery, climate change, estuary health and social well-being.
Working collaboratively, the council and community have been able to divert approximately 81% of its kerbside collection waste from landfill which has contributed to Coffs Coast Waste Services being the highest recycler in NSW.
This has included setting up the Bowerhouse Reuse Centre, and the council has set an ambitious target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by the year 2020.
In the past 12 months alone, it has reduced 240 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Council has contributed to estuary bank revegetation, and the installation of 520 metres of rock fillets and 150 artificial reef structures to protect the river bank from erosion, improve mangrove growth and develop fish habitats.
"We are committed to collaboration with the local and indigenous community and recently constructed a labyrinth at Dangar Falls Reserve in Dorrigo," Mayor Troy added.
"This winding paved pathway provides a recreational facility to the community with benefits for mental health.
"The project included the construction of 60 metres of raised wooden boardwalk to improve access to the falls.
"Ongoing bush regeneration and weed control continues in this Antarctic Beech Forest."