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Mitchell Shire Council celebrates environmental strides

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Acknowledging a climate emergency and installing solar energy systems at community facilities were among the most significant environmental actions Mitchell Shire Council took in 2021-22, according to a report tabled at last month’s council meeting.

Councillors received and noted a Mitchell Shire Environment Strategies and Plans 2021-22 annual report, along with a Mitchell Environment Advisory Committee annual report at the meeting, outlining the most significant steps council took to improve environmental management in the past year.

Cr Louise Bannister said council had a range of responsibilities to consider when looking after the environment.

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“We’ve had the acknowledgement of the climate emergency, [council workers] treated approximately 600 kilometres of roadsides for a weed-control program, they were part of installing a 33-kilowatt solar system onto community facilities, they supported 13 community environmental events with just over 800 participants in attendance, [and] 509 pieces of environmental information were distributed to customers including 221 new rural landowner kits,” she said.

“The provision of environmental advice on statutory and strategic planning matters continues to be a focus for the team. They also held nine Mitchell Environment Advisory Committee meetings and 24 properties received the annual Mitchell Shire conservation convent grant.

“[The committee was] part of the National Tree Day event, where over 1000 plants were planted along the creek in Wallan and a number of trees were removed along Kilmore Creek in accordance with the Kilmore Creek Landscape Master Plan.”

Cr Fiona Stevens called council’s environment team ‘small but productive’.

“One thing I’m pleased to see is that two 33-kilowatt solar systems were installed on two community facilities,” she said.

“Councillors have discussed in this chamber a number of times their desire to see more of this implemented throughout our shire and no doubt when we start our budget discussions … there will be representation from this group.”

Cr Nathan Clark thanked the committee for its work to promote a proposed Wallan Regional Park.

“The work that they’ve put forward there [is really good], with a lot of research that they put to the state advisory committees and bureaucracy to show how that is important to get done,” he said.

Cr Bannister said the volunteer committee had contributed about 125 hours of their time during the past year, not including additional time spent reading and preparing correspondence and travelling to and from events.

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