The Sunshine Coast community has in a single year contributed millions of dollars for environmental rehabilitation, innovative education, research and key volunteer groups and partnerships.
Sunshine Coast Council Environment Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said the $80 Environment Levy, paid by every Sunshine Coast ratepayer through their annual rates, funded many projects that made strong gains across our local environment in the 2022/23 financial year.
“All our ratepayers contribute to strengthening the health of our waterways, biodiversity and coastal areas through the Environment Levy, with a total investment in 2022-23 of $7.8 million across the region,” Cr Suarez said.
“This year, it’s clear again to see the value of working with our community, with more than 362,000 volunteer hours for the Levy’s partnership programs showing the strength of people power in our region.
“Meanwhile, innovative programs such as Kids in Action and BatPod are nurturing our young environmental stewards and more than 1300 private landholders have planted 27,900 native trees through the Land for Wildlife program.”
Environment Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said work on our coastal dunes, weeds and maintaining Council’s extensive 4050ha conservation estate of Environment Levy-acquired land were some of the biggest ticket items for funding.
"Council manages almost 8000ha of land for conservation across our region, and the Environment Levy has contributed the funds to purchase and manage about half of this estate,” Cr Cox said.
“This year, we invested $900,000 into ecological restoration for our dunes and rocky headlands, important places supporting biodiversity and our region’s coastal lifestyle.
“The weed management pilot program is another major project testing potential weed management tools and strategies including the use of drones and artificial intelligence.
“Being able to undertake projects like these has a clear and extensive positive impact on our environment, now and for future generations.”
In 2022-23, the Levy generated $12.15 million in funding for environment projects, with the unspent funds held for pending land acquisitions that will further expand Council’s conservation estate.
Read the full Environment Levy Annual Report online.
- $967,0000 spent in coastal protection works and dune rehabilitation
- $739,000 invested in invasive species research, action and community engagement
- $610,000 provided to 19 partnerships with community environmental groups
- $325,000 for Landholder Environment Grants to 83 landholders for on‑ground projects
- $206,000 invested in erosion and sediment control and waterway protection
- $166,000 to support flying-fox education and communities living with flying foxes
- $130,000 involving young people in the Kids in Action program
- $90,000 to support implementation of the Shorebird Conservation Action Plan.
This article ‘Positive impact’: how community is funding greener future has been supplied from the OurSC website and has been published here with permission.