A step towards creating a sustainable, non-polluting energy future was taken by the Northern Midlands Council on Monday.
Councillors unanimously agreed to join the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership in an effort to contribute as a community.
“Joining forces with the Cities Power Partnership is where ideas can become reality, collecting, tendering and resource sharing could reduce costs and the Northern Midlands will be making a difference,” Cr Mary Knowles said.
“Less reliance on emission-causing power sources from the mainland is surely a benefit and creating more sustainable power will free up more state power for sale, which will benefit Tasmania.”
Participating councils have six months to select five key actions from the partnership pledge ranging from renewable energy, efficiency, transport and advocacy.
The Meander Valley Council also recently discussed becoming partners of the program. A total of 35 councils will be selected between October and late-November to join. Cr Deb White put forward a notice of motion at the council’s October 10 meeting, asking her colleagues to “lead the way”.
“The [sustainable environment] committee have invested a significant amount of time and effort in considering this,’ she said. “It is something we can achieve in a sensible time frame and sensible budget.”
However, some of her fellow councillors raised concerns about potential unforeseen costs involved in meeting commitments.
Cr Ian Mackenzie said if the council agreed to the five actions, there might be costs not accounted for in the 2017-18 budget.
“I think we need a little bit more information about what it might costs us over the next five or 10 years,” he said. “How do we identify projects? How long can we be signed up before we have to have them completed?”
Cr Mackenzie asked if the item could go to a council workshop, rather than be voted on at the meeting.
Ultimately the motion failed, with the vote locked at four against and four in favour with the mayor Craig Perkins absent.
Cr Andrew Connor said it would have been a great way local government could lead where state and federal politicians had failed.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.