Carbon Neutral Council Emissions Management Plan

Oh thanks, Madam Chair. I just want to speak briefly on item B, the Carbon Neutral Council Emissions Management Plan. We do support Council being a carbon neutral organisation of course and we do need a management plan to get there, but there are some serious shortfalls in this document.

On page 4 here we know that in black in white all of Council’s carbon emissions can’t be offset. It says there Council’s closed landfills have been excluded from the organisation’s emissions boundary. Now I do realise that action has been taken. It also says here that flaring which is a whole lot better use of our gas than being released into the atmosphere is a good thing and that does reduce significantly emissions. There are still emissions coming from there—from our closed landfill which aren’t included in this management plan or in Council’s quest to become carbon neutral.

The plan doesn’t outline for people—for the people of Brisbane what the total emissions are, what percentage we’re offsetting internally. We have heard in the debate today and there are other documents which tell us that and if—it would be a whole lot easier in this country and in this State to offset those carbon emissions locally if we had a Federal Government that was more committed to a clean energy target or committed in any way for clean energy targets.

There will be projects here in Australia that we could use to offset our carbon emissions in this Council and also if the rate of one football a minute worth of tree clearing in this State was abated in some way rather than blocked by the LNP at a State level, Madam Chairman.

So as a Council we should be and what should be front and centre of any plan that we do to become a carbon neutral organisation is bringing whatever political pressure we can as an organisation to bear on the LNP at both a Federal and State level to actually do something about this, Madam Chairman.

When you go a bit further into the document into the priority projects and I realise this isn’t all of them either but if you tally up bus eco driver training at Virginia, bus eco driver training at Sherwood and truck eco driver training you get 580 tonnes of carbon emissions in this plan that are proposed to be offset.

Now these are actions that aren’t proven. Essentially what they are is us training our operators, our bus operators and truck operators to drive a little easier I suppose. How we can come up with a figure of 580 tonnes of carbon emissions to be saved by that without any track record whatsoever does seem a little far-fetched to me but again there are shortfalls in this document but we certainly do need a document as a starting base.

Although I do sense that this is a document which the LNP has put together to say yes we’ve done something and it’s the bare bones and it’s the absolute minimum that could be done. We should be absolutely beating the drum if we’re actually an organisation that wants to be one that advocates for carbon neutrality rather than going to projects in China and purchasing carbon offsets from projects that we have no idea in terms of their actual carbon offset.

They may be producing hydroelectricity but how many trees are cut down to do that? We don’t know, Madam Chairman. It’s not included in this report of course and we don’t know whether those items that Councillor GRIFFITHS raised will ever actually be publicly known.

So the people of Brisbane don’t know, Councillor McLACHLAN, what we’re actually doing to do this. You can put out all the glossy brochures you like but that still isn’t communicating with people and taking them along the journey and to showing them how we’re actually going to be carbon neutral. So we of course support the policy of carbon neutrality.

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