Council’s commitment to environmental sustainability is embedded through everything we do through our strategic documents and daily practices.
Council’s Corporate Plan provides a medium-term organisational direction describing our priorities for the future. It sets a clear vision and objectives for the Shire, in consultation with the community, and outlines how these will be delivered. Council’s Corporate Plan is used to drive the development of the annual Budget and Operational Plan.
Managing the rate, extent and impacts of change to the built environment is important to preserving the unique appeal of the Douglas Shire.
Through the implementation of sound planning policies and strategies reflected in updated key documents including the Douglas Shire Planning Scheme, and the Daintree Gateway Masterplan and through transparent, considered decision making, Council will contribute to the economic and social development of the Shire.
Council has committed to demonstrate leadership by local government in our diverse communities by implementing responsible environmental practices.
With eighty-two per cent of the Shire included in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, the preservation of the natural environment will be supported by the implementation of location-specific management plans.
Council will also adopt measures to reduce consumption, more effectively managing waste, and will achieve a reduction in energy and fuel consumption through greater efficiencies in service delivery.
In line with the strategic goals of the Corporate Plan, the annual Operational Plan offers a steady and sustainable framework to achieve continual and responsible improvements in the quality of Council services delivered and operational efficiencies including in the areas of environmental improvement and sustainability.
Australia has the highest average solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world but is lagging behind countries like Germany and China in utilising this renewable and climate-friendly energy source.
There is massive potential in north Queensland to turn our large buildings into power stations, not only benefitting the environment but creating local jobs and delivering clean and reliable energy at the lowest possible cost.
As the first initiative of our Green Buildings Program, Council installed a roof-top solar photovoltaic array at our Mossman Admin Building. Council’s array:
- Contains 120 microinverters;
- Began electricity production on 21 August 2014;
- Produced 3,947 kilowatt hours of electricity in January 2015 or enough power to light the Eiffel Tower for 19 hours.
- In February 2015 produced 3661 kilowatt hours: enough to charge the average mobile phone for 113.6 years.
- From going online to March 2015 has produced 28.1 megawatt hours of power with the carbon offset of the equivalent of planting 508 trees.
You can check the daily performance of Council’s solar array by clicking HERE.
a Live Link to Enphase Energy Enlighten Public View of how other residential and commercial solar arrays are performing in the area is available by clicking HERE.
Douglas Shire Council has installed solar hot-water systems at the Mossman Showgrounds and SES shed.
As part of routine replacement or upgrades to flood-lighting at depots or public buildings Council is committed to choosing more energy efficient and environmentally friendly options of LED or solar lighting. Here’s some examples of how we are trying to achieve this:
- Flood-lights on depots and public buildings are being changed over to LEDs.
- Lights within Council buildings are being changed over from dual fluorescent tubes to single tubes with increased reflectors: halving costs while maintaining lighting strength.
Council will be trialling fully self-contained All-in-one Solar LED path/area lights for the BBQ tables on Four Mile Esplanade which offers these benefits:
- Clever design regulates light output to maximise battery charge.
- A light sensor prevents operation during daylight, saving battery power.
- A built in motion detector allows the light to change from dim mode (30%) to bright mode (100%) upon movement; saving battery charge and providing light only when needed.
- Zero running costs.
Not only will this reduce the carbon footprint of Douglas but saves ratepayers money on lighting where installing wiring would be costly or impractical.
Variable speed pool pumps
Pool pumps consume a great deal of energy, especially in a commercial setting like the Mossman Leisure Centre where the Queensland health guidelines recommend a change of water four times a day (every six hours).
By installing a Variable Speed Devise onto the 15kW 3 phase swimming pool pump, Council has been able to save energy, reduce maintenance costs and increase our environmental sustainability.
The VSD allows us to set a timer control which varies the pump speed according to bather load such that, during times of maximum pool use the pump runs at maximum speed and then winds back to a lower set speed during periods of light usage.
With changes to tariffs and the removal of the carbon price businesses and households can benefit from checking that they are paying the tariff which best suits their electricity usage.
Ergon undertook a review of Council’s tariffs by comparing usage on each of Council’s bills for a 12 month period and recommended changes were beneficial.
Air-conditioning and ventilation systems constitute a large part of the energy bill of any commercial building.
To improve efficiency and keep down electricity costs, Council has retro-fitted ultraviolet decontamination systems to the ducted air-conditioning of our largest buildings: the Council Chambers, Mossman Library and Port Douglas Community Hall.
During normal usage, presence of moisture promotes the growth of mould and bacteria on ventilating and air-conditioning evaporator coils, drain pans and ducts. This biological fouling acts as an insulator, increasing resistance to air flow and decreasing heat transfer.
Biofilm is a key contributor to decreased system capacity as fans have to run longer to maintain the building at a desired temperature. Even a slight increase in fan motor run time can significantly increase energy use.
A high-output, Ultraviolet (UVC) light-source emitter directed at a cooling coil or drain pan destroys surface biofilm and airborne microorganisms before they circulate through the ventilation ducts. Removal of a .024-inch layer of biofilm can reduce energy usage by as much as 21 per cent.
UVC also improves air quality by destroying airborne viruses and bacteria that circulate through a ventilation system, and reduces system maintenance costs by eliminating the need for chemical cleaning or pressure washing of any size coil.
The surface cleaning effects of UV light helps restore older systems to efficient operation and maintains new systems at design efficiency, while protecting system components against the acids that are emitted from the biofilm and the corrosive effects of chemical coil cleaning.
Provision of recycling collection points for staff and public to recycle mobile phones, devices and accessories:
- Mossman Administration Building – 64-66 Front St, Mossman.
- Mossman Library – 14 Mill St, Mossman.
- Port Douglas Library Kiosk – Port Douglas Community Hub, 13-29 Mowbray St, Port Douglas.
For more tips on how to recycle, visit Council’s Recycling Frequently Asked Questions page.