The Sunshine Coast Environment Council, (SCEC), the peak environmental advocacy organisation for the region for the past forty years, is calling for action from all candidates contesting the local government election to demonstrate genuine commitment to achieving ecological sustainability in the next term.
SCEC has identified key priorities for the Sunshine Coast region over the next four years;
- Stronger collaboration between local government authorities and community
- Acceleration of the ‘just transition’ to renewable energy sources
- Increased commitment to preserve native vegetation, create and expand wildlife corridors and protect vital land and sea habitat
- Greater effort and strategic investment to protect and restore coastal ecosystems, wetlands and waterways
- Enhanced industry, community and business education programs on sustainability and the ‘green economy’
- Coordinated and urgent actions to address climate change impacts
“The Sunshine Coast and Noosa regions boast some of Australia’s most spectacular natural assets and biodiversity but face enormous pressure from climate change, exponential population growth, and increasing cumulative impacts from inappropriate development and loss of habitat and green space.” Said SCEC spokesperson Narelle McCarthy
“While there has been obvious effort from current local councils to acknowledge and address the gravity of climate change, and to restore and enhance rivers and landscapes, threats to ecological sustainability don’t recognise local government boundaries.”
“Coordinated and adequately funded efforts involving all levels of government, industry, academia and community are necessary to support the resilience of the natural environment which, in turn, underpins the resilience and liveability of the region’s communities”.
Over the past four decades, SCEC and many other organisations have campaigned for the protection of the region’s magnificent environment with each decade presenting its challenges, threats and opportunities. This rich conservation legacy includes much of the valued scenic and natural amenity the region is known for in the form of National Parks and coastal areas that would otherwise have been lost to rampant and short-sighted development.
As it celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, SCEC continues to call for more effective land use and environmental protection laws, stronger efforts to conserve threatened species and habitats, increased promotion of renewable sources of energy and greater recognition of the region’s First Nations peoples as the original custodians and exponents of ecological sustainability.
“Growing pressures make this is a pivotal election. It is a critical time where the future of the region’s environment, communities and its liveability will be tested.”
“Local government is the level of government closest to the people. Councillors must focus on improving the balance between human activity, and the natural environment to preserve the region’s unique natural and cultural heritage for future generations in an open, objective and collaborative manner.” Ms McCarthy concluded
Media contact: Narelle McCarthy 0424 465 487