Council's Smart Initiatives
The Launceston City Council is making changes across the organisation at all of our facilities to reduce the consumption of resources.
1. Inveresk Green Precinct Project
The Inveresk Precinct has been transformed into a centre for sustainability, with energy and water efficiency measures implemented throughout the Precinct.
The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) and Aurora Stadium have been upgraded with energy and water efficiency innovations as part of the Green Precinct project. The Federal Government partially funded the work which was aimed to reduce energy and water consumption at the facilities and also to encourage the public to carry out similar work.
The outcomes have been very successful with QVMAG energy consumption reduced by 27% and Aurora Stadium by 15%. Water harvesting and storage at Aurora Stadium is expected to deliver a 15% reduction on water use. The project demonstrates how cost effective changes can be made to large facilities to reduce operating costs as well as improving the service of the facilities.
Greening Inveresk public report (PDF 4.2MB)
2. Waste Management
The Council recently carried out a review to determine resources recovery opportunities at the Launceston Waste Centre. The scope of the review included identifying reusing, recycling or waste minimisation options that are best practice in an Australian context, to assist Council in achieving 90% diversion of waste from landfill. The review also gave consideration to maximising local job creation; maximising local business / industry growth and development and maximising environmental gains.
This review will be used to assist with the development of Council's Waste Management Strategy.
3. Landfill Gas to Energy
Rubbish in the Council's landfill takes around 20 to 30 years to decompose and during this time it releases methane, a greenhouse gas. Methane from the Launceston Waste Centre landfill is collected through a series of pipes and fed into two 1 megawatt generators to develop electricity. This electricity feeds into the state power network as renewable energy.
At the moment enough electricity is produced to power 2,000 homes for the next 20 years. The Council generates around $120,000 per year from electricity sales.
4.The Parking and Sustainable Transport Strategy
The FREE Tiger Bus is one of the key initiatives identified in the Council's Parking and Sustainable Transport Strategy. The FREE Tiger Bus is provided to the community as a free service for commuters and shoppers to the Central Business District (CBD).The objectives of this service are to:
- Minimise commuter parking in the CBD
- Increase the number of visitors to the CBD
- Provide an inexpensive parking option for visitors to the CBD
The FREE Tiger Bus provides a handy and free means for commuters to move around the city centre without having to take their car.
Another initiative completed has been the creation of 59 free motorcycle/scooter parking spaces in the city centre.
5. Smart software to save energy
The Council has installed some clever software which shuts down computers throughout all council offices at a predetermined time and then starts them in the morning so they are "ready to go". This means computers are not left on all night or on weekends. This is expected to save a considerable amount of energy across our fleet of PCs.
A computer that is not shut down and turned off completely at the end of the day continues to use power throughout the night including weekends. It is estimated that this software will save about 50,000 kWh or $10,000 in energy cost each year.
6. Town Hall lighting
The office lighting in the Town Hall has been changed to more efficient LED (light emitting diode) to save power and improve light levels. The standard 36 watt fluorescent light used in the offices has been changed to a 22 watt LED. The new LED lights put out the same light levels but use much less power. Down lights and external flood lights have also been changed to LED using a fraction of the power.
The new LED lights will also reduce maintenance costs as they will last for around ten years in comparison to the old lights which lasted for only two years.
7. Paterson St West Car Park lighting
The Paterson St West Car Park recently had all the old fluorescent lights removed and replaced with new efficient LED tubes. The lights in the car park are on for up to 18 hours a day so the use of efficient lights is very cost effective and will save over $10,000 per year.
8. Climate Change Risk Assessment
Local councils provide a variety of services that are fundamental to local communities and as such are ideally placed to provide a co-ordinated response to changes in the regional climate. The Council has carried out a climate change risk assessment and formulated an adaptation plan to better prepare for any consequences of climate change. The specific objectives of the work were to:
- Identify and prioritise risks that climate change impacts pose to the operations and responsibilities of Council
- Develop strategies to manage related risks, adaptive actions and building resilience within communities
- Identify where knowledge gaps may be and further investigation is needed.
The latest climate modelling for northern Tasmania was used along with the assistance of external experts and key Council employees. In addition lessons learnt from other Australian councils were taken into account. The process will be repeated periodically as new climate data becomes available and as the Council becomes more familiar with changes to the regional climate.
For more information on any of the above areas, please call Jim Taylor, Sustainability Officer on 03 6323 3006 or by email.