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Your environmental levy at work

Byron Shire Council received approval in June 2008 from the NSW State Government to apply a special rate variation of 2% for the purposes of an environmental levy.  This levy supports the implementation of Council's biodiversity, sustainability and coastal and estuary programs.

A five year works program and budget was approved by Council in July 2008, allocating the levy to priority actions for each program.  These actions have been identified from the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, Greenhouse Action Strategy and Coastal and Estuary Management Plans.

At 26 June 2014 Extraordinary meeting, Council resolved to adopt the following Terms of Reference for the Environmental Levy: 

1. The Environmental Levy will fund staff, priority actions and projects consistent with:

    • The Byron Shire Greenhouse Action Strategy (to be replaced by Byron Shire Low Carbon Strategy)
    • Biodiversity Conservation Strategy
    • Roadside Vegetation Management Plan
    • Those actions from the Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMP) and Estuary Plans that are consistent with the objectives of the above strategies. 

2. That the Terms of Reference form the basis of a draft Environmental Levy Implementation Policy for Council’s consideration.

As also resolved by Council, an additional purpose of the Biodiversity and Sustainability Advisory Committee regarding the Environmental Levy will be to:

    • Advise Council on matters to be considered for funding from the Environmental Levy each year.
    • Quarterly, review the projects funded by the Environmental Levy, following advice provided by Council Staff.
    • Advise Council on both allocation and expenditure of funds consistent with environmental levy Terms of Reference ie. by reviewing a draft budget each year and providing advice on priorities for expenditure and monitoring environmental outcomes of levy projects.

Table: Actions and current status of environmental levy programs

ActionStatus
Bush Regeneration Team
  • The team is actively regenerating more than 35 sites of Council managed land throughout the Shire. ...more
Coastal Zone and Estuary Management Plans
  • Funding has been allocated to mapping the June 2009 coastal erosion escarpment and ground-truthing the proximity of beach front development for risk management purposes
  • Funding has been allocated to undertaking a project on the history of coastal storms in the Byron Shire
  • Funding has been allocated to completing a modelling project on the impacts of erosion protection structures and works on the Byron Bay embayment
  • Funding has been allocated to completing a Review of Environmental Factors on the proposed trial beach scraping episode at New Brighton Beach
  • Funding has been allocated to the Risk Analysis of Erosion Protection Structures in the Byron Bay Embayment
  • Funding has been allocated to the Byron Shire Coastline Hazard Study Update
  • Funding is allocated to the Coastal Hazard Management Study and Coastal Zone Management Plan Byron Bay Embayment 
Coastal Officer
Sustainability Officer
  • Funding for Council's Sustainability Officer is funded by this item of the works program
  • Key projects include Sustainability E-Newsletter, Sustainable Streets Program, Food Security Programs, Greenhouse Action Strategy, Energy and Water Rebate Promotion, Community Gardens, Sustainable Procurement  ...more
Greenhouse Action Strategy
  • Establishment of Revolving Energy Fund, Renewable Energy Resources Study, Solar Photovoltaic Installations, Energy Meters in Shire Libraries, Renewable Energy Initiatives, Emissions Inventory, Climate Change Adaptation Study and Rebate Promotion.
Community Infrastructure Maintenance Program
  • Funding allocated to management of community infrastructure or areas where works result in positive biodiversity benefits.  This funding is primarily allocated to the implementation of Council's Roadside Vegetation Management Plan
Feral Animal Trapping
Threatened Species database
  • A user friendly database for recording sightings of all flora and fauna has been completed
  • Data entered will automatically update the information available to staff including for development assessment, planning, works and maintenance

Logo background

The 'Greenprint for a Sustainable Future' logo and watermark was originally created for the Byron Rural Strategy in 1998. Since then, the logo has been used for various environmental initiatives and was most recently altered to be incorporated as an environmental levy logo.

In modernising the logo to reflect current Council initiatives and work programs, the logo's colour has been changed from the original black on white composition to a khaki green.  The change of colour symbolises Council's move towards a greener, more sustainable Byron Shire and features the iconic Mt Chincogan landscape.

As a development of the 'greenprint' watermark, the taglines 'Your Environmental Levy at Work' and 'This project is a Byron Shire Council Environmental Levy Initiative' has been added. The tagline specifically identifies the projects and initiatives as being funded by the Environmental Levy.