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March 24, 2000

Brisbane City Council - Environmental Report Card 2000

The Brisbane City Council continues to be one of the leading councils in SEQ on environmental protection and repair. Smaller Councils such as Noosa and Ipswich however are advancing ahead of Brisbane on green issues

The BCC has faltered somewhat in its bushland protection measures(less VPO's & acquisitions) and natural environment program(staff cuts). The systematic assessment and protection of fauna populations is absent. Voluntary conservation programs such as VCA'a and Land For Wildlife programs while commendable need more resources to get the full benefits. Minimum subdivision sizes have been raised from 4ha to 10ha in some rural areas to try and protect environmental values . More modern mapping of nature conservation values, wetlands and regional ecosystems remain a priority. Its performance on overall wetlands protection and management, outside reserves, is poor.

The BCC has continued to slowly advance on issues regarding pollution (green licences) and catchment management issues. On energy conservation the energy efficiency measures have been incorporated into building codes and they have also done internal energy audits. Its catchment planning system and public involvement in City Wide Catchment Planning is to be commended. The BCC support for both BRMG and the SEQWQS is to its credit. It remains the only State or Local Authority to regularly issue State of The Environment Reports.

Public involvement and participation in council affairs has shrunk in some areas and grown in others. The BCC is still suspicious and manipulative of public involvement. The BCC has failed to fully participate in the RFGM process or to make the process transparent and accessible to citizens.

BCC like the State Government is still hoping to build its way out of traffic problems which wont work. BCC Air Quality strategy should have a similar public involvement strategy and research program to the SEQ Water Quality Strategy.

The BCC needs to far more open and accountable in its waste management systems and waste tracking. Trade and hazardous waste minimisation needs more priority. Promotion of recycling or reuse of waste products is occurring with biosolids and waste water but in the absence of transparent environmental impacts assessments. The BCC has an environmental levy to fix up old contaminated sites but there is little public disclosure of how the funds are spent.

Overall Ratings

* V Poor ** Poor *** Can do Better **** Good ***** Excellent

Bushland Issues ***

Waterway Issues ****

Wetlands **

Toxics/Waste Issues ***

Air Quality/Transport ***

Regional Issues **

Public Involvement ***

Transparency **

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