City of Victor Harbor committed to offsetting carbon emissions

CARBON: Including the event's production travel and production power, the Victor Harbor-based event is estimated to produce around 690kg of carbon emissions.
CARBON: Including the event's production travel and production power, the Victor Harbor-based event is estimated to produce around 690kg of carbon emissions.

The City of Victor Harbor has committed to offsetting carbon emissions, after a report highlighted the impact that New Year's Eve fireworks displays have on the environment.

Howard and Sons Pyrotechnics, who produced the report, estimated that the average community fireworks display produces 41.5kg of carbon emissions.

When compared with the two fireworks shows conducted at the Causeway Plaza and Warland Reserve, it was found that carbon emissions resulting from the display produced 53.95kg.

The event comprises a five-minute children's fireworks display earlier in the evening, while an eight-minute midnight fireworks display is released from the Causeway at midnight.

Including the event's production travel and production power, the Victor Harbor-based event is estimated to produce around 690kg of carbon emissions.

The desire to investigate more environmental alternatives for the local celebrations was first brought to council's attention in March last year by councillor Marilyn Henderson.

A report was presented to the City Activation and Strategic Planning Advisory Committee meeting on April 6 this year.

During its November meeting, council recommended that it pay into an accredited South Australian carbon offset project, however, many councillors believed more could be done.

According to council, various approved carbon offset projects attract a cost of approximately $27 per tonne of carbon emissions.

Cr Carol Schofield said the cost associated with the offset projects "doesn't really do much at all", and suggested that council look at tree planting initiatives.

"It's (the report) exceptional, it's really great - I do feel that if we were really serious, $27 given to a centre to offset carbon doesn't really do much at all," Cr Schofield said.

"There are grants through the Landscape Board - we could pick a couple of thousand to cover planting quite a few trees."

Cr Schofield said a tree planting initiative could allow for students to learn about carbon emissions.

"To involve the school children would be absolutely fantastic," Cr Schofield said.

"They would be able to learn that if they want to see nice things like fireworks, there is something that we have to give in return, and that is simple as planting a tree.

"If everyone in Victor Harbor had one or two trees in their garden then we would be creating a fantastic environment for future generations."

The desire to see more trees planted across the region was also backed by Cr Andrew Robertson, who also praised the fireworks industry for being proactive and finding ways to cut down emissions.

"It is amazing that the extent to which the fireworks industry has come in the last few years in terms of the amount of which they've really cut down on the amount of greenhouse gases and other side effects that come from fireworks," Cr Robertson said.

Cr Robertson explained that community groups, such as Goolwa Coastcare and Rotary Clubs, could be engaged with the tree planting aspect, as they already undertake similar projects.

In 2019, council joined a growing number of councils declaring a climate emergency, recognising that the community is facing increased threat from the changes of global warming.

Climate Agenda 2030 is council's first local climate change action plan that responds to both the Climate Emergency Declaration and regional adaptation planning.

Support measures to reduce Victor Harbor's emissions will be considered as part of the Climate Agenda 2030 plan.