Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Despi O’Connor has cleared the air on suggestions the Shire is moving to phase out the use of natural gas in our homes.
Some media outlets carried reports of such a move in the wake of a planning services committee meeting on Tuesday night at which the Shire “resolved to join other councils on the Council for Alliance of Sustainable Built Environment project to advance environmentally sustainable development planning policy in Victoria to achieve net zero carbon and climate resilience development”. 3AW ran its online report under the headline ‘Council votes in favour of phasing out gas on the Mornington Peninsula’; the Herald Sun’s online report carried the headline ‘Peninsula plan to phase out gas cooking and heating’.
But in a statement today, Cr O’Connor said: “Contrary to some misunderstanding in the community, Tuesday night’s resolution did not see council vote to phase out natural gas from homes, but rather to keep pursuing alternatives to finite resources such as gas to achieve economic and environmental benefits for the community.
“This is another major step that supports our climate emergency plan,” Cr O’Connor said of Tuesday’s resolution. “This plan was adopted in the last council term and supports calls from our community to take action against climate change. The plan also requires new council builds to be fitted with electrical appliances powered by renewables and looks to transition our community to renewable energy – not buying it or subsidising it for them but advocating on their behalf. It also supports the facilitation of competitive offers to encourage community uptake of solar panels, and electrical equipment to replace gas appliances, if they choose that path.”
Zero-carbon developments are new buildings that have no net carbon emissions. They are typically designed and built to be highly energy-efficient and to not use gas or coal-fired electricity through a combination of rooftop solar and buying off-site renewable energy.
This project is supported by the Municipal Association of Victoria and driven by CASBE, the City of Moreland and the City of Yarra. It builds on previous work by CASBE and several councils over the past decade to raise environmental standards in public and private built form.
You can read the Shire’s climate emergency plan online.