The federal government’s carbon tax, which passed through the Senate only recently, will come into effect on the 1st of July 2012. While everyday Australian families can expect an increase in their electricity bills, significant public concern has also been voiced over the effects the new legislation will have on not only local businesses but also the 565 Local Governments located throughout Australia.
These fears were echoed by Shadow Local Government Minister Barnaby Joyce. “Under the carbon tax, Local Governments will have to pay to turn on the street lights, they will have to pay to build a road and they will have to pay to take out the rubbish. All of these extra costs are being shifted onto them without any form of compensation or consideration by the Federal Government,” said Senator Joyce.
Whilst debate has been rife in recent times regarding the merits of a carbon tax on Australian soil, the fact of the matter is that the carbon tax will be here next year, whether we like it or not.
The challenge now for local governments is to embrace this change and view it as an opportunity to work cooperatively with local businesses in an effort to ensure industry, environmental, economic and residential needs are not adversely affected.
Changes to legislation always lends way to new opportunities and the Federal Government’s imposed tax will be no different.
With local governments already steadfastly working towards a target of zero net emissions by 2020, the latest tax will only accelerate the inevitable need to search for ‘green’ business partners and service providers who have the ability to offer innovative service solutions that will assist in operating a clean energy driven society.
Aware of the financial concerns facing local councils in the next three years, Citywide is an example of a company, which has prided itself on exploring and implementing ‘green’ solutions to assist councils in reducing their carbon footprint.
At the forefront of these innovations is Citywide’s environmentally friendly Greenpave asphalt, which when compared to normal lay asphalt produces 30% less fume emissions, 30% less greenhouse gases and can provide energy savings of up to 30%. Additionally, Citywide has trialled the economic feasibility of operating its fleet waste collection vehicles on an alternate fuel technology. Having also been the first company in Australia to utilise compressed natural gas (CNG) in its waste vehicles, the dual fuel trials have proven beneficial, with results concluding these vehicles emit less carbon fuel, operate at a lower exhaust temperature and improve fuel consumption.
In an effort to further aid councils in their ability to measure carbon emissions, Citywide has also investigated the integration of a carbon sequestion scheme, which will reside in its current TRAX asset management system.
Whilst the above products and innovations might not rid the world of greenhouse gases and the emission of carbon, they will contribute to creating a cleaner and more sustainable future for Australians.
Moving forward, the only certainty is that local governments and businesses alike will need to curb their behaviour and readjust their focus if they’re to continue being financially viable enterprises. Whether this is through questioning current practices, investigating alternative solutions or developing stronger relational ties between industry and government, the solutions to our problems are there... sometimes you just need to look beyond the dark clouds.
To find out how Citywide can assist your organisation in its quest to reduce carbon emissions, contact us at (03) 9261 5000.