Council leading green charge

TWEED Shire Council's car fleet has gone green - with petrol-guzzling large cars being mostly replaced by smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles over the past three years.

The move is estimated to have saved the council more than a quarter of a million dollars and about 97,000 litres of fuel each year.

A report to councillors claims that since the policy on buying cars was changed in 2006 to introduce smaller vehicles into the fleet and make small cars the standard vehicles for most council purposes, the shape of the fleet has changed dramatically.

Large cars, which formerly accounted for 94 per cent of the fleet now account for just one per cent, and small vehicles are up from six per cent to 64 per cent

Medium-sized vehicles continue to make up 31 per cent of the fleet.

The council estimates the changes have also reduced the carbon dioxide emissions of its fleet by 120 tonnes.

The report on the council's green reform of its vehicle fleet comes just days after the NSW Greens party condemned the council as the worst in the state on environmental matters.

A council spokesperson said yesterday the Tweed excelled with green initiatives.

For example, she said more than half the households in the shire had taken advantage of a council-backed program providing free energy-efficient light globes, showerheads, cistern weights for single flush toilets and an aerator for kitchen sink taps to reduce annual water consumption by 827 million litres and greenhouse gas emissions by 15,308 tonnes.

The council also had seven pushbikes for staff transport for short journeys and 38,500 copies of its newsletter the Tweed Link were printed on 100 per cent recycled paper each week.

She said methane harvesting at the Stotts Creek rubbish tip generates enough electricity to power approximately 400 homes and reduces local CO2 emissions by about 10,000 tonnes each year, equivalent to taking 2000 cars off the road.

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