RENEWABLE energy generation projects in the area have put the Tweed Shire Council in a strong to position to capitalise on the Federal Government's clean energy legislation.
Other councils around Australia have started to take notice of the work that the Tweed Shire Council has done.
Director of community and natural resources David Oxenham spoke at a meeting of the Australian Local Government Association in Canberra recently about the Tweed's response to the Federal Government's clean energy legislation.
Mr Oxenham said the Tweed was in a good position regarding the legislation, due largely to the installation of a gas capture and electricity generating facility at the Stotts Creek landfill site in 2002.
"This facility captures and burns approximately 600 tonnes of methane gas which is equivalent to 15,000 tonnes of carbon and the electricity generated from the facility is in the order of 3000 megawatt hours per year which is enough to power approximately 400 homes," Mr Oxenham said.
"This initiative has reduced council's carbon emissions from 35,000 to 17,000 tonnes per year which is below the Federal Government's tax threshold of 25,000 tonnes."
According to the council, the Stotts Creek facility is thought to be one of few landfill gas micro power stations in Australia and is expected to continue to operate for the next 20 years.
Carbon emissions from the site are expected to continue to drop following closure of the landfill and a gas capture facility is eventually planned for the proposed landfill site at Eviron.
Mr Oxenham also spoke of the Tweed's early involvement in the National Greenhouse Reporting Scheme which has provided an accurate assessment of the council's emissions profile and obligations.
"Very few councils have participated in this carbon accounting and reporting scheme and are unaware of their emissions and tax obligations under the new legislation," he said.
The assessment showed the Stotts Creek facility was by far the council's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, with the next highest facility, the Bray Park Waste Water Treatment Plant at 4050 tonnes and the vehicle fleet of more than 420 at 2970 tonnes.