Byron Bay ‘not so green
"CLEAN and green" Byron Shire Council is the third-highest greenhouse gas emitter behind Clarence Valley and Kyogle among 15 local government areas from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie, a new report reveals.
The figures, calculated on the basis of power usage, show that electricity use per capita was 11,280 in the Clarence, 10,266 in Kyogle and 9,093 in Byron during the past financial year.
The lowest energy users and greenhouse gas emitters were Kempsey residents on 5.8 tonnes per person.
The figures, contained in The Regional State of the Environment report 2012 released yesterday, was based on statistics provided by the primary energy provider in the region, Essential Energy.
It was calculated on total energy consumption by postcode which was apportioned to the relevant local government area.
Mullumbimby Community Action Network co-ordinator Deborah Lilly believes tourists using airconditioning and other energy-greedy appliances were likely to blame for Byron's high greenhouse gas emission figure as locals tended to be very environmentally conscious.
Our population is tripled by tourists. I suppose that's the price we pay, Ms Lilly said.
According to the report, the extreme rainfall and widespread flooding on the Northern Rivers in January 2012 caused water quality and river/estuary health issues due to the high nutri- ent and sediment loads that entered river systems during the floods.
"River systems do recover from floods, but reducing sediment and nutrient loads during flood events is possible with good land- management practices and adequate riparian vegetation," the report said.