Council continues to back the Great Barrier Reef

SINCE 2009, the Bundaberg Regional Council has been part of the Reef Guardian Council initiative to recognise and promote the important role of local government in helping to protect and conserve the Great Barrier Reef for future generations.

The program was established by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to recognise and showcase environmentally sustainable practices undertaken by councils in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

As a Reef Guardian, the council has pledged its commitment to endorsing an annual action plan and this year, the focus is on specific activities to increase water quality.

Council's Environment and Natural Resources Spokesman Danny Rowleson said activities included efforts to increase effluent re-use on farms.

"At present about one third of the effluent from the Millbank wastewater treatment plant is used on nearby sugar cane farms. Our 15/16 action plan includes a commitment to investigate the potential to increase this," Cr Rowleson said.

"A Reef Guardian Schools program has also been created to involve school children in education campaigns to ensure people of all ages can learn about conservation.

"Our key recycling campaign, which features 'Reggie the Regenerator' will be expanded to include additional turtle mascots from Reggie's family. While people would probably be familiar with Reggie's catchphrase 'Remember its rubbish if you don't recycle', we're hoping to include additional slogans with slightly different messages, depending on the target audience."

Other initiatives of the action plan include the installation of gross pollutant traps at Baldwin Swamp to collect floating rubbish in low flow situations. Council will also consider a gas flaring system at the waste transfer station on University Drive to collect methane gas produced from decomposing waste and convert it to electricity.

Methane is a greenhouse gas, so its collection would reduce the amount of atmospheric pollution.

The emphasis on conservation allows the council to tender for Federal Government work that it was not previously eligible for.

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