Everything from backyard worm farms to global initiatives were discussed when Ipswich residents were asked to share what sustainability means to them.
Between November 2019 and early February, more than 200 people gave their views via council’s new community engagement tool, Shape Your Ipswich, or at face-to-face sessions across the city.
Infrastructure and Environment General Manager Charlie Dill said the feedback would be used to help guide public campaigns and events as well as a Sustainability Policy to provide strategic direction for council and the City of Ipswich.
“Council’s vision is for an environmentally resilient, economically prosperous and sustainable city that meets the needs of a diverse and growing population now and into the future,” he said.
“To achieve this we need to develop a clear understanding of the community’s thoughts and priorities around sustainability, which is why the recent engagement program was important.
“While there was incredible diversity in the community’s views and ideas, it was also interesting to note a level of consistency in responses, and particular key themes still came through.”
Council workers at one of the face-to-face Sustainable Ipswich survey points.
Waste and recycling was one of the dominant themes. Almost all participants said they sorted recycling at home. However many wanted more glass recycling facilities, council waste services and for businesses to do more such as reducing single use plastic.
Water and energy resources were also highlighted. There was a strong desire for more renewable energy and water efficiency – for both households and the city – but also feedback that cost was a major barrier.
Planting more urban trees and protecting ecosystems rated highly. People were also keen to be more sustainable with food, from backyard composting to accessing community gardens and fresh food markets with local produce.
“It was encouraging to see that people’s thoughts on sustainability resonates with some of the concepts behind council’s draft policy principles, such as making sure we consider the impact on future generations,” Mr Dill said.
Follow the Sustainable Ipswich project on shapeyouripswich.com.au for the release of the Sustainability Policy and announcements about how you can participate in the public campaign and events.