Alternative transport helps our planet

More than 7,000 people turned out for Thuringowa City Council’s Better Earth Expo staged at its Riverway precinct in March. As the region’s biggest ever environmental expo, the event saw a host of fun activities, exhibitions and presentations for the whole family.

Thuringowa Mayor, Councillor Les Tyrell, said there were presentations and displays throughout the day covering gardening, farming, water conservation, climate change, recycling, the Great Barrier Reef, weather and more.

“For the littlies we had the Eco Activators, who performed three times throughout the day, helping children understand the effects of pollution, the environment and sustainable energy,” he said. “The Eco Activators are four energetic youths and their pet robot, united to harmonise human activity with the planet. Their motto is ‘sustainability through wisdom’. We also had Envirocrafts, where kids could join in craft activities.”

Visitors to the Expo were also encouraged to try a different method of transport and help the health of the environment and themselves at the same time. Transport accounts for 16 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse emissions and some 75 per cent of Australian motorists are concerned about how motor vehicle use is affecting the environment.

Thuringowa City Council’s Environment and Community Services Chairperson, Councillor Jenny Lane, said on average, each Australian car produces 4.3 tonnes of greenhouse gas a year.

“While some greenhouse emissions occur naturally, the rate which we are adding to them is unprecedented, changing the atmosphere’s composition and leading to climate change,” she said. “Fossil fuels – that is coal, oil and gas – produce carbon dioxide when we extract them from the ground and burn them to create energy. Damage to the delicate blankets of gas that make up our atmosphere will affect weather and rainfall, known as the greenhouse effect.”

Councillor Lane said on the day of the Expo, Council’s Sunbus transported people from the city to Riverway, and a river boat also took passengers from Riverway to Loam Island and return.

“Car pooling was encouraged and additional bike racks were available,” she said. “We also encouraged people who lived close enough to walk or ride.