East Fremantle First Town Council in Australia to Adopt a Wood Encouragement Policy
Author: David Rowlinson
The Town of East Fremantle in WA has become the first town or city council in Australia to adopt a Wood Encouragement Policy. A Wood Encouragement Policy generally requires responsibly sourced wood to be considered, where feasible, as the primary construction material in building and fit out projects.
At the October 2017 Council meeting, Council endorsed for adoption a Wood Encouragement Policy – Council to clearly articulate how the Town will encourage the use of wood in the construction and fit out of Council buildings and infrastructure. In addition, at the December 2017 Council meeting, Council also endorsed for adoption a Wood Encouragement Policy – General to encourage the increased use of responsibly sourced wood in the construction and fit out of new dwellings and additions and alterations of existing dwellings, where feasible, in the Town.
These policies require responsibly sourced wood to be considered as the primary construction material in building and fit outs of all council projects being undertaken within the Town and to encourage the use of wood in general dwelling development. Importantly, the policies do not in any way mandate the use of wood in council buildings or dwellings, only that wood is at least considered as a preferred choice of material for construction and fit out in council buildings or any development or redevelopment of a residential property.
Research has shown that trees provide environmental, health and amenity benefits in relation to solar and privacy screening, microclimate, carbon absorption, bird and animal habitat, air quality and visual attractiveness within a Local Government area. The use of wood as a construction material is also considered to have mutual environmental, health, ecological and sustainable benefits which provide urban design benefits for the local community.
Planet Ark has been delighted to support the Town of East Fremantle in the development of these policies, and recognises the undoubted environmental leadership that the Town of East Fremantle has shown in doing so.
Make it Wood Program Manager
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