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Climate Action Project Overview

Magnetic Island Community Development Association (MICDA) obtained a grant from the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF). The Community Climate Action Grant for Magnetic Island (Yunbenun) is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, as part of the Accelerator Grants: Community Climate Action for the Reef program. 

Out of the 11 grants available, MICDA was one community group on Magnetic Island to receive funding aimed at accelerating community climate action projects for the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.


These projects started in early 2024 and are due for completion by October 2025. For more information about the grant, please go to our Press Release.

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Zero Waste Strategy

What is the Zero Waste Strategy about?


Whilst the overall strategy is being created through community consultation, surveys, workshops etc., we will also work one-on-one with businesses to help them with waste reduction especially plastic reduction actions. The experiences and feedback from those business will inform and help create the strategy in a wider sense.


We will also continue to educate and involve residents in Zero Waste actions via our Zero Waste Magnetic Island group with markets stalls, website information, workshops and social media for hints and help.


Changing the way we do things takes time and motivation that comes from understanding the problem and the solutions available.


The strategy will conduct waste audits on the Island with the help of Council to find out:

  • How much waste we generate.

  • What sort of waste is it?

  • Look at ways to reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, return.

  • Who has it, who wants it?

  • What we can do better today, tomorrow, next week, next year and in 10 years?


That’s the transition of towards zero waste community.


Why is waste important to climate resilience?


For every tonne of organic waste that is land-filled (food, garden clippings, timber, paper and cardboard) when it breaks down it creates methane gas which is 21 x more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.


Landfills are finite, and expensive to build and manage.


Resources are also finite. We must stop the “take-make-waste” model and instead use the 1990s mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, return. These are our weapons in the ‘War on Waste’.


What to expect with our Zero Waste Strategy?


There will be a team of people working on this project over 15 months, looking in bins, asking questions and most importantly, listening.


We will conduct surveys, outreach face-to-face meetings, committees, and focus groups, seeking to understand what is important to Islanders. This is our island and our plan.


The strategy will contain short, medium and long term actions. Actions by business type, and households which aim to be more specific will also be contained in the strategy.  


The waste strategy development and any full implementation of the recommendations may require more investment in the future, as many solutions will require funding or business buy-in beyond the current funding. 


For example, Food and Garden Organic (FOGO) processing, and from the hospitality sector, food only collections. Organics such as food, paper, cardboard, food, timber and textiles are a key focus and priority due to the link to climate change. Reducing, re-use, recycle and repair of all wastes is equally a priority. 

Does your business need some FREE advice?

Visit the Climate Action Project Business page to see how you can have a more efficient, effective and sustainable business, with our FREE Business Advisors.

For more information on Zero Waste Magnetic Island visit their Facebook page,, or use the form at the bottom of this page.

Zero Waste Strategy

Brian Johnson (Wulgurukaba Traditional Owner) talks about the positive steps the Climate Action Project will have for Magnetic Island at the launch in May 2024.

Energy Strategy
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Energy Strategy

What is the Energy Strategy about?

Totally Renewable Magnetic (TRM) aims to increase solar generation on Magnetic Island and encourage electrification of all aspects of household and business operations using locally harvested solar energy.


This approach of electrifying everything to reduce carbon emissions is a strategy created by world renewable energy and sustainability expert, Saul Griffiths.


There are over 4.3mW of solar panels on Magnetic Island with more than 600kW having been added between May 2023 and May 2024, which is estimated to produce 25% of the Island’s electricity.


There is already a large community uptake of solar energy on the island, which can be built on to support plans for a solar powered island. 


Battery systems and microgrids might also allow Magnetic Island to transition to a more sustainable energy system. They allow sharing renewable energy and provide greater reliability in electricity supply, especially during peak holiday periods and extreme weather events.


Why is Energy action important to climate resilience?

Magnetic Island sources electricity from the mainland grid which is largely fossil fuel powered and equates to 76% of the island's total carbon emissions.


Electricity consumption is the source of most of the Island’s total carbon emissions.

See: Magnetic Island Decarbonisation of Great Barrier Reef Islands Whole of Community Pilot Project Dec 2020

Magnetic Island is supplied by two underwater cables with its electricity predominantly supplied from the national electricity market. The annual use of electricity is 62,798GJ (29,515GJ residential and 33,283GJ non-residential). Overhead cables are susceptible to cyclone damage.


Extreme weather events often result in power outages around Magnetic Island, sometimes that go on for many days.


Cyclone Kirrily on Australia Day 2024 was a Category 2 cyclone that impacted Magnetic Island and resulted in around 4 days of power outages around the island. The cyclone was followed by a heat wave which caused a great deal of stress, heat exhaustion, and impacted on food and fuel supplies on the Island.


Having alternative energy sources such as solar powered battery backups could reduce that impact.


What to expect from our Energy Strategy?

  • Action to help businesses and households on the Island to become more energy efficient, more resilient in cases of power outages, and powered by solar and renewable energy sources.

  • Commissioning a feasibility study into creating a micro grid in a village on Magnetic Island on a trial basis, and once that study has been completed, to seek funding for the construction of a micro grid for a group of households/and or businesses.


What to expect for business owners or operators on Magnetic Island?

We recognize climate action for businesses need to have a financial focus and be made as easy as possible for busy business owners. 


This strategy will focus on businesses on Magnetic Island as they generate the most greenhouse gas emissions in terms of energy, and a large amount of waste which also adds to GHG emissions.

Does your business need some FREE advice?

Visit the Climate Action Project Business page to see how you can have a more efficient, effective and sustainable business, with our FREE Business Advisors.

For more information on Totally Renewable Magnetic (TRM) visit their Facebook page, or use the form at the bottom of this page.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Where are we at?

So we can work out where we want to go with our Climate Action Strategy, we need to know where we are right now.

What is our community doing right now?

To help us to become more sustainable, Zero Waste Magnetic Island and Totally Renewable Magnetic (TRM) are keen to know your thoughts about Magnetic Island’s waste generation and energy use.

Please help us by taking a few minutes to share your views. THE SURVEY should take no longer than 5 minutes.


This Survey deadline is 30 June 2024.

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Climate Action Contact Form

What happens next?

We will be holding events like workshops, information sessions etc., and conducting surveys, from time to time. Please like the MICDA Facebook page to stay up to date, and see the News page.

If you would like to become involved, or for more information, please complete the form below, or contact the Advisors directly below this form:

I would like more information

Thanks for getting in touch.

Email inquiries


Resident Zero Waste Solutions:

Aniko Papp


Business Zero Waste Solutions:

Adriana Labante



Resident Energy Solutions:
Joe Niven


Business Energy Solutions:
Stephen Rodan


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The Community Climate Action Project for Magnetic Island (Yunbenun) is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.


Visit our Facebook page to stay up to date!

Our Partners:

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