By Zero Emissions Noosa
Zero Emissions Noosa (ZEN) has been tracking how different postcode localities are moving towards the goal of zero community emissions for Noosa by 2026, and this week we focus on the village of Cooran which makes up postcode 4569.
The name Cooran is derived from the Kabi Kabi word meaning “tall” or “high up” and is also a name they give to the Moreton Bay Ash tree.
ZEN met up with Avid Marshall, president of the Cooran Hall Committee, to find out more about the town. Avid told us the hall is the oldest in the Noosa Shire, being built in 1906, with the first meeting of the Noosa Council being held there in 1910. Whilst the official name is the Cooran Memorial School of Arts, Avid likes to refer to it as “School of Hearts”. He says that best describes the hall being the vibrant hub of the eclectic, inclusive community, featuring live music and theatre events, private functions, workshops, classes, community gatherings and more.
Avid’s particularly passionate about the Cooran Acoustic Nights, which are held every six weeks, and have been running continuously for 32 years, apart from a COVID enforced break last year. “It’s an institution, a supportive environment where we have a range of performers, from seasoned professionals all the way through to people who are getting up on stage for the first time.”
Avid’s also proud of the hall’s solar system and energy efficiency improvements. The grant-funded solar system has been running for 10 years and they’ve never paid an electricity bill since, even though they now have air conditioning. All the lighting’s been switched to LED, and Avid’s pride and joy is the recently installed state of the art LED stage lighting.
We also met with the folks from Cooran Earth Rights who are dedicated to protecting the local environment. Their crowning achievement has been the extinction of the coal and gas exploration lease following their amazing door-to-door survey, which found 98% of locals wanted Cooran to be free from coal and gas field exploration. Noosa Council followed up with a similar declaration for the shire, and with local member Sandy Bolton’s advocacy, the State Government decided not to renew the exploration permit. The group’s still active, last meeting chatting about the proposed bike path to Pomona, quarry traffic, green thumbs, community groups, plans to grow and networking within the community.
Spokesperson Ann Gardiner proudly told us, “Cooran is currently generating 46% of its electricity from renewables. 56% of homes have rooftop solar and 42% of businesses. This is reducing our CO2 emissions and making Cooran a cleaner and greener place to live. Living in one of the sunniest parts of the world it makes sense to generate as much solar power as we can. It saves the consumer money and saves the planet emissions. Well done Cooran – if we can keep up the steady pace of solar installations we will be on track to be Zero Community Emissions by 2026.”
Fellow Cooran Earth Rights member and local resident, June Norman, is equally passionate, telling us, “I installed solar on my home nearly two years ago. Whilst it has reduced my power bill significantly, my motivation is to reduce my carbon footprint so that I lessen my great grandchildren’s adverse experience of climate change. By my calculations the solar installation will pay for itself within four years. I’m very proud that Cooran is leading the Noosa region with the uptake of renewable energy.”
Use your favourite search engine to find more about Cooran Acoustic Nights, the Cooran Hall and Cooran Earth Rights.
Further details can be found at zeroemissionsnoosa.com.au/4569
Next time we’ll look at postcode 4571, which covers Como and Kin Kin.