GRIFFITH City Council is going green.
With 91 council-owned vehicles on the road, the organisation has taken the environmentally responsible step of resolving to purchase low-emission cars.
Light commercial vehicles with a "green rating" of 5.5 out of 10, or better, will be purchased "where possible".
Council will also aim to keep lease-back vehicles below the 5.5 rating but the ultimate decision on vehicle type will be left to staff, who pay a fee for the use of their vehicle each week.
The new policy was triggered by a request from councillor Bill Lancaster last year to investigate the advantages of energy-efficient cars for council use.
"We're only moving in very small steps but we are moving in the right direction," Cr Lancaster said after the policy was unanimously approved last week.
"It's a matter of raising awareness and helping to push the issue of low emissions.
"You can't expect a complete change all of a sudden, especially when you're looking at technology that is changing all the time, and council does need to have vehicles that serve their purpose.
"I just think we should be careful not to buy powerful V8 engines, for example, when there's no need for it."
The minimum green rating will be reviewed every 12 months, with a view to raising it as improved technology is developed.
Council's fleet comprises 28 lease-back vehicles, seven cars that allow private use, 51 commuter-use vehicles and five depot vehicles.
Local environmentalist Bill Moller was pleased to see council taking early steps towards an earth-friendly existence but said it could be doing a lot more.
"We need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and this is a good way to start," Mr Moller said.
"Council does need to do more to address environmental concerns, starting with improvements in garbage recycling.
"The town collection gives us a bit to go on but there is really nowhere for other people to dispose of materials around town or to dispose of large quantities.
"For example, there's nowhere to dump plastic bottles, so they just go into landfill."
Council has already implemented some measures to reduce its environmental footprint, including replacing the city's streetlight globes with low-energy bulbs.
It is also investigating installing a co-generational unit to heat the pool at the leisure centre.
Cr Lancaster said council should always be on the lookout for more ways to be environmentally friendly.
"We should be encouraging staff to use bicycles or walk and we should be getting behind more community projects with environmental pursuits in mind," he said.