The Sydney Coastal Councils Group Inc. (SCCG) was established in 1989 to promote co-ordination between Member Councils on environmental issues relating to the sustainable management of the urban coastal environment. The Group consists of 15 Councils adjacent to Sydney marine and estuarine environments and associated waterways, and represents over 1.4 million Sydneysiders.
POLICY AND LAW REFORM
Managing the wastewater system in wet weather
Sydney Water is proposing a new regulation to better manage the wastewater system in wet weather. Input is being sought from customers, councils, community and environmental groups, and scientists on improvements to the system. A series of workshops are being facilitated from June to August and individuals are invited to join an online discussion forum. Based on consultation feedback, Sydney Water will submit a proposal on the new regulation to the EPA for their approval in December this year.
For more information, click here.
Changes to the Fisheries Management Act
The NSW Department of Primary Industries is consulting publicly on proposed changes to the Fisheries Management Act 1994. Amongst other things, the changes include:
Submissions on the proposed changes can be made online until 26 June 2015. For more information, click here.
Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Estate Assessment
The Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA) is undertaking an assessment in the Hawkesbury Shelf Marine bioregion to inform improved management activities, with the aim of enhancing marine biodiversity. The study area extends from Newcastle to Shellharbour and includes coastal waters and numerous important estuaries such as Lake Macquarie, Tuggerah Lakes, Brisbane Water, Hawkesbury River, Sydney Harbour, Broken Bay, Botany Bay, Port Hacking and Lake Illawarra. MEMA is consulting with the general public, key stakeholders and relevant NSW Government agencies as part of the study. Following the current information collection and collation phase, a full threat and risk assessment will be done under the guidance of MEMA’s Expert Knowledge Panel. This will inform management options to address the highest priority risks. For more information, click here.
Inquiry into charitable status of environmental organisations
The Australian Government’s Standing Committee on the Environment is now considering submissions to its inquiry into the Register of Environmental Organisations. The inquiry is assessing whether environmental organisations focus on ‘on-ground’ activities or political advocacy and whether they should retain deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. An estimated $90 million is returned to individuals for donations to environment groups, compared to approximately $1.6 billion associated with churches, large welfare charities and aid agencies. In submissions made so far, legal academics have raised concerns that restricting the DGR status for environmental organisations that engage in political advocacy may impact freedom of speech and be subject to a High Court challenge. For more information, click here.
More information on recent policy and law reforms is available in the latest edition of our quarterly newsletter, Coastal Currents.
Sydney’s Salty Communities – Turning the Tide on Blue+Green Carbon
The main round of grants was over-subscribed with numerous great projects. Many thanks to everyone who applied, and congratulations to the successful applicants. Contracts for these grants are currently being finalised and details on all successful grants will be available at the end of June. We are all looking forward to some great work being done to protect, maintain and restore Sydney’s Salty Communities. Project works will begin in July.
The Literature, Data and Practice Review is currently being finalised and will be presented to the Expert Reference Group at their June 10 meeting when the focus for the supplementary round will be decided. This will target gaps identified through the main round and in the review.
Councils also have the advantage of being able to get involved in the CSIRO SCCG partnership project, the Climate Ready Tool - Managing Coastal Ecological Communities in the Face of Rapid Change. The project will develop a 'climate-ready tool' to help councils explore the consequences of climate change for their ecological management over the long term and to scope near-term actions to start addressing those challenges. Councils will use the tool to identify topics that they will develop into proposals for the supplementary grant round.
Supplementary Round grants will open in the second half of the year. Head to the project web page for more information.
LGNSW Water Management Conference – 24-26 August 2015
The annual Local Government NSW (LGNSW) Water Management Conference presents a broad range of information from a Local Government perspective on water management, issues associated with water supply and sewerage services provided by water utilities. The 2015 conference will be co-hosted by Wingecarribee Shire Council in Bowral. A draft program will be available on the website in coming weeks.
For more information, click here.
Green Globe Awards – NSW Government
The NSW Government’s Green Globe Awards recognise environmental excellence, leadership and innovation in NSW. Businesses, government, community groups and individuals are encouraged to apply.
There are 17 award categories. Of particular interest to councils is an award for Local Government sustainability that honours a NSW council that has successfully developed and integrated environmental management and sustainable practices into strategy, planning, operations and service delivery.
Entries close 5pm Monday 13 July 2015. For more information, click here.
Local Government Excellence in Environment Awards – LGNSW
The Local Government Excellence in the Environment Awards were initiated in 1998 and are held annually. The Awards culminate in two prestigious Local Sustainability Awards: one for overall council performance, and one to recognise the individual achievements of a council staff member or elected councillor in the field of sustainability. All councils are invited to enter the awards.
Entries close 5pm Monday 3 August 2015. For more information, click here.
Round Three Community Recycling Centre Grants Now Open
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the Environmental Trust have announced grants of up to $250,000 to fund councils and other organisations to set up community recycling centres for household problem waste. This round of funding will target areas that do not already have community recycling centres. Up to $250,000 is available for standard applications and up to $300,000 for proposals trialling innovative solutions.
Applications close 2 July 2015. For more information, click here.
Building Resilience to Climate Change - LGNSW
Round 2 of the Building Resilience to Climate Change grants is now open. This Round focuses on the resilience of water supply and/or quality management, or adapting priority infrastructure. Grants of between $15,000 - $80,000 are available for projects delivered within 15 months. Collaboration with one or more councils, regional organisations, private sector or government agencies and other organisations is encouraged.
Entries close Tuesday, 4 August 2017. For more information, click here.
Check out the SCCG Funding Guide for grant and award opportunities.