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.
MATTERS OF INTEREST
We're recruiting for a Manager Projects and Programs
Passionate about the environment? Have exceptional project and staff management skills? Work well in a small and busy team? Then this role may be for you.
To be successful in this role you will be an enthusiastic person dedicated to environmental protection and improving the resilience of Sydney’s coastal region. You will be an experienced manager possessing highly developed project management skills. You will manage contracts, project officers and support staff, and assist with facilitation of partnerships and advocacy.
Applications must address the selection criteria detailed in the Manager's information package. Applications close 4pm, 21 May 2015.
Blue Star Sustainability Awards
The Blue Star Sustainability Awards are Keep NSW Beautiful’s new sustainability awards program. The Blue Stars recognise and celebrate the hard work of NSW citizens who promote responsible environmental management in their local area. Short form submissions are due 20 May 2015. For more information, click here.
POLICY AND LAW REFORM
Review of Sydney Water Licences
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is undertaking a statutory five-year review of the Environment Protection Licences held by Sydney Water for the operation of its sewage treatment systems. Through these licences, the EPA regulates both Sydney Water's sewage treatment plant discharges and discharges from the sewage reticulation system. We have prepared a submission to the Review in consultation with Member Councils. For more information on the review, click here.
In a separate process, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is conducting an end of term review of Sydney Water’s operating licence. The review will inform a new operating licence for the period 2015-2020. A draft operating licence was released for consultation in February. Final recommendations are due to the Government in May 2015, with the new operating licence to commence from 1 July 2015. For more information, click here.
Report released on Natural disaster funding
The Productivity Commission has released a Report into natural disaster funding arrangements, following an Inquiry commissioned by the Australian Government. Key points raised in the Report include:
The Australian Government has said it is not proposing any radical reductions in the funding support it provides to states. Instead it will seek to pursue ‘a more modest and gradual approach to getting the balance of mitigation and recovery funding right’, in consultation with state governments.
The Australian Minister for Justice has written to his state counterparts foreshadowing consultations on the Report. The Government will provide a full response to the Report following these consultations. Click here for more information.
First Emissions Reduction Fund Auction held
On 15-16 April, the first Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) auction was held. Over 47 million tonnes of carbon abatement were purchased for $660 million, resulting in an average price per tonne of $13.95. Carbon Abatement Contracts were awarded to 43 contractors covering 144 projects. The majority applied under sequestration methods, and landfill and alternative waste treatment methods.
The ERF is the centrepiece of the Australian Government’s Direct Action climate policy. Totalling $2.55 billion, the ERF functions through a reverse-auction process where bids are submitted from project proponents for carbon abatement. More information on the scheme is available here.
Climate Change Authority recommends 30 per cent emissions reduction target by 2025
In a recently released report, the Climate Change Authority has recommended a 2025 target for Australia of 30 per cent below 2000 levels. The Authority considers this target is comparable to the efforts of other countries. Australia currently has an emmissions reduction target of five percent below 2000 levels by 2020.
The Climate Change Authority’s proposed target is detailed in its first draft report of the Special Review of Australia’s climate change policies and goals in April 2015. The draft report is intended as an input to the Government’s deliberations ahead of the international negotiations for a new climate agreement in Paris at the end of this year.
The Authority welcomes stakeholder comments on its draft report. More information on the Review is available 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 grant round for Sydney’s Salty Communities is currently in the final stages of assessment and applicants will be notified by late May. These are being assessed by members of our Expert Reference Group who have made some great suggestions to increase project effectiveness. A supplementary round will be available mid-2015, which will build on the biodiversity adaptation tool we are developing with the help of the Salty Working Group and our research partner CSIRO. The first webinar on this tool will be in mid-May.
The Literature, Data and Practice Review is currently with the Working and Expert Reference Groups for comment and should be available more generally shortly. Head to the project web page for more information. Details of successful grant applicants and an introduction to the CSIRO project will be available there in June.
Floodplain Management Association (FMA) National Conference – 19-22 May 2015
The FMA Conference has been held annually for over 50 years. Following the success of the FMA's first National Conference at Tweed Heads in 2013, the 55th FMA Conference will again be a National Conference, this time being held in Brisbane, Queensland. The theme for this year's conference is ‘Building a Flood Resilient Australia’, which will focus on Building Resilient Communities and Flood Resilient Buildings and Infrastructure. For more information, click here.
Fenner Conferences on the Environment - Australian Academy of Science (AAS)
The AAS conducts a series of environmental conferences on the environment and conservation issues in Australia and its environs. The purpose of the conferences is to bring together those with relevant scientific, administrative and policy expertise to consider current environmental and conservation problems in Australia. Funding of up to $10,000 is provided to support organisers of the Conference. EOIs close 15 June 2015. For more information, click here.
Building Resilience to Climate Change - LGNSW
The Building Resilience to Climate Change Grants will open for Round Two applications in mid 2015. Round two of the grants will be around the themes of:
These grants provide between $15,000 to $80,000 for collaborative projects, delivered within 15 months. For more information, click here.
Check out the SCCG Funding Guide for grant opportunities.