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
SCCG Funding Guide 2014
The 2014 SCCG Funding Guide is now available. This annual Guide details a variety of grant programs for Councils, communities, businesses and individuals to support the management and protection of our coastal and estuarine environments. The 2014 edition includes over 60 funding opportunities as well as award opportunities for Member Councils to present their outstanding achievements. Click here to download the Guide.
IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has finalised the remaining two components of its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The Assessment Report provides a wide-ranging synthesis of information about human-induced climate change and includes three components:
A Synthesis Report summarising all three components will be released in October 2014. The latest releases confirm findings from AR4 (conducted in 2007) and provide further evidence that climate change is affecting many natural and human systems. For a comprehensive summary, click here.
Draft Planning Circular on Coastal Hazards
On 30 January 2014, the NSW Government released a draft Planning Circular on coastal hazard notations. The Circular recommends councils disclose coastal hazard information on planning certificates by distinguishing between current and future threats. Further information on the Circular is available from the Department of Planning & Infrastructure.
The SCCG made a submission on the draft Circular based on consultation with our Member Councils. Our submission called for more guidance for Councils on the disclosure of coastal hazard information and greater leadership from the State Government in assessing and responding to coastal hazards. Our submission is available here.
The Marine Estate Management Authority is conducting a survey to capture community views about the NSW marine estate and its future management at local, regional and State scales. The survey will be targeted to stakeholder and focus groups plus randomised samples of NSW community residents for their views.
The public may submit their views on the future management of the marine estate by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) but these views will not be included in the survey results. More information is available here.
NSW set to gain approval powers under the EPBC Act
In December last year, the Federal and NSW Governments signed a bilateral agreement to create a single environmental assessment process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The agreement, which was signed within two days of the close of public submissions, gives the NSW Government responsibility for assessing projects relating to matters of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act. A second bilateral agreement is under development and proposes to extend approval powers to the NSW Government. There will be an opportunity for public submissions on the draft agreement. More information is available here.
Recent Project Launches
We have recently launched the outcomes from two projects on modelling inundation scenarios and decision-making tools for coastal adaptation. Not only do the launches provide an opportunity to showcase the project outputs, and network, we also hear from the project leaders and other experts in the field. The high calibre of speakers, along with the strong turnout of professionals in the coastal management field, is testament to the value of our work. Visit the project web pages for more information, including the Launch Outcomes Reports:
Sydney’s Salty Communities - Turning the Tide on Blue+Green Carbon
The Salty Working Group (initially comprising members from all 15 of the SCCG Member Councils) held its inaugural meeting in February to kick off our Biodiversity Fund project. The group forms the core of the project’s ‘community of practice’, and will work collaboratively to develop research, policy, capacity-building and on-ground activities for funding via the project’s devolved grants program.
The project will benefit from guidance by specialists in the research and policy sectors. We’ll be calling for people from agencies, universities, NGOs and elsewhere to form a reference group: if you are one of these people and have an interest in Sydney’s coastal biodiversity, contact the Project Officer or head to the project web page for more information.
Emergency Risk Management: A Health Check for Local Government
A draft Health Check was circulated during February for comment by the many people in Local and State Government who have contributed to the project. The contents of the Health Check have now been reviewed and we are working to improve the functionality of the tool. The revised version will be considered by the Advisory Committee in early April and, following approval, will be distributed to all stakeholders across NSW for further trialling and review. More information on the project is available here.
Sydney Harbour Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) Scoping Study
We are pleased to announce that, following a competitive tenderprocess, GHD has been appointed to undertake (1) the literature and data review and (2) the scoping study. GHD is holding stakeholder consultation workshops to explore values and management issues of the Harbour.
Early this year we presented the salient elements of the project to a meeting of Harbour stakeholders conducting large projects (Sydney Harbour Strategic Initiatives Network) convened by Dr. Wendy Craik, Chair of the Marine Estate Management Authority and Dr. Andrew Stoeckel, Chair of the Marine Estate Expert Knowledge Panel. The purpose of the meeting was to support a shared understanding of work underway in Sydney Harbour. The project was well received and MEMA committed to facilitate the exchange of Harbour knowledge among stakeholders.
Further details in relation to this process, a copy of the project factsheet, and information regarding the project generally can be found here.
Protecting our Places Program - OEH
The Protecting our Places Program aims to protect land that is culturally significant to Aboriginal people and support education projects about the environment and its importance in Aboriginal life. Applications close 30 May 2014. Click here for more information.
Through its Environment & Conservation program area, the Ian Potter Foundation aims to support Australian urban and regional communities to live sustainably and preserve biodiversity in the face of challenges such as land degradation, limited water resources and climate change. Small grants (up to $20,000) close 27 May 2014. Click here for more information.
Litter Prevention Grants Program - NSW EPA
This grant program funds litter prevention projects that target NSW's most littered materials and litter hot spot sites. Projects will integrate a range of strategies including enforcement, infrastructure and education, and use EPA-developed tools and resources such as 'Hey Tosser!' creative materials and the 'Local Litter Check'. Applications close 18 April 2014. Click here for more information.