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 14 Councils adjacent to Sydney marine and estuarine environments and associated waterways, and represents nearly 1.3 million Sydneysiders.
The SCCG Monthly Update
This year Australia's longest running coastal management conference will celebrate its 25th anniversary in beautiful Coffs Harbour. This event will interest anyone working in coastal or estuary management, research, education, service provision or policy, whether
representatives from government, research institutions, user groups,
community volunteer organisations or private individuals.
And don't forget to apply for a NSW Coastal Management Award. The Coastal Management Awards publicly recognise the contributions of individuals, groups, organisations and agencies toward the ecologically sustainable management of the NSW coastal zone.
POLICY AND LAW REFORM UPDATE
NSW Biodiversity Conservation Reform Package
The Sydney Coastal Councils Group is seriously concerned by the proposed package of biodiversity legislation reforms for New South Wales. The existing legislation – the Native Vegetation Act 2003 and the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 - has strong principles and procedures for biodiversity protection which have been developed over time and in consultation with multiple sectors of the community. The proposed reforms constitute a severe weakening of environmental protections in this state.
The two draft Bills and various supporting documents are available here. Read the SCCG submission here.
UPDATE: Coastal Management Reforms
On 13 November 2015, the NSW Government released a draft framework for coastal management for public consultation which closed on 29 February 2016. The NSW Government has now released a submissions report responding to the public submissions received to the coastal management reform process. The public consultation submissions are also available. More information available here.
Coming up in 2016 there will be public consultation on a full draft of the proposed new Coastal Management SEPP and maps of the coastal management areas.
State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) Review
The Department of Planning and Environment is progressively reviewing all SEPPs to consider their relevance and to determine whether the policies need to be retained, amended, transferred or updated. The review will be rolled out in several phases.
DPE contacted NSW councils seeking preliminary comments on twenty-seven different SEPPs by 10 June 2016. The SCCG expects to provide comment on the Statement of Intended Effect once it is released for public consultation. Read more.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act
Key areas of the EP&A Act 1979 are currently being reviewed. The Department of Planning and Environment invites participation and feedback via videos and a survey on their website. Feedback will help shape the draft Bill, which will be released for comment later in 2016.
More information on recent policy and law reforms is available in the latest edition of our quarterly newsletter, Coastal Currents.
Coastal and Estuary Grants Program - closing 18 August. An OEH program providing technical and financial support to local government for management of the coastal zone. The objectives of the Coastal and Estuary Grants Program are to support local government in managing the risk from coastal hazards, including coastal erosion, restoring degraded coastal habitats and improving the health of NSW estuaries, wetlands and littoral rainforests. Read more.
Flying-Foxes Grants Program - closing dates 26 August 2016 (Stream 3) and 30 April 2017 (Streams 1 and 2). This $1 million program is funded through the Office of Environment and Heritage and administered by LGNSW to address flying-fox management issues affecting local councils. A combination of competitive and non-competitive funding is available. Find out more.
Community Landcare Grants – closing 12 Sept. Grants of $5,000 - $30,000 over 18 months are now available for community groups, including Landcare and other 'care' groups and landholders in the Greater Sydney region. Projects must align with the Strategic Objectives of the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme – to maintain and improve ecosystem services, or to build community awareness, participation, skills and knowledge in caring for their environment, including Aboriginal knowledge and participation. Learn more.
Fish Habitat Action Grants - closing 30 Sept. Open to angling clubs, individuals, community groups, local councils and organisations interested in rehabilitating fish habitats in freshwater and saltwater areas throughout NSW. Grants available up to $2,000 for small projects and up to $40,000 for large projects. Find out more.
Environmental Restoration & Rehabilitation Grants - closing 26 Sept. Grants of $5,000 - $100,000 available to facilitate projects run by community organisations and government entities to prevent or reduce environmental degradation of any kind. Learn more.
Building Resilience to Climate Change - closing 10 Oct. A partnership between Local Government NSW and the Office of Environment
and Heritage to address identified climate change risks and
vulnerabilities facing NSW councils. Grants of $15,000 - $80,000 available for projects under the themes of building the resilience of vulnerable communities or protecting priority infrastructure. Read more.
For a full list of funding opportunities throughout the year, check out the Sydney Coastal Councils Group Funding Guide.
Sydney’s Salty Communities – Turning the Tide on Blue+Green Carbon