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
NSW State Election - Party Responses to SCCG Recommendations
The NSW State Election will be held on Saturday 28 March 2014. As with previous State and Federal elections, we prepared a submission to political parties contesting the election identifying eight key policy priorities for coastal management in NSW over the next four years. We have received responses from the Liberal Party, the Labor Party, The Greens, the Christian Democratic Party and the Australian Democrats. The responses have been compiled into a report and can be viewed here.
Responses provide a benchmark for future coastal advocacy activities and we will monitor and evaluate the Government's performance against our recommendations. For a copy of our original policy recommendations, click here.
Sydney's Salty Communities Grants now available
We are now seeking applications for the main round of our Sydney's Salty Communities Grants Program. Funding is available to fill research and policy gaps, provide key resources and undertake on-ground planting, weed control and rehabilitation of remnant coastal vegetation communities and key habitats across Sydney.
Applications close 30 March 2015. Head to the project web page for more information.
POLICY AND LAW REFORM
Public consultation on establishment of national parks
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is considering opportunities to improve the establishment process for national parks. Comment is sought on the proposed directions, socio-economic considerations and community involvement in creating new national parks and reserves in NSW.
The NPWS acquires land for the establishment of new national parks through various means such as the transfer of other public land, the voluntary sale or transfer of private land, bequests and donations, or through biodiversity offsets, in order to achieve the objectives of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
Submissions are invited until Sunday 12 April 2015. Click here for more information. We will be preparing a submission in consultation with Member Councils.
Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review - deadline for feedback extended
The closing date for written submissions on the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review has been extended to 31 March 2015.
In 2014, the Commonwealth Government set aside a suite of management plans for Australia’s marine reserves. The plans were to come into effect in July 2014, but instead will be replaced by a new set of plans to be prepared following the Marine Reserves Review currently underway. The Government states it is delivering on its election commitment for a ‘More Competitive and Sustainable Fisheries Sector’.
Submissions are now being accepted on the review’s scope and terms of reference. An online survey will also be available shortly. More information on the review is available here. You can also subscribe to updates on the review’s progress here.
Review of Australia's emissions reduction targets
The Climate Change Authority is reviewing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals as part of a special review requested by the Federal Minister for the Environment. The Authority will build on its Targets and Progress Review and will publish draft recommendations for public consultation in April. Comments on the review are invited until close of business on Wednesday, 11 March 2015. Click here for more information.
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
Sydney’s Salty Communities exists to develop best practice in both strategy and on ground works related to improving biodiversity resilience to climate change. A working group forms the main community of practice.
An Expert Reference Group has also been formed. This Group provides specialist technical input, to guide research and to assist in evaluating projects under the grants program. Group members have expertise in Sydney’s coastal ecosystems, ecological restoration, urban biodiversity and organisational capacity-building. The Coastal Biodiversity Literature, Data and Practice Review is now underway and is due for completion in March.
The main grant round is available now. Funding is available to fill gaps in planning and strategy, and to undertake on-ground planting, weed control, rehabilitation and other works in relation to key habitats across Sydney’s coastal region. This grant round closes on 30 March 2015. A grant development workshop will be held at North Sydney Council on 10 March. Head to the project web page for more information.
2015 Coastal Councils Conference
The 2015 Australian Coastal Councils Conference is being held in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, from Wednesday 11 to Friday 13 March 2015. Hosted by the National Sea Change Taskforce, this annual conference brings together representatives of local government, researchers, policy makers and others with a stake in the future of the Australian coast and its communities. For more information, click here.
Sydney Sustainable Living Festival
The Sydney Sustainable Living Festival is being held from Saturday 21 March to Sunday 29 March 2015. This week-long Festival provides Sydneysiders with the opportunity to explore and contribute to green events all across the city. It will be a fun-filled week for families and individuals who are dedicated to reducing their impact to help leave the planet in a better shape for generations to come. Click here for more information.
Coastal and Estuary Management Grants
The Office of Environment and Heritage invites funding applications under the Coastal and Estuary Management Programs for projects relating to:
Environmental Research Grants
The Environmental Research Grants program is administered by the NSW Environmental Trust and aims to:
Expressions of Interest close on 13 March 2015. Click here for details.
Private Land Conservation Grants NSW
The Private Land Conservation Grant Program is funded by the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife and its partner organisations. It provides small grants to support landowners who have a conservation protection mechanism on their land, and for education and training in conservation. Applications open 2 February 2015 and close 20 March 2015. Click here for details.
Floodplain Management Grants
The NSW Government's floodplain management grants support local government to manage flood risk. Funding is available to support councils or other government bodies with floodplain risk management responsibilities to prepare flood studies and develop and implement floodplain risk management plans. Applications opened 25 February and close 9 April 2015. Click here for details.
Public Reserves Management Fund Program
The PRMFP provides financial support for the development, maintenance and improvement of public reserves. Managers of any NSW Crown reserve, as well as freehold showgrounds and schools of arts, may be eligible to apply for funding. There is only one round of funding in 2015-16, with the opening date expected in early March. Click here for details.
Check out the SCCG Funding Guide for grant opportunities.