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 is now recruiting
Passionate about the environment? Excited about an opportunity to apply your conservation knowledge to assist build the resilience of Sydney’s coastal biodiversity? Then this role may be for you.
We’re seeking a self motivated and experienced project manager to successfully plan, manage, deliver, monitor and evaluate our ‘Sydney’s Salty Communities’ project.
Click here to download the information package. Applications close 11.00am, 1 September 2014.
SCCG 25 Year Anniversary
The SCCG celebrates 25 years of caring for our coast in 2014. Since our establishment in 1989, when we spearheaded the campaign to end shoreline sewage outfalls off Sydney’s iconic beaches, we have grown to become a recognised leader in sustainable coastal and estuarine management. Now with 15 Member Councils, the Group represents over 1.4 million Sydneysiders.
To commemorate this significant milestone we will be hosting a Conference on 29 August 2014. The event will bring together representatives from our 15 Member Councils, including Councillors and technical staff, state government agencies and industry leaders, to reflect on our history and scope future directions for the Group over the next 25 years. Click here for more information.
Recent Project Launch: Becoming Social
On 24 July we launched the outcomes from our social media project Becoming Social. The launch provided an opportunity for participants to learn all about social media - connect with colleagues, demystify what platforms to use, increase confidence creating campaigns and get the resources!
Visit the project page for more information.
Inaugural Sydney Harbour and Coastal Walk
On Sunday 16 August 2014, a group of walking enthusiasts will commence a 30-day journey, walking Sydney’s iconic coastal and harbour walkways, starting at Barrenjoey headland in the north and ending in the Royal National Park. The Inaugural Sydney Harbour and Coastal Walk is an initiative of the Walking Volunteers that aims to promote the benefits of walking, publicise foreshore walking tracks in Sydney, stimulate awareness of our environment and history, improve community health, both physical and mental, and encourage tourism. It will also provide an opportunity to promote two significant international conferences, the
Walk21 Conference and the IUCN World Parks Congress, both of which are being hosted in Sydney in October and November respectively.
The SCCG and its Member Councils have partnered with the Walking Volunteers over the last seven years to develop the continuous 275 km walking route around the foreshores of Sydney and the associated website. We share a vision to promote public access to, and enhance the appreciation and recreational enjoyment of, Sydney’s coastline, harbour and estuaries for the people of Sydney and visitors to the city.
New laws on clearing in bushfire prone areas
New laws have commenced which make changes to rules governing native vegetation clearing in bushfire prone areas. The 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice allows people who live in designated ‘10/50 vegetation clearing entitlement areas' to clear trees on their property within 10 metres of a home without seeking approval, and clear underlying vegetation (such as shrubs) within 50 metres of a home without seeking approval. Read more about the new code of practice on the NSW Rural Fire Service website.
The new changes override protections for threatened species and ecological communities and there are some concerns that critical remnant bushland may be affected. There is also concern that compliance will be difficult to monitor as the scheme is self-regulated.
The NSW Parliamentary Research Service has prepared an e-brief which explains the current NSW regulatory regime, summarises the new changes and canvasses some stakeholder responses to the proposed reforms. It also examines the related Victorian regulatory scheme. Click here to access the e-brief.
Biodiversity Legislation Review
The Minister for the Environment has released the terms of reference and an Issues Paper for a comprehensive review of the legislative framework for threatened species and native vegetation management in NSW. An independent panel will consider the policy settings, programs and funding arrangements that support the management of biodiversity, threatened species and native vegetation in the State. The review aims to establish simpler, streamlined and more effective legislation that will:
Submissions on the Issues Paper are invited until 5 September 2014. For more information, click here.
Draft Regional Boating Plans under development
The Maritime Management Centre (MMC) and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) are undertaking a state-wide study of existing boating facilities and safety measures to inform the development of Regional Boating Plans for each of the major waterways in NSW. The study will identify actions required to enhance the boating experience across NSW by improving boating safety, boat storage and waterway access on major waterways.
Draft plans have been released for a number of regions along the NSW coast. As each draft plan is produced, it is being made available on the MMC website and comments can be made to email@example.com.
For more information, or to view the draft plans, click here.
Sydney’s Salty Communities – Turning the Tide on Blue+Green Carbon
We are finalising the formation of the project’s independent Reference Group. This group of eminent individuals will provide specialist technical input, guide and/or undertake research, review prioritisation and evaluate sub-projects under the devolved grants program. Members of the Reference Group have expertise in Sydney’s coastal ecosystems, ecological restoration, urban biodiversity and organisational capacity-building and will provide help to achieve project outcomes.
We are about to seek external expertise to undertake a Coastal Biodiversity Literature and Practice Review. We are also developing the process for assessing project proposals for Salty devolved grants. Funding will be available to fill research and policy gaps, provide key resources and to primarily undertake on-ground planting, weed control and rehabilitation of remnant coastal vegetation communities and key habitats across Sydney. Head to the project web page for more information.
Emergency Risk Management: A Health Check for Local Government
We have begun development of the release version of the Health Check based on feedback from an extended trial with 30 city and regional councils. The primary feedback was that there is a lot of support for a process that can inform and evaluate preparedness for emergency management.
The council results from the Health Check evaluation show considerable variation across the seven priorities of the NSDR that we used as the structure of the Health Check. The variation identifies different commitments both to different priorities, and between goals within priorities. Councils identify opportunities for cost effective opportunities for improved emergency management outcomes based on these results.
The lack of dedicated resources for emergency management, the difficulty of buy-in where the emergency management role is still focused on Response and Recovery, and where responsibility is viewed narrowly in the organisation, have challenged the trial. Many councils did not fully evaluate the tool but most provided feedback on usability and structure. Both the problems of engagement and the experience of using it are important feedback informing the design and distribution of the tool.
With the view to make the process less daunting, and to promote a broader discussion amongst stakeholders on ways to achieve the outcomes and goals of emergency management, we have simplified the assessment by focusing on the higher level “goals” and have used a number of “prompts” to inform the goal and to provide advice on best practice approaches. To support the process we are designing a completely new user interface with more review and reporting functions. The Health Check provides a way forward for improved emergency management through best practice, rather than an audit.
We are scheduling a release of the Health Check during September. More information on the project is available here.
Sydney Harbour Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) Scoping Study
On 16 April 2014 the Project consultant, GHD Pty. Limited, conducted a stakeholder workshop to capture the knowledge and expertise of stakeholders pertaining to Sydney Harbour. Input was sought on the priority issues that should be addressed and managed on a whole-of-system basis when dealing with coastal zone management for Sydney Harbour.
Another key deliverable for the consultant is to investigate, evaluate and synthesise in a report literature and data related to management and use of the Harbour. The Project Advisory Committee and a stakeholder survey assisted to populate the literature evaluated. The consultant has completed a draft of the Literature Review which was sent to the Advisory Committee for review and comment. The consultant is now addressing those comments and the final Literature Review will be available shortly.
For more information on the project, click here.
The Public Reserves Management Fund – NSW Trade & Investment
The Public Reserves Management Fund provides financial support for the development, maintenance and improvement of public reserves. More than $135M has been allocated by the Fund over the last ten years. Round 2 applications are expected to open in August 2014. Click here for more information.
Habitat Action Grants – NSW Department of Primary Industries
Angling clubs, individuals, community groups, local councils and organisations interested in rehabilitating fish habitats in freshwater and saltwater areas throughout NSW can apply for grants. Habitat rehabilitation projects which may be funded include:
Applications close 19 September 2014. Click here for more information.
Restoration and Rehabilitation Program Grants – NSW Environmental Trust
The Restoration and Rehabilitation program aims to to facilitate projects run by community organisations and government entities working to prevent or reduce environmental degradation of any kind. Through these projects, it also aims to improve the capacity of communities and organisations to protect, restore and enhance the environment. Grants of between $5,000 and $100,000 are available and applications close 19 September 2014. Click here for more information.
The Conference grants program is an important aspect of the Ian Potter Foundation's commitment to excellence, particularly as it relates to exchanging and sharing knowledge. The program allows organisations to bring keynote speakers of international renown to Australia. Round 3 opens 14 July - 16 September 2014. Click here for more information.
Waste Less, Recycle More - NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA)
Over five years, $465.7 million in grants is being awarded to local governments, businesses, industry and the community to stimulate new investment and transform waste and recycling in NSW. There are a number of grant programs funded under the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, and applications for Round 2 are expected to open from August 2014. Click here for more information.
Check out the SCCG Funding Guide for other grant opportunities: www.sydneycoastalcouncils.com.au/funding_guide