$1 million for smart tech to eliminate waste and go circular

Applications close Friday 29 April for the first NSW Smart City Innovation Challenge which invites start-ups and small businesses to pitch data-focused solutions to help NSW become zero-waste, with funds of up to $1 million for the successful applicant to partner with the NSW Government to test their solution. Funding will be provided through the Smart Places Acceleration Program.

Deputy Secretary for Cities and Active Transport, Kiersten Fishburn said, “We’re rethinking how we work with the private sector to target new and emerging solutions. This Innovation Challenge will help us find fresh ideas to tricky problems, and start-ups are given a chance to partner with the NSW Government. It is a win-win”.

For the full press release click here.

Waterways to boost green spaces and cool the West

A total water cycle management outcome has been developed for the Western Sydney Aerotropolis in consultation with Sydney Water. Under this management approach, stormwater will be diverted into natural water channels and collected, treated, and harvested as recycled water to support greening in the local area. This will reduce the reliance of drinking water to green our cities and allow for recreational activities to be enjoyed around the planned stormwater infrastructure.

For the full press release click here.

For further details see section 4.5 Blue-Green Infrastructure Framework in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis Precinct Plan.

Beach clouds

NSW Government announcement on offshore exploration & mining

Offshore exploration and mining for commercial purposes will be ruled out in NSW under a landmark policy introduced by the NSW Government.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Resources Paul Toole today announced the NSW Government will not support commercial applications for offshore mineral, coal or petroleum exploration or mining, in or adjacent to, NSW coastal waters. Follow this link for the full media release.

Extension for Coastal Management Programs

On 21 October 2021, the Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock MP, announced that Coastal Councils will be given a two year extension to complete their coastal management programs. Under the Coastal Management Amendment Bill 2021 councils now have until 31 December 2023 for the Coastal Zone Management Plan to be competed including implementation of the identified actions. The Coastal and Estuary Grants Program allows funding for CZMP actions at a funding ration of 1:1. Funding for preparation and implementation of Coastal Management Program is at 2:1.

The Minister announced this important amendment by way of a media release, stating “we recognise local councils up and down the coast have been doing it tough these past two years so this extension is a sensible measure to prevent any council from falling behind”.

Minister Hancock went on to say “the extra time will also allow councils to carry out planned emergency works during major coastal erosion events that are addressed in their CZMPs while they continue to develop a CMP”.

For further information, see the full media release here.

 

 

New NSW Coastal Council

On 8 May 2020, Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock issued a media release to announce the appointment of the new NSW Coastal Council.

Ms Annelise Tuor has been appointed as the Chair, with out-going Chair Bruce Thom continuing on as a member of the Council.

Of the 7 positions held by the Council, 4 are newly appointed Council members. The new Coastal Council includes:

  • Ms Annelise Tuor
  • Dr Kate Brooks
  • Ms Pam Dean-Jones
  • Emeritus Professor Bruce Thom
  • Mr Martijn Gough
  • Dr Hannah Power
  • Dr Shay Simpson

The significant contributions of outgoing Council members was acknowledged by Minister Hancock.

The SCCG wishes to congratulate new members and looks forward to continuing it’s close collaboration with these appointees.

Media Release – 2 May 2019

Regulating Run-off: Polluters Targeted During May Inspection Blitz

Building sites that fail to control their runoff will be in the firing line this month as the Get the Site Right campaign gets underway.

The Get the Site Right compliance and education campaign will last throughout May, with council and EPA officers targeting erosion and sediment control on building and construction sites across Sydney and the Central Coast.

The campaign aims to improve the health of local waterways and has a firm target of making Parramatta River swimmable by the year 2025.

The campaign has grown in size and industry awareness each year. It is a joint initiative between the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG), the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Cooks River Alliance, Georges River Riverkeeper, Sydney Coastal Councils Group, Department of Planning & Environment, and over 20 councils.

EPA Regional Director Metropolitan Giselle Howard said Get the Site Right is focused on minimising environmental harm.

“Everybody wants a local place to swim, and the Get the Site Right campaign is part of that push to make rivers and waterways swimmable,” Ms Howard said.

“Up to four truckloads of soil from a building site can be washed away in a single storm, damaging vital aquatic ecosystems, so it is crucial that developers are putting the right control systems in place. “While Get the Site Right is a targeted compliance blitz that will include the issuing of fines, we are focused on is prevention as the cure; we want developers and builders to stop the sediment leaving their site boundaries in the first place, by putting the appropriate erosion and sediment controls in place.”

Campaigns such as Get the Site Right play an important role in raising awareness about the many ways industry and the community can help us to achieve a clean and safe river.

In the May 2018 campaign, 50 per cent of sites were compliant with the sediment run-off prevention measures, and a total of $212,412 in fines was issued from 746 site inspections.

Why is sediment runoff from constructions sites a problem? Sediment spills affect our environment and waterways in a number of ways, including:

  • Destroys aquatic habitats and smothers native plants and animals that live in our waterways.
  • Directly pollutes creeks, river and harbours by filling them with dirt, soil, sand and mud. This leads to poorer water quality, affecting swimming or leisure activities in and around our waterways.
  • Blocks stormwater drains leading to flooding and overflows.
  • Erodes creek and river banks.
  • Causes health and safety risks such as slippery roads and tripping hazards.

Members of the public can report pollution incidents, including poor sediment control, to the EPA’s 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555. More information on erosion and sediment control is available at: www.ourlivingriver.com.au/getthesiteright

 

SCCG Media Release – 11 December 2018

Endangered Shorebirds Threatened by Dogs on Protected Beaches:

Endangered shorebirds in the Sydney region are being threatened by irresponsible pet owners illegally allowing their pets onto protected beaches.  Some of Sydney’s beaches provide vital habitat for species such as the threatened Little Penguin and the Pied Oystercatcher. Dogs are a key risk to these birds which can disturb nests, maim and even kill adults and their young.

Sydney Coastal Councils Group (SCCG) represents nine estuarine and coastal councils in Sydney and supports these councils to have biodiverse, clean and healthy waterways. Sarah Joyce from the SCCG says that “we are urging the public to obey signs on beaches which identify if there are any restrictions to public access”.  Dogs are prohibited on the majority of beaches in the Sydney region – if you see dogs on protected beaches, please call your Council ranger immediately”.

The endangered Little Penguin population in Manly has been previously decimated by foxes.  Important habitat for this species is located in Little Manly and the beaches of North Head.

Volunteer penguin wardens regularly patrol beaches in Manly to ensure the public is aware of the rules that operate in Little Penguin habitat. They have been extremely disappointed to see that some owners are allowing their dogs on protected beaches. “The presence or even smell of dogs on these beaches deters penguins from going to their nests which means that their chicks are not fed. We have also had examples of dogs on beaches killing penguins” said Sally Garman, who is the Manly penguin warden coordinator.

In the Sutherland Shire, members of the Southcoast Shorebirds Recovery Group, Sutherland Council and others have been working diligently to save the Pied Oystercatcher at Maianbar. There are only 250 birds remaining in NSW and key threats to this species include predation by dogs and trampling of nests by humans.

SCCG has been lobbying the NSW Government to strengthen protection for both the Little Penguin and Pied Oystercatcher as part of the NSW Government’s proposal for a marine park in Sydney and through initiatives outlined in the Marine Estate Management Strategy

 

SCCG Media Release – 28 November 2018

Concerns Over Water Pollution Impacts from Tunnel Construction:

 

Councillor Lynne Saville, Chair of the Sydney Coastal Councils Group (SCCG) has reported that “some Councillors from its member councils are concerned there may be adverse environmental impacts on water quality in the Sydney and Middle Harbours as a result of construction work associated with the Western Harbour Tunnel and Northern Beaches Link Tunnel”. SCCG represents 9 estuarine and coastal councils in Sydney and support our councils to have clean and healthy waterways.

“It is vital that rigorous controls and safeguards are put in place to reduce any impacts upon our beautiful waterways”, says Saville.

Many have already expressed concerns over pollution, dust from construction spoil and contaminants may affect catchments and harbour water quality. As previously reported, “there is risk of adverse effects from proposed dredging on water quality and wildlife in the waters of Middle Harbour, which is likely to affect residents’ ability to use Northbridge Baths“. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-12/western-harbour-toll-construction-to-produce-toxicity-study/9537082

SCCG supports its member Councils to achieve important water quality objectives that enable safe swimming at Sydney’s harbour and coastal beaches. It is currently working with the NSW Government to deliver a coastal management program (CMP) for Sydney Harbour which was recently announced by the Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton MP (https://www.nsw.gov.au/news-and-events/news/nsw-beaches-cleanest-in-a-decade/).

A CMP for Sydney Harbour will set the long-term strategy for the coordinated management of the coast with a focus on achieving the objectives of the Coastal Management Act 2018. These objectives include protecting and enhancing scenic value, biological diversity and ecosystem integrity and resilience.