COVID-19 and Ocean Pools

On Wednesday 25 March, SCCG provided the following advice to its member councils, after it seeking advice from NSW Health on the safe use of ocean pools and baths.

NSW Health stated that at this stage, the risk of contracting COVID-19 through swimming in ocean pools/baths is considered low as the COVID-19 virus is unlikely to survive for long periods in salt water.

However, people using ocean baths are advised to

  • stay at home if sick
  • stay at home if you have been asked by health authorities to self-isolate
  • do not swim if you have had diarrhoea
  • shower with soap before swimming
  • minimise time spent out of the pool
  • comply with social distancing (try to keep 1.5 metres from other people as much as possible)
  • comply with protective measures when in the change rooms and outside the pool (clean your hands, cover coughs and sneezes)
  • follow the usual health advice to avoiding swimming for least 1 day after rain
  • try to attend when the pool is less busy

Councils were also advised that baths should regularly be cleaned.

In this unprecedented time, SCCG is seeking to achieve a regional approach to minimise the potential health risk associated with coastal and estuarine environments.

SCCG would like to thank NSW Health for their ongoing assistance to help protect our members councils and their broader community.

Please note, this advice is current as of Wednesday 25 March. Any further advice on public gathering and social distancing may change in the future. Please refer to the NSW Health and NSW Government’s COVID-19 website for updates here.

Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Free Upgrade Submission

SCCG was recently invited to prepare a submission on the proposed Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway upgrade. While SCCG recognises the need to provide for additional road network and improvement connectivity to alleviate Sydney’s traffic congestion, the submission raised three primary concerns, it wishes to alleviate. This includes:

  1. The potential public health risk associated with disturbance of toxic sediments on the harbour floor. SCCG recommended for this to be appropriately managed and monitored.
  2. Impact on marine biodiversity through the mobilisation of toxic sediment which could effect availability and suitability of food sources for several threatened species. Due to potential affects to intertidal rocky shore habitats, SCCG recommended for these areas be rehabilitated and restored.
  3. Finally, highlighting the impact on micro bats as several roost sites of the Eastern Bent-wing Bat (a listed threatened species) are located in the project sitting. SCCG would like to see a more detailed threatened species assessment be undertaken as well as ensuring the project complies with the Commonwealth’s National Light Pollution Guidelines for Wildlife which highlights the effect artificial light has on micro bat species.

SCCG welcomes further opportunities to provide comment on the proposed project in the future.

A copy of the presentation can be found here and under the ‘Advocacy Submissions’ tab of our website.

‘New Look’ Technical Committee

As you may know, SCCG are dedicated to delivering quarterly technical committee meetings where council staff get together to exchange information, collaborate on current and emerging needs and develop regional projects and programs directly related to coastal and estuarine management.

In consultation with its members, SCCG has decided to theme our Technical Committee themes to ensure we can attract specialised staff across all council divisions including strategic planners, environmental officers, engineers and sustainability educators.

Our next Technical Committee meeting on 21 May 2020 with be themed around biodiversity!

For this meeting, SCCG are excited to announce that Commonwealth representatives from the Biodiversity Conservation Division of the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment will be hosting a webinar on the National Light Pollution Guidelines for Wildlife, due to be finalised in 2020.

2020 Funding Guide

The Sydney Coastal Councils Group (SCCG) Funding Guide is produced and updated annually to assist Member Councils and other Stakeholders in identifying funding opportunities to support the management and protection of Sydney’s coastal and estuarine environments. The Guide provides a wide-ranging and structured list of funding opportunities available to councils and other stakeholders in a single resource. The production of the Funding Guide is part of the SCCG Capacity Building Program that builds the role and capacity of Member Councils and other stakeholders to sustainably manage urban coastal and estuarine environments.

In addition to this Guide, the SCCG will continue to publish upcoming grant opportunities here in its monthly update on the SCCG Website.

A copy of the Funding Guide is available to SCCG Member Councils in the ‘Members Area’ of our website.

Coastal Management – Delegation visits SCCG

On 4th October 2018, SCCG welcomed a delegation from India; including Suresh Chandra Mahapatra and Prasanta Kumar Panigraphy from the Government of Odisha, and Anuja Sukhla from IPE Global Ltd.  The delegation met with the SCCG to discuss coastal management in NSW, coastal processes, challenges local councils face in finding solutions to sustainable manage the coast and in sharing of costs to undertake works. The delegation shared information about their community, largely fisherman as stakeholders that are dependent on the coast for their livelihood.

The delegation also undertook a site visit to Collaroy/Narrabeen led by Craig Morrison from Northern Beaches Council, which provided firsthand experience of the beach and coastal hazards and management challenges faced by a local council and its community.

Emergency Management Health Check

SCCG, supported by the Office of Emergency Management (SEMP) grant, engaged Janellis to develop an online Emergency Management Health Check Tool for NSW Councils.

The Health Check Tool, as well as various templates and resources can be accessed from the Resource Toolkit at www.emhealthcheck.com.au