Is your Site Right?

Forecast wet weather signals need for builders to Get the Site Right

With higher than average rainfall predicted for Sydney and surrounding regions throughout the remainder of 2020, builders and home renovators are urged to get their sites right to avoid needless pollution of local waterways.

Forecasts from the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology show a high chance of La Niña developing in the coming months, as well as a positive Southern Annular Mode, which will bring wetter than average conditions across much of eastern Australia, particularly during October.[1]

To prepare for the spring and summer rainfall surge, councils, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) will be conducting a one-day inspection blitz of building sites across Sydney and the Hunter Coast on Wednesday, 21 October, as part of the Get the Site Right campaign.

The campaign encourages developers, builders and home renovators to implement erosion and sediment controls to prevent sediment runoff from being washed or blown off their sites into stormwater drains and out to local creeks and rivers.

The one-day blitz aims to build on the results of the month-long Get the Site Right campaign in May 2020 which showed a 10 per cent improvement in compliance rates from the previous year.

EPA Director Regulatory Operations Metropolitan, Giselle Howard, said sediment runoff has a significant impact on the environment and can be costly for builders and developers.

“Large building sites can lose up to four truckloads of soil in one storm if not properly contained,” Ms Howard said.

“This is a considerable waste of building material and money which is literally going down the drain – and can also expose builders and developers to significant fines for poor site compliance.

“The impact of sediment runoff on the environment is considerably higher, harming precious aquatic life and eroding creeks and riverbanks, and also damaging stormwater infrastructure which can be expensive to repair.”

Now in its fifth year, Get the Site Right is a joint program between the Cooks River Alliance, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Georges Riverkeeper, EPA, Parramatta River Catchment Group, Sydney Coastal Councils Group, Sydney councils and Lake Macquarie Council.

Members of the public who may be out exercising near our waterways are encouraged to report pollution incidents, including poor sediment control, to their local council or the EPA’s 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555.

[1]  http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/outlooks/

Coast and Estuary Grant Program Opens

The 2020-21 funding round of the Coastal and Estuary Grants Program is NOW OPEN.

There have been a number of changes to the program following the outcomes of the independent review and agency response to the recommendations.

 

A copy of the guidelines can be found here.

 

The Planning stream is open all year round, and applications are welcome to be submitted when you are ready. They will be assessed on their merits and processed as they are submitted as opposed to waiting until the closing date

The Implementation stream closes at 5pm on 29 September 2020.

 

For further information visit the DPIE Grants Page.

New Planning Circular for Coastal Management SEPP and CVAs

DPIE recently released a planning circular on coastal vulnerability area mapping and the process needed for updating Coastal Management SEPP maps.

Fact Sheet No 5 will help local councils preparing planning proposals to map coastal vulnerability areas (CVA) for the purposes of the Coastal Management Act 2016 and State Environmental
Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018 (the Coastal Management SEPP).

For more information, visit the DPIE’s Coastal Management webpage.

Release of the GSH CMP Education Video

We’re excited to share our Greater Sydney Harbour Coastal Management Program (GSHCMP) education video which highlights the need for a coordinated and dedicated approach to sustaining and improving catchment and waterway health for our iconic Harbour.

Click here to watch our video and find out more about the GSH CMP.

 

Guidelines for Stormwater Treatment Maintenance

Stormwater NSW has released its Guidelines for Stormwater Treatment Maintenance. The Guidelines are aimed at assisting owners and operators of stormwater treatment infrastructure to inspect, identify issues, and identify maintenance responses.

Training on how to apply the Guidelines is also available! Visit the Stormwater NSW page to register your interest. Updated copies of the Guidelines will be circulated annually to those who participate in these training workshops.

 

 

LGNSW Water Conference

LGNSW invites you to a two-day online conference from 7 October 2020 to 8 October 2020. The program has been slightly revamped to fit an online format, but all the highly anticipated speakers will remain the same with Q&A sessions.

The conference promises many interesting, educational, and informative presentations including Water Services Association of Australia, Sydney Water, DPIE, research associates and local council representatives as well as several panel discussions. View the full program here.

Living Seawalls

A joint collaborative initiative between the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Macquarie and UNSW researchers appears promising in its aim to improve the ecological performance of seawalls and other marine build infrastructure. The Living Seawalls initiative partnered with Reef Design Lab, to develop habitat modules that can be attached to seawalls to increase habitat area and add missing microhabitats such as rockpools and crevices. So far in 2020, the team has installed new panels at several locations including Blues Point, Clontarf, Fairlight, and Rushcutters Bay complementing earlier installations at Milsons Point and McMahons Point.

Greening our City Grant Funding Opens!

The 2020 Greening our City grant program is now open!

This grant supports local councils and their partners to enhance urban tree canopy and green cover across Greater Sydney. Up to 12.5 million is available to fund new grants under two streams for tree planting projects and demonstration projects.

An information session is also being held on 22 July 2020 to provide details on eligibility and assessment criteria as well as provide guidance on how to use the online spatial tool. Click here to register.

See the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment page for further guidelines and supporting materials.

Please note that grant applications close on the 19 August 2020.

Postponement of 29th NSW Coastal Conference

At the start of this month, the NSW Coastal Conference Organising Committee announced that this year’s conference would be postponed to 2021. However, the Committee is looking into an alternative option involving an online practitioner forum later this year with more details to come.

In the mean time, make sure to save the date of the NSW Coastal Conference in 2021!

3rd – 5th November 20201, Mantra on Salt Beach, Kingscliff. Co hosted by Byron Shire Council & Tweed Shire Council

Renewed Management for Aquatic Reserves

Existing rules at Sydney’s aquatic reserves will continue as announced in the Aquatic Reserve Notification published in the Government Gazette of 17 April 2020. No changes have been made to the boundaries or rules of these aquatic reserves. The Aquatic Reserve Notification can be found here.