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.

New IPART Report

On 16 June, IPART released its Final Report on prices for Sydney Water services.

As was indicative in the draft IPART report and supported in the SCCG submission, $80M has been approved for Sydney Water in discretionary funding that comprises $62.7 for the wastewater treatment program at Diamond Bay and $22.4 for the Waterway Health Improvement Program (WHIP). The WHIP will deliver improved waterway health through stormwater management activities that will increase: the length of waterways in good health; areas of planted native vegetation; sets of recreation facilities; and the amount of rubbish and litter removed from Sydney waterways each year.

The final report on Sydney Water’s prices are available here.

Long Reef Turns 40!

The State’s first aquatic reserve is celebrating its 40th anniversary, as a pivotal resource for marine education for all!

NSW Department of Primary Industries Program Leader Marine Planning Rodney James said the Long Reef Aquatic Reserve, in Sydney’s northern beaches was declared in 1980, to protect rocky shore plants and animals (invertebrates and cunjevoi), after marine life became seriously depleted due to intensive collection for food and bait.

The area was protected for educational and scientific purposes, frequented by thousands of school children, university students and the public visiting the aquatic reserve each year to learn about intertidal animals and plants. It has also been a scientific research site for universities and the Australian Museum for over 70 years.

For more information on Long Reef Aquatic Reserve’s 40th birthday, or to see what you can do to get involved, visit Long Reef Aquatic Reserve celebrating 40 years.

Recently Released Inner West Guidelines: Green Walls, Roofs and Facades

SCCG Member Council, Inner West, is proud to announce the release of their Green Roofs, Walls and Facades Technical Guidelines!

The Guidelines provide technical advice to support the installation of green roofs, walls and facades in the Inner West. They aim to increase the uptake of vertical greening in the LGA to improve liveability and resilience. The Guidelines also contain information and tools including checklists and design specification guidance to help those interested to understand, plan, design and construct green roofs, walls and facades.

SCCG are delighted to see its release, which will hopefully promote greater uptake of environmentally beneficial designs.

The Guidelines are now publicly available on Councils website. Well done to Inner West for all their hard work and success.

COVID-19 and Ocean Pools

 

Updated advice has been received from NSW Health regarding ocean pools.

From 15 May, swimming in outdoor pools is permitted where there are no more than 10 people allowed in the pool. Users must maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres.

Please refer to the NSW Health and NSW Government’s COVID-19 website for updates here.

 

 

“The public health order issued 30 March 2020 requires the closure of indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, including tennis courts, ocean pools“.

 

On Wednesday 25 March, SCCG provided the following advice to its member councils, after consulting with 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.

MEMA : FAQ for Local Government

The Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA) has released a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ pamphlet specifically for local governments. The FAQ includes an overview of the Marine Estate Management Strategy as well as providing a guide on how to integrate the strategy with a Coastal Management Program. Finally, a MEMA organisation structure is provided along with key contacts that can assist councils with their CMP integration.

 

The FAQ can be found at the Marine Estate Management Authority website, or alternatively, can be downloaded here.

Sand Management Working Group

The Sand Management Working Group has now been re-established!

The Working Group was previously established in 2007 to provide advice, direction and assistance to advance the application of broad scale regional beach nourishment program(s) in Sydney. In 2019, it was identified that key issues faced by councils in regard to coastal erosion was still of concern, and approval was therefore given to re-establish the Working Group.

Sand Management, in particular beach nourishment, has been recognised as a potential adaptive option to offset the adverse impacts of seal level rise and increasing storm intensity on coastal assets including the retention of public beaches. (Gordon, 2009 ‘The Potential for Offshore Sand Sources to Offset Climate Change Impacts on Sydney’s Beaches’). The potential devastating impacts are evident from the 2016 ‘D Day Storm’ which moved 410,000m3 of sand from the Collaroy-Narrabeen beach alone during this time. Several other councils are also experiencing beach erosion and, in some areas, unwanted beach accretion which also has an impact on private and public assets.

In November 2019, SCCG held it’s first meeting of the Working Group with representatives from member and non-member councils, NSW Coastal Council and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to identify priority issues, workshop solutions and commit to regular meetings. A presentation was also given by Angus Gordon OAM, NSW Coastal Council, highlighting potential sources of sand, benefits and costs of beach nourishment works and a possible way forward for program implementation.

A copy of the outcomes report of this meeting and presentation given by Angus Gordon OAM is available for member councils in the ‘members area’ of the SCCG website.

Beach Pollution Ends Here

Randwick City Council are proud to announce the launch of their new education campaign aimed at reducing storm water pollution and improving the water quality of their waterways and beaches.

The initiative includes a fun and interactive web page which can be found here. Explore the page to find out how you can make a difference and help keep our beaches clean!

Randwick City Council have also produced a series of Youtube videos to show what they’re doing to help improve beach water quality. Be sure to check them out here!

Beach Pollution Cinema advertisement

How Gross Pollutant Traps keep 300 tonnes of rubbish from our beaches each year

How stormwater can be recycled (featuring Tim Silverwood from Take 3 for the Sea)

How Randwick Council cleans our streets and beaches