$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.

The Gap

Coastal Management SEPP

As of the 1 March 2022, the Coastal Management State Environment Planning Policy (SEPP) has been incorporated into the Resilience and Hazards SEPP. Follow this link and see chapter 2 Coastal management. For further information on this, please contact the Department of Planning and Environment.

Watsons Bay from north end

New Crown Land Resources – Development on Foreshore

The Crown Lands Compliance Strategy & Monitoring Unit has recently released three new resources on the Development on foreshore Crown land and waterways. This applies to all waterfront land below the mean high-water mark. To build any new structures or alter any existing structures on Crown lands or waterways, you first need to gain consent from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment as the landowner.

For further information see the new Crown Land resources below:

  • Information Sheet – Development on foreshore Crown land and waterways, Information for waterfront landowners
  • Brochure – Development on foreshore Crown land and waterways
  • Flyer – Storage devices on foreshore Crown land and waterways
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.

Swarovski Waterschool Australia Flyer

Swarovski Waterschool Australia

Earthwatch Australia has become the delivery partner for the Swarovski Waterschool Australia program. This global program began in Austria in 2000, and now spans eight countries across six continents.

Swarovski Waterschool seeks to empower children and their communities around the world to become water ambassadors by providing tools and training that address their local water challenges.

Local delivery partner, Earthwatch Australia, are currently accepting applications from teachers at ALL schools in New South Wales to participate in the Swarovski Waterschool Australia program.

This program aligns with Reconciliation NSW objectives, the Australian Curriculum, and several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The 15 successful schools will receive teacher relief grants, travel grants, Indigenous and Environmental education, peer-teaching skills and experience, and three schools will set up on-ground environmental action projects. There will be opportunities to host events, share success stories with students around the globe, and gain access to the Swarovski Waterschool Global Curriculum to enhance classroom learning.

If your school is interested in becoming a Waterschool, click the link to apply before 31 March 2022.

For more information, contact Hannah: hgentle@earthwatch.org.au

Global Spotlight on Sydney Harbour Film!

The film Sweet water, salt water, Sydney water. How do we sustain a healthy harbour? has been shortlisted by tve (Television for the Environment) for the GSFA 2021 (Global Sustainability Film Awards) in London.

The film was originally developed for the Greater Sydney Harbour Coastal Management Program, currently project managed by the Sydney Coastal Councils Group.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock welcomed the news stating,

“What an amazing achievement by all involved, in particular the twenty councils within the Greater Sydney Harbour catchment that are collaborating with state agencies to develop a whole-of-system CMP for Greater Sydney Harbour,” Mrs Hancock said.

“This beautiful film seamlessly presents the tireless efforts of so many community groups, organisations and sectors of both State and Local Governments to improve the health of the largest natural harbour in the world – Sydney Harbour.”

The nominated video can be viewed here.

Full media release can be viewed here.

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.



SCCG Awarded Grant for Landmark Study

In a first for the state’s capital, the NSW Government has awarded $274,000 to support 20 local councils in developing a whole-of-system Coastal Management Program for Greater Sydney Harbour. The SCCG is project managing the delivery of this CMP.

To assess threats posed by pollutants being carried into Harbour waters, a Stage 2 investigation will determine risks across all catchments feeding the Harbour and steps needed to mitigate those risks. The aim is to provide for coordinated action by councils, in partnership with state agencies and the community, to facilitate integrated waterway health management for the entire Greater Sydney Harbour system.

Channel 10 recently featured the GSH CMP Stage 2 Planning Grant. Watch it here!

To find out more about the GSH CMP, visit our projects page.

Winners of the #LoveYourWaterways Announced!

Thank you to everyone who entered the #LoveYourWaterwaysSydney Instagram photo competition and CONGRATULATIONS to our winners! You can check out the winning photos in the gallery below.

It’s so pleasing to see people in our community actively helping to improve our waterways.

We have awarded five prizes, winners were able to choose a $100 gift voucher from a local store such as a community nursery, bookshop, car wash, pet store or eco-store.

Love Your Waterways is a community campaign that encourages people to take up five simple actions to prevent litter, pet waste, gardening materials, chemicals and other pollutants from entering our waterways.

The campaign is proudly presented by: Cooks River Alliance, Georges Riverkeeper, Parramatta River Catchment Group, and Sydney Coastal Councils Group.

A big thank you also to our member Councils for their support during the campaign.