Working together to address unauthorised development on foreshore Crown land and waterways

Department of Planning Industry and Environment – Crown Lands recently released a request for all coastal councils via email.

The request centres around helping to manage the growing amount of apparent unauthorised development occurring along coastal waterways, particularly adjoining freehold properties. Crown Lands requests that councils insert a deferred or standard condition in all development consents that relate to works located on foreshore Crown land and waterways. The condition would refer the applicant back to the department to enable licencing before construction takes place.

The request may be accessed here. For further information contact Crown Lands on 1300 886 235 or email to cl.compliance@crownland.nsw.gov.au

Building industry needs to play its part in protecting Sydney’s natural beauty

Builders and home renovators are being urged to stop run-off from their building sites polluting waterways and green spaces that Sydneysiders increasingly rely on for recreation and enjoyment.

A survey conducted by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) in 20201 showed that 45 per cent of respondents spent more time in public spaces since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey also found that 71 per cent of respondents appreciated local parks more.

The NSW Government’s plan to fund a $16 million COVID-19 stimulus program to help deliver more quality green public space on Crown land across Greater Sydney provides a further incentive to prevent sediment run-off from impacting our natural spaces.

To advise builders and renovators on best practice erosion and sediment controls, local councils, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and DPIE will be conducting a month-long Get the Site Right education and compliance campaign during May. A follow-up one-day inspection blitz of building sites across Sydney and the Hunter Coast will be held on Thursday, 20 May 2021.

Sediment run-off usually contains common building materials such as cement, sand and soil. These materials can contaminate water and cause algal blooms that harm marine plants and animals. They can also build up in marine species, such as mussels, and have a dangerous impact on the food chain.

Sediment in the water can affect swimming and other recreational activities by causing unpleasant odours and making the water cloudy.

NSW EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations Steve Beaman said confusion still exists about where sediment run-off goes when it enters the stormwater system.

“Stormwater is rainwater that collects pollutants, including sediment from building sites, as it runs across different surfaces and flows through the stormwater collection network of gutters, pipes and stormwater drains and then directly out to local waterways, untreated,” Mr Beaman said.

“It is different from wastewater which is water that goes down sinks, toilets and drains and is collected in the sewerage system and taken to a wastewater treatment plant.

“That is why it is so important that builders and renovators prevent sediment run-off from leaving their sites to protect local waterways and the surrounding environment.”

Sydney Coastal Councils Group Chair, Councillor Lindsay Shurey said reducing sediment run-off is crucial to ensure waterways and the foreshore are protected and healthier.

“If not properly managed, sediment can affect water quality and amenity of our beloved waterways and smother aquatic vegetation which is critical to marine life. It can even impact upon property and amenities by blocking drains during times of storm and flood,” Cr Lindsay said.

“We’re working closely with councils, government agencies and other catchment groups to ensure that runoff from building and construction sites are properly managed, and our coastal and estuarine environments remain resilient and healthy for everyone to enjoy.”

Now in its sixth year, Get the Site Right is a joint program between the Cooks River Alliance, DPIE, Georges Riverkeeper, the EPA, Parramatta River Catchment Group, Sydney Coastal Councils Group, local Sydney councils and Lake Macquarie Council.
Members of the public 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 https://www.greater.sydney/greater-use-of-public-open-and-shared-space

 

Have a say on Shark Management

It’s time to share your views on shark mitigation measures in NSW!

The NSW Department have come to the end of a 5 year journey of testing and trialing a suite of shark mitigation measures and now they want to hear from councils and their communities to help inform the future of shark mitigation in their region. Before you complete the survey, be sure to read up on the different technologies that were trialed and their results. You may be surprised at what you find! For more information, visit the Shark Smart website.

Click here to complete the survey.

For community members, the survey closes 28 March 2021.

For councils, this has been extended to 30 April 2021.

What is a CMP?

We’re excited to share our Coastal Management Program education video which highlights the importance of coordination and engagement between councils and their communities in order to develop a long term strategic plan for the management of our coasts and estuaries.

Click here to watch our video and find out more about CMPs.

5th WSC Conference – Water Sensitive Practice. Every city. Every day

The conference will be held 15–18 March 2021 and will both celebrate how far our cities have come and explore the next steps.

The 5th Water Sensitive Cities Conference, will involve

  • Learn from case studies, particularly transferable insights about what worked well and what we’d do differently
  • Build networks within and between states, so that these lessons can flow
  • Showcase the most recent tools emerging from the CRCWSC, and explore how industry has begun to use and evolve them
  • Explore how others have scaled up sustainability practice, and what this means for water sensitive cities

A draft program can be found here.

The program includes an interactive online conference, in person session hubs across Australian cities and a range of opportunities to network and participate to keep the conference engaging.

Conference registration ranges from $154 for 1 day to $524 for full 4 day conference. Book before 15 January and use the code EARLYBIRD2021 to receive 15% off your registration cost.

Full details are provided at the CRC for Water Sensitives Cities website.

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/

The SCCG is on Youtube!

 

Be sure to check out the SCCG’s new Youtube channel!

So far, we have a whole of host of videos on the Greater Sydney Harbour Coastal Management Program  providing a broad range of perspectives of what such a program can do for our iconic Harbour.

Click here to start watching

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.