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 submission 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 Committees 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 will 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. This webinar will be made available to all SCCG member council staff.

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.

Climate Change in Estuaries

A multi-disciplinary team led by researchers from UNSW and Macquarie University is releasing the first large-scale summary of how our estuaries – and the 80 per cent of NSW residents living on them – will be impacted by climate change.

The research sets to address the complexity surrounding the assessment of impacts and effects of climate change in estuaries. To do this, researchers have developed a multi-report guide designed for estuarine management, scientists, practitioners and coastal communities.

The guide consists of 8 module reports that cover the relevant climate, ocean and ecosystem science along with best practice frameworks for prioritising climate risks in estuaries. These modules are designed to be read together or independently and are freely available online.

The research was funded under the Coastal Node, an initiative led by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science to improve the knowledge base of impact assessment, risk management and adaptation responses of local communities and councils in the coastal zone.

Further information and links to the modules can be found here.

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.

SCCG Strategic Plan 2019-2020

Sydney Coastal Councils Group is proud to present the SCCG Strategic Plan 2019-2019. This document consists of a new vision and sets our six goals which set to provide value for members and enhance and protect the coastal and estuarine environment.

This Strategic Plan was developed to align with key strategic documents developed by our member Councils and key stakeholders.  The Plan seeks to align with relevant legislation, policies and agreements including the Greater Sydney Commission’s Metropolis of Three Cities and District Plans; Coastal Management Act; Marine Estate Management Act and Australia’s obligations relating to biodiversity. The Plan also includes an evaluation of effectiveness and timely delivery of its strategies in alignment with local government’s Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework.

SCCG is confident in the suitably of this document to provide benefit to all key stakeholders and to appropriately manage the coastal and estuarine environment under the unprecedented changes set to occur in our coastal community and government services over the next decade.

 

The SCCG Strategic Plan 2019-2029 can be found here.

 

Summerama 2020

Summer is finally here and it’s time to get outside and spend time on the coast!

Join in the fun this summer with the 2020 Summerama program.

Discover our marine and coastal environments by participating in the  Summerama Activities run throughout January 2020. Summerama is a fun day out for individuals, friends and families with activities on offer from kayaking to snorkelling tours to rock pool rambles to walks n’ talks.

 

Check out the 2020 Calendar to find your closest Summerama Event!

Walking Coastal Sydney

Explore the beautiful coastline of Sydney!

As part of the Walking Coastal Sydney Project, a series of maps were produced to provide for a continuous walking track from Pittwater in the north to Sutherland in the south which link with existing coastal walks. These maps have recently been updated and can now be downloaded to your smart phone or tablet.

The aim of the Walking Coastal Sydney project is to promote public access to, and enhance the appreciation and recreational enjoyment of Sydney’s coastline and estuaries for the people of Sydney and visitors to the city. Walking Coastal Sydney was a partnership project between the Sydney Coastal Councils Group, the Walking Volunteers Inc. and Department of Planning, with funding received through the Sharing Sydney Harbour Access Program.

The maps and detailed download instructions can be found here under the ‘Walking Coastal Sydney’ tab.

 

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

Media Release – 2 May 2019

Regulating Run-off: Polluters Targeted During May Inspection Blitz

Building sites that fail to control their runoff will be in the firing line this month as the Get the Site Right campaign gets underway.

The Get the Site Right compliance and education campaign will last throughout May, with council and EPA officers targeting erosion and sediment control on building and construction sites across Sydney and the Central Coast.

The campaign aims to improve the health of local waterways and has a firm target of making Parramatta River swimmable by the year 2025.

The campaign has grown in size and industry awareness each year. It is a joint initiative between the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG), the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Cooks River Alliance, Georges River Riverkeeper, Sydney Coastal Councils Group, Department of Planning & Environment, and over 20 councils.

EPA Regional Director Metropolitan Giselle Howard said Get the Site Right is focused on minimising environmental harm.

“Everybody wants a local place to swim, and the Get the Site Right campaign is part of that push to make rivers and waterways swimmable,” Ms Howard said.

“Up to four truckloads of soil from a building site can be washed away in a single storm, damaging vital aquatic ecosystems, so it is crucial that developers are putting the right control systems in place. “While Get the Site Right is a targeted compliance blitz that will include the issuing of fines, we are focused on is prevention as the cure; we want developers and builders to stop the sediment leaving their site boundaries in the first place, by putting the appropriate erosion and sediment controls in place.”

Campaigns such as Get the Site Right play an important role in raising awareness about the many ways industry and the community can help us to achieve a clean and safe river.

In the May 2018 campaign, 50 per cent of sites were compliant with the sediment run-off prevention measures, and a total of $212,412 in fines was issued from 746 site inspections.

Why is sediment runoff from constructions sites a problem? Sediment spills affect our environment and waterways in a number of ways, including:

  • Destroys aquatic habitats and smothers native plants and animals that live in our waterways.
  • Directly pollutes creeks, river and harbours by filling them with dirt, soil, sand and mud. This leads to poorer water quality, affecting swimming or leisure activities in and around our waterways.
  • Blocks stormwater drains leading to flooding and overflows.
  • Erodes creek and river banks.
  • Causes health and safety risks such as slippery roads and tripping hazards.

Members of the public can report pollution incidents, including poor sediment control, to the EPA’s 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555. More information on erosion and sediment control is available at: www.ourlivingriver.com.au/getthesiteright