eNewsletter December 2017


Environment Division

Newsletter


Welcome to our December 2017 newsletter. Greater detail on all of our program activities can also be found in our December Operational Report.

CONTENTS

NATURAL SYSTEMS

RESILIENCE

RESOURCE RECOVERY

LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES

EVENTS

NOTICES

 

 

 

 


New Staff Member – Biodiversity Reforms Support

Carlie McClung (formerly Senior Environmental Planner with Port Stephens Council) has joined our team as Regional Support Officer (NSW Biodiversity Reforms). One of eight regional positions around the State being funded by the NSW OEH, Carlie will support our Councils transition to the new and significant changes required of them under the new Biodiversity Conservation Act. Carlie will be actively liaising with each Council to communicate the impacts of the reforms, to understand their specific needs, and to implement a program that supports each Council meet the new legislative requirements.

Contact:
Carlie McClung
P (02) 4978 4045
E carliem@huntercouncils.com.au

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Biodiversity Reforms Training

We have been working closely with NSW OEH and the training organisation Muddy Boots to ensure all Councils in our region receive equitable access to sponsored training days offered by OEH to NSW Councils. 28 staff from our region have now completed the training, discovering first-hand how significant the reforms are and their direct implications for Councils in the areas of:

  • Assessment of development applications and planning proposals
  • Regulation and approval of land clearing
  • Part V Assessments
  • Management of biodiversity on Council managed land
  • Raising local community awareness of the reforms

Contact:
Carlie McClung
P (02) 4978 4045
E carliem@huntercouncils.com.au

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The Navigator – Biodiversity Assessment and Approvals Decision Support Tool

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage have developed the Navigator: a decision support tool for identifying the pathway for required biodiversity assessment and approvals under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, Local Land Services Amendment Act 2016, and the State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017. The Navigator uses a series of questions to assist users navigate the new land management and biodiversity conservation framework to figure out which approvals apply to their proposed clearing activities.

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Hunter Showcased at National Flying Fox Symposium

Bradley Nolan provided a keynote address to the National Flying-fox Symposium in Sydney on 25 October 2017.  This focussed on how the Councils of the region have progressed the planning and management of flying fox roost sites, and worked together to develop regionally consistent actions.  The Symposium was a valuable opportunity for those working with Flying-foxes, bringing together over 75 dedicated individuals from all levels of government, non-government organisations, consultancies and community groups to share information and approaches and to further explore the issues of flying-fox management and conservation.  Presentations from the Symposium are now available on the EIANZ website.

Contact:
Bradley Nolan –  Director
P (02) 4978 4024
E envirodirector@huntercouncils.com.au

 

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The Heat is on!

We are currently in the midst of extreme heat conditions in the Hunter, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting these will continue over the next week. Such conditions are a serious risk to human health, so help your local community, staff and colleagues stay safe by promoting the “Beat the Heat” message using the range of communication resources FREELY available on our website. For Councils, other steps for keeping our communities cool can include opening air-conditioned libraries and other facilities as “Community Cool Spots”, extending operating hours for Council pool and lifeguard services, and educating staff and volunteers about managing heat stress in the workplace.

Contact:
Ian Turnbull – Regional Project Manager – Disaster Resilience
P (02) 4978 4042
E iant@huntercouncils.com.au

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Now Available – Managing Asbestos Presentations

Presentations from our Regional Asbestos Management Forum delivered in August are now available on our website. This event explored and clarified different asbestos management scenarios facing Councils and the associated regulatory frameworks and responsibilities (i.e. who is responsible for what), appropriate assessment and remediation standards, and key resources available to support Councils with managing asbestos issues.

Contact:
Steve Wilson – Deputy Director
P (02) 4978 4024
E stevew@huntercouncils.com.au

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Now Available – ‘Is Your Council Disaster Ready’ Presentations

176 representatives from across 48 regional Councils participated in our “Is Your Council Disaster Ready?”  state-wide forums during October – November. The presentations from these events delivered at Rutherford, Dubbo, Coffs Harbour, Queanbeyan and Wagga Wagga are all now available on our website.

Contact:
Ian Turnbull – Regional Project Manager – Disaster Resilience
P (02) 4978 4042
E iant@huntercouncils.com.au

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Innovations in Waste Management – The Hunter Showcase

This new publication showcases the collective and individual member Council successes that have been achieved since establishment of the Hunter Waste Region in 2013 and subsequent delivery of the Regional Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy (2013-17). It outlines key successes in the areas of regional collaboration, community engagement, illegal dumping and littering, and improving infrastructure and services.

Contact:
Bradley Nolan –  Director
P (02) 4978 4024
E envirodirector@huntercouncils.com.au

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Arterial Roads Litter Campaign

This project to reduce the number of incidents and volume of take-away container litter along arterial roads in the Hunter & Central Coast region has recently commenced. In partnership with centre management and businesses at highway service centres, it will include baseline litter assessments at sites surrounding major service centres, litter clean-up at these areas, review and upgrading of bin signage at service centres, rest stops and pull overs, installing “Hey Tosser” signs on arterial roads in the region, and developing and implementing a multi-faceted litter prevention awareness campaign focussed on preventing litter from vehicles.

Contact:
Bradley Nolan –  Director
P (02) 4978 4024
E envirodirector@huntercouncils.com.au

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Construction and Establishment of Vegetated Stormwater Assets

Thirty-six staff across six of our Councils recently participated in the one day training course ‘Construction and Establishment of Vegetated Stormwater Assets’. Delivered in collaboration with Newcastle City Council, Design Flow and Water By Design, this focused on step-by-step guidance on the construction and establishment of bioretention systems and stormwater wetlands in order to address the key issues faced during on-ground construction. With demand for the course outstripping available places, planning is underway to bring this course to the region again in 2018.

Contact:
Steve Wilson – Deputy Director
P (02) 4978 4024
E stevew@huntercouncils.com.au

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EVENTS CORKPFAS for Councils – Regional Forum

Thursday, 22 February 2018
9.45am – 4.30pm
The Best Western Hunter Gateway,
11 Denton Park Drive, Rutherford

With Councils increasingly facing the need to manage the impacts of PFAS contamination on their local communities, and the potential for contamination to originate from their own land (e.g. Rural Fire Service and Council landfill facilities), a regional forum (sponsored by the NSW EPA) will be held on 22 February 2018.

This event will focus on understanding and identifying sources of PFAS, its transport in the environment, potential human health and environmental effects, specific assessment considerations, viable remediation and management methods, the progress of new strategies, policies, guidelines and management plans, and clarifying the roles and responsibilities of Councils. The forum is directly relevant to staff involved in land use planning, environmental health, and managers of Council land and assets, including landfill, waste water and drinking water facilities.

Contact:
Steve Wilson – Deputy Director
P (02) 4978 4024
E stevew@huntercouncils.com.au

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Draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Legislation – Public Consultation Session

Friday, 16 February 2018
9.30am – 2.30pm
Newcastle Museum, 6 Workshop Way, Newcastle

The NSW Government is reforming the way Aboriginal cultural heritage is conserved and managed in New South Wales and is seeking feedback to help refine the proposed new system. This workshop will provide the opportunity to discuss issues and provide feedback on the proposed changes.

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NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE – Local Government Practitioner Sessions

Thursday, 18 January 2018
12.00pm – 5.00pm
Lower Hunter Fire Control Centre
110 Mt Vincent Road, Greenhills

This workshop will provide Council staff with updates on a number of key areas of legislative, policy and planning change currently being implemented by the NSW Rural Fire Service. These include:

  • Draft Planning for Bushfire Protection
  • Fire Access and Fire Trail Plans
  • Bush Fire Environmental Assessment Code
  • Bushfire risk and mitigation funding

Contact: 
Angela Burford
E angela.burford@rfs.nsw.gov.au
P (02) 9883 2200

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Behaviour Change and Food Waste Behaviours

Friday, 23 February 2018
9.30am – 4.00pm
Hunter Councils – 59 Bonville Ave, Thornton

This one day workshop is a must for those wanting to understand human behaviour in order to design effective programs.  Using householder food waste and behaviour as a rolling example, we promise a highly interactive workshop, with a number of small group activities, and plenty of time for discussion that draws on your experience and challenges in this space.

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CORK BOARD - JPEG

Coastal and Estuary Grants Program Now Open

Applications for funding are now invited to the NSW Government’s 2017-18 Coastal and Estuary Grants program for:

1. Coastal and Estuary Planning

  • developing a Coastal Management Program (CMP)
  • transitioning a Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) to a CMP
  • undertaking investigations and designs or cost benefit analyses for infrastructure
  • works recommended in a certified CZMP or CMP

2. Implementing works

  • erosion reduction management and beach nourishment
  • actions to reduce future risk from coastal hazards
  • habitat restoration and conservation
  • management and stabilisation of dune systems.

3. Hotspots – Open coast hazards

  • works that directly reduce/mitigate coastal hazards (for coastal hotspot locations only)

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NSW Flying-Fox Grants Program

Councils are invited to apply to LGNSW for grants to assist them manage flying-fox camps in their areas. This is the second year of the flying-fox grant program, funded by the Office of Environment and Heritage and administered by LGNSW. Two grant streams are open:

Stream 1 – Implementing emergency flying fox camp management measures where there are significant impacts. Maximum grant size: $50,000. The closing date for applications is Friday 27 April 2018

Stream 2 – Preparing flying fox camp management plans. Maximum grant size: $15,000. The closing date for applications is Friday 2 February 2018

Grants are open to NSW local government organisations including councils, country councils and regional organisations of councils. Collaboration with other partners is encouraged, particularly where multiple camps are involved or a camp is across tenures.

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