eNewsletter – June 2017


Newsletter

June 2017


Welcome to our June 2017 newsletter.

In this edition we welcome a new team member, announce extensions to the Regional Waste and Contaminated Land Programs, and provide you with updates across all of our program areas. More detail on our recent activities can also be found in our May 2017 Program Report.

Contents:

  1. New Team Member
  2. Regional Waste Program – Four More Years!
  3. Skate Champs Drop in on Tosser Campaign
  4. Litter – What’s it really costing us?
  5. Contaminated Land Program Extension
  6. Model Contaminated Land Policy
  7. What Lies Beneath – Managing Contamination on Council Land
  8. NSW Biodiversity Reforms
  9. Flying Fox Camp Management Plans
  10. Living with Flying Foxes
  11. Events
  12. Notices
  13. Mapping – Freshwater Threatened Fish Species Distribution Maps
  14. Reading

New Team Member

After working with us on a number of projects over recent years in his role as Natural Environment Planner with Cessnock City Council, Ian Turnbull has recently joined the Environment Division. As Regional Project Manager (Disaster Resilience), Ian will work with Councils across NSW to incorporate disaster preparedness into their Integrated Planning & Reporting Frameworks, and with Community Service Organisations in our Region to develop Business Continuity Plans to better prepare them for natural disasters.

Ian has been working in Local Government since 1997 in a range of environment, compliance, land use and integrated planning roles. He also has extensive experience with the Rural Fire Service as a 20 year volunteer and Bushfire Management Committee member. Having lived in Bellingen for 14 years Ian has experienced first hand the impacts of natural disasters on Council’s and their local communities.

More Information:

Ian Turnbull
P: 4978 4042
E: iant@huntercouncils.com.au

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Regional Waste Program – Four More Years!

The EPA has confirmed renewed funding for the Regional Waste Program that will see it continue until 2021. We can also confirm that the Central Coast Council is joining the Waste Region as we move into this new stage. Managers and staff from all Waste Region Councils are currently working with us to develop a new Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy to guide our local and regional activities over the next four years.

More Information:

Michael Neville – Regional Waste Program Manager
P: 4978 4034
E: michaeln@huntercouncils.com.au

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Skate Champs Drop in on Tosser Campaign

Skateboard trick demonstrations by champion Aussie skaters Poppy Starr and Sam Sutton at the Medowie Skate Park have helped wrap up our Regional Recreational Parks Litter Prevention project. This event was the culmination of a range of litter prevention initiatives delivered in partnership with Port Stephens Council, Medowie and Wirreanda Primary Schools, including litter audits and clean-ups, social media competitions and new bin infrastructure and signage installed on the site.

Similar local initiatives were also delivered with Newcastle City Council at Wallsend Park, and Cessnock City Council at The Basin Reserve, Cessnock. These projects worked with local schools and sporting clubs to discourage littering, including, branding  goal post pads and balls with NSW EPA Hey Tosser messaging to provide ongoing litter prevention messages at each site.

More Information:

Michael Neville – Regional Waste Program Manager
P: 4978 4034
E: michaeln@huntercouncils.com.au

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Litter – What’s it really costing us?

A study to identify the “whole-of-council” costs around litter management has now commenced.  Involving all Councils in the Waste Region, this will identify the costs to different sections of each Council arising from litter prevention, management and clean up activities. Outcomes will directly inform establishment of a baseline cost for litter management by Councils, to identify and plan targeted programs and activities to reduce litter across the region.

More Information:

Michael Neville – Regional Waste Program Manager
P: 4978 4034
E: michaeln@huntercouncils.com.au

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Contaminated Land Program Extended

With State Government funding for the Regional Contaminated Land Program due to finish at the end of August, participating Councils are directly investing in a twelve month extension to the program. This will focus on:

  • Assisting Councils embed land use planning processes and procedures
  • Supporting  Councils establish Contaminated Land Information Systems
  • Identifying and managing contamination on Council land
  • Preparing Councils for the handover of Underground Petroleum Storage System (UPSS) regulatory responsibilities in 2019
  • Continued provision of tailored in-house contaminated land technical support.

More Information:

Anna Lundmark – Regional Program Manager – Contaminated Land
P: 4978 4023
E: anna.lundmark@huntercouncils.com.au

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Model Contaminated Land Policy

A Model Regional Contaminated Land Policy (Land Use Planning) was endorsed by the Hunter Councils General Managers Advisory Committee (GMAC) in May. The Model Policy will directly support member Councils develop a local policy for managing contaminated land, in line with obligations under the NSW Managing Land Contamination Planning Guidelines – SEPP 55 Remediation of Land 1998.

More Information:

Anna Lundmark – Regional Program Manager – Contaminated Land
P: 4978 4023
E: anna.lundmark@huntercouncils.com.au

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What Lies Beneath – Managing Contamination on Council Land

Our recent “Managing Contamination on Council Land” Forum attracted nearly 50 participants from Councils within and outside the region. This reflects the significant issues for many Councils arising from having contamination on land they own or manage due to land uses such as former landfills, nightsoil sites, gasworks, mines, council depots, uncontrolled fill, and derelict underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS). To assist with managing these sites the forum focused on:

  • Councils’ obligations for managing contamination on their land
  • Common contamination issues experienced on Council managed lands
  • Triggers for Council’s duty to report contamination to the EPA
  • Development of systems, procedures, and policies for identifying and managing contamination

Presentations from the Forum are available on our website.

More Information:

Anna Lundmark – Regional Program Manager – Contaminated Land
P: 4978 4023
E: anna.lundmark@huntercouncils.com.au

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NSW Biodiversity Reforms

In collaboration with member Councils, we have made a regional submission to the NSW Government’s draft Regulations and other key products supporting the new Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Local Land Services Amendment Act 2016. This identified that although the region supports the Government’s desire to streamline and consolidate biodiversity protection legislation, we do not believe the legislation, or the draft regulations will achieve the stated aims of “maintaining a healthy, productive and resilient environment for the greatest well-being of the community, now and into the future, consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development”.

More Information:

Bradley Nolan – Director, Environment Division
P: 4978 4024
E: envirodirector@huntercouncils.com.au

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Flying Fox Camp Management Plans

We are close to finishing Camp Management Plans for local Flying Fox populations across seven of our Council areas. Plans are being developed for Karloo Reserve (Mid Coast Council), Muscle Creek (Muswellbrook Shire Council), Raymond Terrace (Port Stephens Council), Aberdeen, Scone and Murrurundi (Upper Hunter Shire Council), Burdekin Park (Singleton Council), and East Cessnock (Cessnock City Council). A local strategy is also being developed for the Central Coast Council area.

More Information:

Bradley Nolan – Director, Environment Division
P: 4978 4024
E: envirodirector@huntercouncils.com.au

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Living with Flying Foxes

We have recently started work on a $100,000 NSW Environmental Trust funded project that will design and implement a regional communications protocol and supporting “Community Engagement Kit”, to foster positive community attitudes toward Flying Foxes.  Research has been completed of existing information and educational resources available from Council’s, agencies and other organisations across the Eastern Seaboard, which will now inform the focus and design of regional education and engagement materials to be developed.

More Information:

Bradley Nolan – Director, Environment Division
P: 4978 4024
E: envirodirector@huntercouncils.com.au

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EVENTS CORK

Managing Asbestos Contamination

Thursday, 10th August 2017
9.45am – 3.30pm
The Best Western Hunter Gateway, Rutherford

This Forum will provide a holistic understanding of the risks associated with asbestos and best practice strategies for assessing, remediating and managing asbestos contaminated sites. Key topics and real case studies will address:

  • Why is asbestos a problem?
  • Assessing Asbestos – different approaches for asbestos in buildings, in soil and from illegal dumping
  • Remediation and Management of Asbestos
  • Asbestos contamination after fires

Contact:

Anna Lundmark – Regional Program Manager – Contaminated Land
P: 4978 4023
E: anna.lundmark@huntercouncils.com.au

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Managing Legacy Landfill Contaminated

Thursday, 27th July 2017
9.30am – 5.00pm
Crowne Plaza, Newcastle

Contamination related to legacy landfill is a challenge facing councils as land managers, consultants, contractors, regulatory authorities and the community. The nature and quantity of waste is often not clearly defined, and landfill cells were historically unlined, causing uncontrolled migration of contamination through leachate. The production of gas from the breakdown of waste can result in risk of explosion and subsidence, and risks from emerging contaminants of concern such as PFAS are now becoming apparent.

This full-day workshop hosted by the Newcastle Branch of the Australasian Land and Groundwater Association (ALGA) will focus on:

  • Understanding the regulatory requirements around legacy landfills
  • The main contamination issues associated with landfills, including emerging contaminants
  • Strategies, methodologies and constraints associated with contamination investigations, and remediation
  • Community consultation
  • Case studies from landfill remediation, and for a council management strategy

Contact:

Anna Lundmark – Regional Program Manager – Contaminated Land
P: 4978 4023
E: anna.lundmark@huntercouncils.com.au


Container Deposit Scheme Information Session

Friday, 21st July 2017
1.00pm – 3.00pm
Administration Building – Summerhill Waste Management Centre

This information session delivered by MRA Consulting will provide Councils with an update on the status and progress of the roll out of the  NSW Government’s Container Deposit Scheme, due to commence on 1 December 2017.

RSVP:

Mark Johnson – Business Development Manager
(Waste Management – Infrastructure)
Newcastle City Council
P (02) 4985 6614
E mjohnson@ncc.nsw.gov.au


 

 

CORK BOARD - JPEG

Pitch’n Film Competition

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is inviting people aged 12–18 from the Hunter and Central Coast area to get creative and enter a short film in the 2017 Pitch’n Film Competition. The themes for this year’s competition are “Future Energy” and “Threatened Species”, with entrants encouraged to:

  • Explore solutions to these environmental issues
  • Engage with their local community, and
  • Create a short film that shows community groups, volunteer groups or youth groups that are advocating these solutions.

Six films will be selected as finalists and will win a share of $8000 in cash and prizes. The winning films in each category will also have their films screened at the Real Film Festival in Newcastle in October 2017 – a great opportunity for budding, young film directors to gain state-wide exposure for their work.  Budding marketers aged 13–18 will also have the opportunity to enter an advertising competition by promoting the film competition on their Instagram account.

Entries close 1st September 2017.

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Extended Exhibition – NSW Revised Bushfire Environmental Assessment Code

The NSW Rural Fire Service has extended the exhibition period for the revised draft Bushfire Environmental Assessment Code until 5pm on 14 July 2017.

In operation since 2003, the Code provides a streamlined assessment and approval process for bush fire hazard reduction works by issuing Hazard Reduction Certificates. The Environment Division has prepared a regional submission on the revised Code, to which Councils can still provide input until Monday 3rd July 2017.

More Information:

Steve Wilson – Deputy Director, Environment Division
P: 4978 4026
E: Stevew@huntercouncils.com.au

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Travelling Stock Reserves Review

The NSW Government is undertaking a comprehensive review of the Travelling Stock Reserve (TSR) network, of which there are 6,500 TSRs covering approximately two million hectares. The aim of the review is to determine which TSRs are still used or required for the original purpose they were set aside for and to determine if they are important for other reasons. This information will feed future decisions about how this land can be best reserved, managed and owned.

A Consultation Paper has been prepared by the Government inviting feedback on:

  • The uses and community values surrounding TSR’s in each region
  • The criteria used to assess individual proposals to access TSR’s for other uses.

Submissions to the review close on Friday 7 July 2017.

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mapping-cork-board-jpeg

Each newsletter we feature a different mapping resource that can assist Councils with their environmental planning, and management activities. This month we profile the “NSW Freshwater Threatened Fish Species Distribution Maps”.

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Freshwater Threatened Fish Species Distribution Maps

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has produced indicative distribution mapping for threatened freshwater fish species. These identify where there is a high probability that the species will occur in a stream segment, given the species has been recorded there or the environmental conditions are the same as a stream segment where the species is already known to occur. The maps identify the potential for three species to occur within the Hunter, Central Coast and Mid Coast Region:

  • Darling River Hardyhead
  • Macquarie Perch
  • Purple Spotted Gudgeon

The maps can be used to directly inform environmental planning, impact assessment and restoration initiatives with the potential to affect the aquatic environments in which these species may be found across the region. By doing so, they can directly assist Councils meet their legislative responsibilities under the NSW Fisheries Management Act 1994. 

CONTACT:

Threatened Species Unit
Department of Primary Industries
fisheries.threatenedspecies@dpi.nsw.gov.au

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In each newsletter we aim to highlight publications that we have found of particular interest, are topical at the time of publishing or we think would generally be of interest to Councils.  In light of our new disaster resilience projects getting underway and the amount of legislative review currently occurring in NSW, this month we recommend the following reading.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 was adopted in 2015 at the Third United Nations World Conference in Sendai, Japan. This global framework provides a strong emphasis on disaster risk management rather than disaster management through agreed global targets and four key priorities for action:

  1. Understanding disaster risk
  2. Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk
  3. Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience
  4. Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

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National Land Use Planning Guidelines for Disaster Resilient Communities

Prepared by the  by the Planning Institute of Australia, this resource provides guidance for land use planners and other built environment professionals grappling with the issues of natural hazard resilience, pre-disaster planning and post disaster recovery. At its core, the document is intended to provide the context, process frameworks and tools for how to integrate natural hazard risk reduction and resilience into land use planning practice. Conversely, it also intends to demonstrate to planners and other natural hazard professionals alike how to bring land use planning into natural hazard management processes, thus ‘closing the loop’ on land use and natural hazard management integration in practice.

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Law of the Land: Rise of the Environmental Defenders

In Sydney in 1981 a small group of lawyers met to conceive a bold dream – that a system of law that over a millennium had been geared primarily to protect private property and individual freedom should be regularly used to protect the commons of mankind against the depredations of those very interests. These lawyers who were themselves environmentalists wanted to establish a legal service that would be on call to protect the environment. The organisation that resulted four years later  was the Environmental Defender’s Office of NSW Inc., now officially known as the EDO NSW. This book by Murray Hogarth, tells the 30 year story of the Environmental Defenders Office, starting from its formal launch in 1985, to more recent attacks and funding losses, and the many successes along the way.

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