Environment Committee Meeting

 

  BUSINESS PAPER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 14 April 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031

Telephone: 02 9399 0999 or

1300 722 542 (for Sydney metropolitan area)

Fax:02 9319 1510

general.manager@randwick.nsw.gov.au

www.randwick.nsw.gov.au


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Environment Committee

14 April 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 April 2009

 

 

Environment Committee Meeting

 

 

Notice is hereby given that an Environment Committee Meeting of the Council of the City of Randwick will be held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, 90 Avoca Street, Randwick, on Tuesday, 14 April 2009 at 6:00pm.

 

 

Committee Members:           The Mayor, B Notley-Smith, Andrews, Belleli, Hughes (Deputy Chairperson), Matson (Chairperson), Nash, White & Woodsmith.

 

Quorum:                           Five (5) members.

 

 

NOTE:    At the extraordinary meeting held on 22 May 2007, the Council resolved that the Environment Committee be constituted as a committee with full delegation to determine matters on the agenda.

 

Apologies/Granting of Leave of Absences 

 

Confirmation of the Minutes  

Environment Committee Meeting - 10 March 2009

 

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

 

Address of Committee by Members of the Public

 

Urgent Business

 

Greening Randwick Reports

Nil

 

Environment Reports

E8/09        Sustainable Transportation project between Randwick City Council and the Department of Environment and Climate Change

E9/09        Updating the NSW Local Government Emissions Trading Scheme

E10/09      Updating energy and water saving rebates


E11/09      Council's Workplace Travel Access Plan - providing annual public transport tickets for staff

E12/09      Overview on Earth Hour events in Randwick    

 

Closed Session

Nil

 

Notices of Rescission Motions

Nil

 

 

 

 

…………………………………………………….

Ray Brownlee

General Manager

 


Environment Committee

14 April 2009

 

 

 

Environment Report No. E8/09

 

 

Subject:                  Sustainable Transportation project between Randwick City Council and the Department of Environment and Climate Change

Folder No:                   F2007/00376

Author:                   Peter Maganov, Manager Sustainability; Tony Lehmann, Manager Integrated Transport     

 

Introduction

 

The purpose of this report is to advise Council of a joint sustainable transportation project between Randwick City Council and the Department of Environment and Climate Change.

 

Issues

 

The NSW Environmental Trust has funded some innovative research and modelling data aimed at increasing the take-up of sustainable transportation initiatives in local areas.

 

As a result of this modelling the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) has offered $300,000 in funding for Council to carry out a number of new and current projects within the City to assist residents, students and visitors use transport modes other than the private motor car for short trip purposes.

 

Funding would be provided for the following purposes and to build on existing activities including:

 

§ the expansion of a workplace travel access plan to other work locations;

§ increasing cycling and walking trips within Randwick;

§ extending current carshare arrangements to the south of the City; and

§ other initiatives still to be identified.

 

The funding from DECC will enable the appointment of a project officer as well as the implement of a number of the above transport initiatives.

 

The project is intended to run for a period of 12 to 15 months which includes an evaluation period for projects undertaken. An implementation plan will be developed and agreed to between Council and DECC to manage the expectations and outcomes related to this project. It will be important for the community to understand this is a 12 month project funded externally from Council although a number of the projects will have the potential to continue past the duration of the funding available.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 2:       A vibrant and diverse community.

Direction 2(b):   Enrich our range of community services that meets our community needs.

Outcome 9:       Integrated and accessible transport.

Direction 9(b):   The community is informed, educated and encouraged to use sustainable transport.

Outcome 10:      A healthy environment.

Direction 10(a):  Council is a leader in fostering environmentally sustainable practices.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter in that DECC will provide funding of $300,000 for the project officer position and implement agreed sustainable transport initiatives. Additional funding for evaluation of project outcomes will be provided and managed by DECC.

 

Conclusion

 

This is a very positive opportunity for Council to add value to its own investment in the range of current sustainability transportation initiatives underway and planned over the next 12 months.

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the General Manager be authorised to sign the funding agreement and implementation plan for the Sustainable Transportation Project with the Department of Environment and Climate Change.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Environment Committee

14 April 2009

 

 

 

Environment Report No. E9/09

 

 

Subject:                  Updating the NSW Local Government Emissions Trading Scheme

Folder No:                   F2006/00626

Author:                   Peter Maganov, Manager Sustainability     

 

Introduction

 

This report provides an update for Council on the progress of the NSW Local Government Emissions Trading Scheme developed and implemented by Randwick City Council.

 

Issues

 

Background

Around September 2006, Randwick City Council agreed to develop and implement a voluntary and low complex carbon trading scheme for local government in NSW. This followed a suggestion submitted by a local resident in Council’s “Give us your Best Green Innovation” suggestion box earlier in the year.

 

Following a number of local workshops and mail-outs to all Councils in NSW, the Local Govt Emissions Trading Scheme, or LGETS as it has become known, commenced in March 2008 with 12 participating Councils, 3 regional and 9 metropolitan Councils.

 

The advantage of local Council’s participating together in a carbon trading scheme centres is the very long involvement and efforts of local government in striving to reduce energy consumption and invest in alternative energy programs whose savings translate readily into reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Most Council’s have adopted energy reduction targets and accounting methodologies applicable to the trading scheme approach, placing the local government scheme ahead of the Commonwealth scheme where a number of these items remain as major stumbling blocks.

 

Current activities

The current group of participating Council’s have a Steering Group with meetings held every 2 to 3 months aiming to contribute to working through the operational issues of the carbon trading scheme for Councils as well as sharing knowledge and responding to a number of the wider issues related to carbon trading.

 

Following the completion of the emissions register of the 12 Councils in December last year, the current task is to establish the broader trading rules so that a trading environment can be established over the remainder of 2009. Once the rules are agreed by the Steering Group Council it is intended to conduct a practice period for further refinement of the trading rules and report back to Council on the results.

 

Transactions will be administered through Council as the Administrator with the process reported back to the Steering Group to adjust the process accordingly. No monies will be transacted during this practice stage and agreement has been reached for the scheme to operate like this for the initial 2 year transitional period.

 

A number of other Councils from within NSW and interstate continue to maintain a watching brief on LGETS. It is intended to open up participation to a wider group of Councils in September each year.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:      A healthy environment.

Direction 10(a):  Council is a leader in fostering environmentally sustainable practices.

Direction 10(g):  Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter.

 

Conclusion

 

The interest in and support of the NSW Local Government Emissions Trading Scheme remains strong and it is particularly positive that such a diverse group of NSW Councils continue to participate directly in LGETS.

 

LGETS continues to demonstrate a determined signal by Local Government of its continuing leadership role in responding to climate change.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the report be received and noted.

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Environment Committee

14 April 2009

 

 

 

Environment Report No. E10/09

 

 

Subject:                  Updating energy and water saving rebates

Folder No:                   F2005/00230

Author:                   Helen  Morrison, Project Officer Sustainability     

 

Introduction

 

At the December 2008 Environment Committee meeting, it was resolved to continue the home energy and water saving rebates for Randwick residents in an expanded form until 30 April 2009.

 

The Sustainable Home Makeover program for rainwater tanks, greywater systems and efficient downlights was expanded to include financial incentives to install solar hot water systems and thermal insulation for Randwick residents.

 

Issues

 

In October 2007, Council agreed to support $80,000 to continue home energy rebates for Randwick residents on completion of the formal Home Energy Makeover program. This was mainly to enable an ongoing program encouraging residents to build on household water rebates ($60,000 available for householders) combined with energy saving rebates creating a more comprehensive residential rebate program for Randwick.

 

Since the commencement of Council’s own rebate initiatives, both the NSW and Commonwealth Government have introduced a wider range of rebates including thermal insulation and solar hot water and more recently, rainwater and greywater rebates. With these additional programs, Council adjusted its financial incentives for residents with the energy focus shifting to energy saving downlight systems and a major focus on facilitating residential installation of rainwater tanks or grey water systems.

 

The interest and take-up of the extended energy and water saving rebates for Randwick residents program has been significant. The recent updated rebate promotion campaign, including financial incentives for thermal insulation and solar hot water and the Best Gift in the World Christmas promotion has provided wider awareness of the range of sustainability products residents can receive rebates for as part of the Sustainable Home Makeover program.

 

Installation of solar hot water has immediate savings in the order of 1/3 of total energy costs, approximately $300 per year, while thermal insulation of the home provides savings of approximately $200 a year in energy costs. In both these cases, installation can be paid for through the cost savings achieved over a 2 to 3 year timeframe.

 

It was intended to close off the householder rebates at the end of April 2009, but with Council officers receiving up to six calls a day from interested residents since the promotion of the extended rebate program and only one third of the total available funds for the householder rebates having been allocated it is proposed that the Council rebates be extended until 30 June 2009.

 

On this basis the following rebates would continue to be offered to Randwick residents:

 

$500                for installation of solar hot water (electric hot water changeover);

$300                for installation of thermal insulation (minimum R3 rating);

$1800               for installation of greywater systems;

up to $900        for installation of rainwater tanks;

up to $800        for installation of energy saving downlights.

 

These rebates are generally available to be taken in conjunction with the existing NSW and Commonwealth Government rebates.

 

Randwick residents will still be required to submit case study information to Council so that savings and results can be better documented for future reporting purposes and learning in relation to rebate programs. Council staff continue to provide information sessions at Barrett House providing more targeted information to interested residents on what rebates are on offer, where they overlap with other government rebates and actions residents can take to save energy and water around the home and workplace.  

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:      A Healthy Environment.

Direction 10(a):  Council is a leader in fostering environmentally sustainable practices.

Direction 10(g):  Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

 

Financial impact statement

 

Of the $140,000 allocated to energy ($80,000) and water ($60,000) savings for Randwick City Council residents, just under $40,000 has been spent.

 

Energy saving action

Rebate status

Maximum rebate of

No. of households

Monies allocated and spent

Changing to energy saving downlight systems

current

Up to $800

11

$5,200

Solar hot water installation (electric hot water replacement only)

new

$500

6

$3,300

Thermal insulation installation (ceilings or walls, minimum R3 energy rating)

new

$300

1

$300

Rainwater tank installation

 

current

Up to $900

41

$30,300

Greywater system insulation

current

$1800

 

nil

nil

 

TOTAL

 

n/a

 

n/a

 

59

 

$38,800

 

Conclusion

 

Council’s Sustainable Home Makeover and previous Home Energy Makeover programs provide a valuable financial incentive to encourage the take-up and installation of the most effective energy saving actions for residents. The incentives supplement the substantial actions underway by Council to conserve energy and water and other rebates supported by the NSW and Federal Government.

 

The innovation and results of Council’s Home Energy Makeover Program has been recognised with Council receiving the 2007 National and NSW Local Government Awards for Local Greenhouse Action and Climate Change Mitigation. Council’s current Sustainable Home Makeover Program was commended at the recent Sustainable Water Challenge Awards in Sydney.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That Council endorse the continuation of the Sustainable Home Makeover household rebates until 30 June 2009.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Environment Committee

14 April 2009

 

 

 

Environment Report No. E11/09

 

 

Subject:                  Council's Workplace Travel Access Plan - providing annual public transport tickets for staff

Folder No:                   F2004/08350

Author:                   Peter Maganov, Manager Sustainability     

 

Introduction

 

At the Environment Committee Meetings held on 8 April 2008 it was resolved:

 

“(Tracey/Hughes) that Council agrees to the preparation of a Workplace Travel Access Plan.”

 

Issues

 

A number of initiatives are underway as part of a Council Workplace Travel Access Plan encouraging staff to reduce their reliance on private motor vehicles and reduce their carbon footprint. This includes access to corporate bicycles, use of the community carshare vehicles for work purposes and the trialling of biodiesel for plant and equipment operated from the Depot.

 

In keeping with these initiatives it is proposed to assist interested Council staff wishing to purchase annual public transport tickets by advancing the total cost of the pass and recouping the cost from staff through fortnightly payroll deductions.

 

The benefits to staff from these arrangements will be savings up to 25% on normal public transport ticket prices. Encouraging staff to use public transport more frequently will also contribute to less greenhouse gas emissions and other more general positive environmental and health outcomes.

 

These arrangements will apply to full time and part time staff. Procedures, eligibility and other conditions will be outlined through a staff public transport travel pass policy which will be communicated to all staff and be available on the intranet.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 9:       Integrated and accessible transport.

Direction 9(b):   The community is informed, educated and encouraged to use sustainable transport.

Outcome 10:      A healthy environment.

Direction 10(a):  Council is a leader in fostering sustainable practices.

Direction 10(g):  Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

 

Financial impact statement

 

This will be a cost neutral program for Council so there is no direct financial impact for this matter.

 


Conclusion

 

This is an important initiative during these current economic times, providing staff with a positive idea for them to save money and contribute to improved environmental outcomes.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the report be received and noted.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Environment Committee

14 April 2009

 

 

 

Environment Report No. E12/09

 

 

Subject:                  Overview on Earth Hour events in Randwick

Folder No:                   F2005/00230

Author:                   Peter Maganov, Manager Sustainability     

 

Introduction

 

To provide an overview of the events held in Randwick to support Earth Hour on Saturday, 28 March 2009.

 

Issues

 

Earth Hour was held from 8.30 to 9.30pm on Saturday, 28 March 2009. The emphasis of Earth Hour is to raise awareness about climate change and demonstrate that individual action can make a difference to the challenge of greenhouse gas emissions impacting upon the global climate. In 2009, Earth Hour became a global event resulting in the participation and support of hundreds of cities around the globe and a billion participants.

 

Randwick City has supported Earth Hour since it began three (3) years ago, but this year extended its involvement to include:

 

§ Participation of around 40 local restaurants and cafes in Randwick, each responding to the written invitation from the Mayor to have customers dine by candlelight for the whole evening (with diners and restaurants going into a draw for special environmental prizes);

 

§ An Earth Hour Expo for residents at the Randwick Sustainability Demonstration House with displays and information on various energy and water saving products;

 

§ Continuing promotion of the energy and water saving rebates for householders; and

 

§ A community message, “Lights Out” marked out from almost 400 candles on Coogee beach from 8.30pm, assembled with the assistance of 3rd/4th Kensington Scouts.

 

Overall, each of these separate events proved a great success on the day and in the evening. Channel 7 and Channel 9 covered the Expo and beach events on the day.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:      A Healthy Environment.

Direction 10(a):  Council is a leader in fostering sustainable practices.

 

Financial impact statement

 

The costs for supporting this event were approximately $1,600 which included advertising and candles purchased for the event.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Earth Hour is an important event for raising community awareness on this important issue but the credibility of organisations really comes back to what they are doing to make a difference before and after Earth Hour. Randwick City continues to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to increasing efforts to respond to climate change issues.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the report be received and noted.

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil