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Environment Committee Meeting

 

  BUSINESS PAPER

 

 

 

Tuesday 10 November 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031

Telephone: 1300 722 542

Fax: 02 9319 1510

 council@randwick.nsw.gov.au

www.randwick.nsw.gov.au


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Environment Committee                                                                                       10 November 2015

 

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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, First Floor, 90 Avoca Street, Randwick on Tuesday, 10 November 2015 at 6:00pm

 

 

Committee Members:         The Mayor D’ Souza, Andrews, Belleli, Bowen, Garcia, Matson (Deputy Chairperson), Moore, Nash, Neilson, Roberts, Shurey (Chairperson), Seng, Smith, Stavrinos & Stevenson

 

Quorum:                           Eight (8) 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 – 14 July 2015

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Address of Committee by Members of the Public

Privacy warning;

In respect to Privacy & Personal Information Protection Act, members of the public are advised that the proceedings of this meeting will be recorded for the purposes of clause 69 of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice.

Urgent Business

Environment Reports

E9/15       2014-15 Results and Outcomes of the 3-Council Regional Environment Program between Randwick,
Waverley and Woollahra Councils..........................................
1

E10/15     Reviewing the impact of sewage leak into Botany Bay from Cronulla wastewater pumping station.................................... 5

E11/15     Seeking Council approval to partner with Origin Energy for the provision of energy saving innovations for Randwick residents, businesses and schools......................................................... 7

E12/15     Seeking Council endorsement of Randwick's Biodiversity Strategy............................................................................ 13

E13/15     Update on waste management issues including programs and campaigns aimed at reducing littering and illegal dumping and improving recycling and resource recovery........................... 29    

Notice of Rescission Motions

Nil  

 

 

 

…………………………………………………….

Ray Brownlee

General Manager


Environment Committee                                                                                       10 November 2015

 

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Environment Report No. E9/15

 

Subject:                  2014-15 Results and Outcomes of the 3-Council Regional Environment Program between Randwick,
Waverley and Woollahra Councils

Folder No:               F2008/00383

Author:                    Peter Maganov, Manager Sustainability      

 

Introduction

 

The 3-Council Regional Environment Program (previously known as the Ecological Footprint project) has been underway between Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils since 2009 following Randwick’s successful application for funding at the time from the NSW Government.

 

Following the expiry of external funding in 2012, the success of the program and the results achieved provided sufficient justification and support for the collaboration to continue on an ongoing basis. The Program Manager, previously located at Randwick, is currently located at Waverley Council with oversight via an Operational Group and a Steering Committee.

 

This report provides an update to Council on the overall results of the main projects over the 2014 /15 financial year.

 

Issues

 

The 3-Council Regional Environment Program continues to implement approximately 4 key projects over each financial year, as well as a number of additional projects implemented over the 2014-15 financial year following direct and in-direct successful funding applications. The in-direct successful funding application relates to funding provided to SSROC member Councils to take on board the 3-Council’s very successful Compost Revolution program which was instigated as one of the original collaboration projects between Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils.

 

Brief project and results’ overviews on the 3 Council Regional Environment Program include:

 

Project title and brief description

 

Randwick relevant data and results (2014/15)

Overall results for the 3-Council collaboration

Barrett House Sustainability Demonstration project – small cottage bequeathed to Randwick and renovated as part of the 3-Council collaboration with affordable sustainability features on display for residents via workshops, presentations and open days at the House.

 

Located at 6 Barrett Place Randwick – also used to support our own sustainable living workshops. The cottage now includes a small permaculture and demonstration nature strip food garden.

8 local community groups meet on a weekly base in the house plus approx 24 sustainability workshop sessions have been held with over 400 participants attending over weekends and weekdays.

 

11 e-newsletters sent out to almost 900 local residents and groups each calendar year.

Compost Revolution

Residents receive a discounted compost bin or worm farm following their completion of an on-line tutorial and quiz on composting.

 

In 2014-15, 535 Randwick householders signed up to Compost Revolution, bringing the total number of participating Randwick households to more than 3,000 since the program commenced.

 

In 2014-15, there were almost 400 tonnes of food waste diverted from landfill.

 

More than 5,700 residents have participated in Compost Revolution since it began, diverting almost 3,000 tonnes of organic food waste from landfill.

 

In 2014-15, around 800 tonnes was diverted from a total participation level of 1,080 households.

 

Compost Revolution has been taken up by 33 Councils in NSW, Victoria, and Queensland. Last financial year, with support from the 3-Council program, SSROC member Councils received an $800,000 external grant to extend Compost Revolution to SSROC member Councils.

 

Business Water Audits – partly funded by Sydney Water, our Sustainable Business Water Program enables local businesses to save water and water charges in their business operations.

 

68 local Randwick businesses have participated in the business water audit program saving 714,000 litres of water each year and reducing their water bills by almost $730,000 since the audits began.

Almost 250 local businesses across the eastern suburbs have reduced water use by 1,500,000 litres of water since the audits began and reduced water charges over that time by more than $1.8 million.

BinTRIM – The 3-Council program received $93,500 from NSW EPA to engage with local businesses in bin audits and investigations aimed to reduce food waste going to landfill, mainly from local cafes and restaurants across the eastern suburbs

 

70 local eateries in Randwick engaged with BinTRIM receiving free waste assessments, advice and options on improved services to reduce food waste going to landfill.

Overall, approximately 217 small to medium businesses received free waste assessments, advice and options on improvements to waste services to reduce food waste going to landfill.

10% Energy Challenge - $40,000 received from NSW Env’al Trust to increase householder participation in reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions

 

 

Approx 100 Randwick householders have signed up to the 10% energy challenge, around 70 receiving energy assessments to facilitate energy saving changes around their home.

352 total participants to date, across the eastern suburbs with 150 receiving free energy assessments.

Low Carbon Future Plan – coordinated plan aimed at identifying best value project areas to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions over the eastern suburbs.

 

Supports Randwick’s own Energy and Greenhouse Management and recently completed Renewable Energy Master Plans.

The 3-Council Low Carbon Future Plan identifies key projects across non-Council areas setting a community reduction target of approximately 30% for greenhouse gas emissions by 2031.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 1:       Leadership in Sustainability.

Outcome 10:     A Healthy Environment.

Direction 10(a):         Council’s programs and partnerships foster sustainable behavioural changes and outcomes.

 

Financial impact statement

 

Each of the 3 Councils contribute an amount of $117,000 annually, enabling the payment of the Program Manager and continuation of the key projects agreed by the Councils established via a Memorandum of Understanding.

 

In 2014-15, the collaboration project was also successful in attracting additional external funding of approximately, $132,000, used to implement separate waste and energy reduction projects, as well as an additional $800,000 to enable SSROC member Councils to access the 3-Council Compost Revolution program.

 

Conclusion

 

In 2014–15, results of the 3-Council regional environment collaboration included engagement with more than 1,250 local householders and businesses, saving in excess of 800 tonnes of organic food waste, 220,000 litres of drinking water and cumulative costs savings of $800,000 in water costs alone for participating businesses.

 

The 3-Council collaboration continues to demonstrate its success in working cooperatively on tackling a range of important environmental issues across Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The Sustainable Business Water Program was a finalist in the NSW Green Globe Awards for 2015.

 

Recommendation

 

That Council notes the results of the 3-Council Regional Environment Program for 2014 /15.

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Environment Committee                                                                                       10 November 2015

 

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Environment Report No. E10/15

 

Subject:                  Reviewing the impact of sewage leak into Botany Bay from Cronulla wastewater pumping station

Folder No:               F2004/08246

Author:                    Peter Maganov, Manager Sustainability      

 

Introduction

 

At August Committee, Council resolved (Matson/Shurey), that Council’s Environment Committee review the impact of the sewage leak into Botany Bay from the Cronulla wastewater pumping station.

 

Issues

 

On August 14, 2015, Sydney Water reported an incident at its Cronulla wastewater pumping station involving an estimated 5 million litres of wastewater being discharged between 1pm and 3pm into the waters of Botany Bay.

 

At 4.52pm that same day, Sydney Water advised Randwick Council by email of the incident and that the overflow had been stopped and that Sydney Water was working with the NSW EPA and NSW Health on clean-up and testing of the effected waters.

 

At the time, media messages were circulated advising swimmers to avoid entering the water until further monitoring data was collected.

 

The sewage overflow at the Cronulla pumping station was attributed to a power outage occurring at the same time, affecting approximately 40,000 homes in the area. While the pumping station has two separate underground power supplies from different areas of the electricity grid, the power outage occurred at the same time as a planned shutdown by Ausgrid of the alternate power supply area. Sydney Water arranged for portable power generation in time to stop the overflow at approximately 3pm. Power was restored by Ausgrid at approximately 4pm.

 

Following the spill, authorities commenced monitoring of waters adjacent to the point of discharge to check the extent of impacts on water quality. All of Botany Bay’s swimming beaches were included in 19 sites monitored twice daily from August 14 to August 17 and extending into the next day, August 18. All samples taken complied with EPA BeachWatch criteria for safe swimming.

 

Sydney Water was responsible for clean-up around the pumping station area which involved a combination of flushing freshwater through the system and extracting wastewater via approved tanker vehicles.

 

A marine ecologist was engaged to assess any aquatic impacts and their report indicated there were no adverse impacts on the natural environment of the Bay. Adjacent oyster beds were tested in conjunction with the NSW Food Authority also enabling oyster farms to receive a clean bill of health and resume operating.

 

Sydney Water passed on all details to the NSW EPA who are considering the extent of any further action that may be required.

 


 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:     A healthy environment.

Direction 10(e): A total water cycle management approach including water conservation, re-use and water quality improvements is adopted.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter.

 

Conclusion

 

The volume of water involved in the overflow from the pumping station was estimated to be in the order of 0.001% of Botany Bay’s water volume. While still relatively significant, the shorter duration of the overflow and daily tidal movements are considered to have maximized dilution and dispersal of the wastewater across a wide area of the bay and ocean waters. This appears to have occurred within a period of days which accounts for the water quality monitoring results at the 19 sites within Botany Bay.

 

The two separate power supplies to this pumping station are aimed at minimizing the likelihood of pump failure. Unfortunately on this occasion, the power outage occurred at the same time as a scheduled shutdown for upgrade and maintenance at the alternative power source. Sydney Water is examining ways to further reduce any future occurrence at its pumping station sites as part of its review of this incident.

 

Recommendation

 

That Council notes the results of agency coordination and cooperation following the overflow of sewage from the Cronulla pumping station and from these results the apparent low impact of this spill on the waters of Botany Bay.

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Environment Committee                                                                                       10 November 2015

 

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Environment Report No. E11/15

 

Subject:                  Seeking Council approval to partner with Origin Energy for the provision of energy saving innovations for Randwick residents, businesses and schools.

Folder No:               F2005/00230

Author:                    Peter Maganov, Manager Sustainability      

 

Introduction

 

In July 2015, Origin Energy invited Randwick Council to enter into a partnership arrangement with them to provide a range of energy saving innovations of benefit to residents, businesses and schools.

 

Following this invitation, a market check was conducted by Council staff to provide transparency of the Origin Energy proposal and ensure compliance with our purchasing procedures.

 

This report provides the results of this process and makes the appropriate recommendation for Council to consider on the Origin Energy partnership proposal.

 

Issues

 

The Origin Energy proposal covered 4 key areas of activity across the City incorporating:

Community and business solar renewables

Group solar buying for households and businesses with options for:

-    wholesale price offering  (conditional around new power purchase agreements for customers);

-    adding solar PV to existing customers;

-    community ‘town hall’ information sessions to skill up residents and business owners.

(This offer does not necessarily require existing customers to change their energy provider to Origin Energy).

 

Council or community building installations

Enabling discounted solar installations on Council or community buildings subject to targets being met (only community buildings will be considered).

 

Solar storage installation and monitoring

Installation and monitoring of a battery storage technology system on an existing Council solar site for the duration of the partnership period (Council will have an opportunity to retain the system after the agreed project period) 

 

Sustainable transportation

Trialing of electric / hybrid vehicles for residents with possible demonstrator discounts on the completion of trial.

 

Following the initial invitation from Origin Energy to participate in this partnership proposal, a brief Expression of Interest (EoI) was prepared requesting energy businesses and utilities to submit their own proposals to Council for the provision of “Energy Saving Innovations for Randwick residents, schools, businesses and Council Operations.” This was conducted to market test the elements of the proposal from Origin and although Council was not purchasing specific services, to ensure compliance with our purchasing procedures.

 

This EoI was distributed on August 21, 2015 for a two week period to 5 energy businesses and utilities. While one business declined to submit a proposal after initially stating it was keen to respond, Council received four responses from different businesses.

 

In summary, the Origin Energy proposal was confirmed as providing specific potential energy and cost saving benefits to residents, businesses and schools across a diverse range of energy innovations at no cost to Council. Origin has agreed to guarantee the products available and any work carried out under their existing warranties and will provide Council pricing details on a confidential basis to ensure transparency on the discounts on offer.

 

If the partnership proposal is approved by Council, it is possible that competitor suppliers may advertise and promote similar or matching discounts during the partnership period. On this basis, Council’s information to participating residents, businesses and schools would be advising them to check pricing and products on offer to ensure they are receiving the best offer at the time. Origin Energy understands the financial risks of this partnership proposal are very much with them and that Council’s role is primarily to maximise information on the availability of the offer to our residents, businesses and schools.

 

Outcomes of this partnership align well with project deliverables identified within Council’s Energy and Greenhouse Management Plan, our recently completed Renewable Energy Master Plan and the Low Carbon Future Plan currently in preparation as part of our 3-Council Regional Environment Program.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:     A healthy environment.

Direction 10(a): Council’s programs and partnerships foster sustainable behavioural changes and outcomes.

Outcome 10(f): Energy conservation and efficiency programs are implemented.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact on Council for this matter.

 

Conclusion

 

The Origin proposal stands out as a very positive opportunity to explore the provision of energy saving innovations for Randwick residents, businesses and schools at no cost to Council. Origin Energy seems clear in their understanding that they are assuming the risks associated in this proposed partnership and that Council’s primary role is to work with them on communicating and promoting the options and opportunities to our residents, businesses and schools.

 

An apparent risk to Council appears more to be whether the promotion and partnership achieves the type of results which Origin Energy would like to see. This offer from Origin is a first for local government in Australia, with Origin Energy intending to learn from the relationship and / or success of the range of programs ahead of a possible roll-out to other Councils around the country.

 

Origin Energy indicates it has a strong willingness to work with media and communications staff to maximise local understanding and potential take up of the range of options identified. This offer would remain available for up to 12 months which with the proper level of marketing should enable it to reach a wider group of residents, businesses and schools.

 

Recommendation

 

Following the partnership proposal received by Council from Origin Energy and the result of the market testing of the components of this proposal, it is recommended that:

 

a)  Council approve the proposal to partner with Origin Energy to provide a range of energy saving innovations for residents, businesses and schools;

 

b)  Council delegate the General Manager to sign an agreement with Origin Energy for the provision of energy saving innovations identified in the partnership proposal;

 

c)  An appropriate announcement or launch is organised between Randwick Council and Origin Energy and that Council receive progress reports on the outcomes of this partnership arrangement.

 

Attachment/s:

 

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Origin Energy partnership proposal to Randwick Council

 

 

 

 


Origin Energy partnership proposal to Randwick Council

Attachment 1

 

 


 


 


Environment Committee                                                                                       10 November 2015

 

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Environment Report No. E12/15

 

Subject:                  Seeking Council endorsement of Randwick's Biodiversity Strategy

Folder No:               F2005/00504

Author:                    Peter Maganov, Manager Sustainability; George Bounassif, Manager Infrastructure Services     

 

Introduction

This report seeks Council endorsement of the Randwick Biodiversity Strategy.

 

Issues

Randwick’s Biodiversity Strategy sets out the high level priorities for the conservation of native flora and fauna across the City.

 

Biodiversity is made up of a complex variety of plants, animals and ecosystems that provide the essential biological functions of our Planet. From the cycle of enabling photosynthesis in plants that provide us with clean air, the breakdown of atmospheric pollution and climate stablisation; to the cycling and breakdown of nutrients and carbon absorption in our soils enabling food crops and plants to grow; to the habitats in which the pollination and fertilization occurs of our diverse plant and animal species. With 26 per cent of Randwick providing open space and bushland in such close proximity to Australia’s largest city, Council has long recognized its responsibility to the management and conservation of our native and indigenous plant and animal species.

 

Although Council’s 20-year City Plan and the various Bushland Management Plans implemented primarily by our Bushland team, their contractors and volunteer groups, provide both the strategic link and the practical implementation of biodiversity management for Randwick, this strategy formalizes our biodiversity priorities for Council now and into the future.

 

The six key goals making up Randwick’s Biodiversity Strategy include:

 

(i)       To monitor and maintain baseline information and inventories of biodiversity in Randwick

(ii)      To provide accurate advice and reporting regarding biodiversity to Council, to staff, landholders, developers, Government agencies and the public

(iii)     To protect biodiversity in accordance with Council’s strategic land-use roles and responsibilities

(iv)     To undertake on-ground work to protect, restore, maintain and enhance local biodiversity including effective mitigation of threats

(v)      To protect genetic biodiversity via production of local provenance plants at Council’s nursery

(vi)     To increase community awareness and appreciation of the importance of conserving biodiversity and to engage our community in biodiversity conservation initiatives.

 

Annual funding is provided for habitat conservation projects via the Biodiversity Strategy budget of the environmental levy program. Approximately $91,000 is allocated per year of the environmental levy for a range of initiatives including:

 

Projects supported by environmental levy budget

2015-16 funding allocation

2016-17 funding allocation

2017-18 funding allocation

2018-19 funding allocation

 

Flora and fauna monitoring

 

 

$15,000

 

 

$20,000

 

$20,000

 

-

 

 

Interpretive signage

 

$10,000

 

 

$5,000

 

$5,000

 

$5,000

Dune restoration/ protection works

 

$10,000

 

$10,000

 

$10,000

 

$10,000

 

Native Havens project with residents and schools

 

$56,000

 

$56,000

 

$56,000

 

$56,000

Total annual allocation

$91,000

$91,000

$91,000

$81,000

 

Relationship to City Plan

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:     A healthy environment

Direction 10(c): Bushland, open spaces and biodiversity are protected and enhanced for future generations.

 

Financial impact statement

$91,000 of funding is provided annually (only $81,000) in 2018-19 for ongoing implementation of Randwick’s Biodiversity Strategy from the Biodiversity Strategy budget of Council’s environmental levy program.

 

Conclusion

Randwick has a strong reputation for its demonstrated support and commitment to biodiversity protection over many years. Not only is there a high level of community support through volunteer programs such as Bushcare and Parkcare, Council’s Bushland management and Community Nursery teams are highly regarded for the strong expertise they bring to their management of Randwick’s natural resources so close to the Sydney CBD.

 

Additionally Council’s efforts recognise the importance of the 26 per cent of bushland and open space still found across Randwick City.

 

This high level strategic approach to the management of our natural resources formalizes Council’s approach to biodiversity conservation and enhancement for future generations of our residents and visitors to the eastern suburbs of the Sydney metropolitan area.

 

Recommendation

That Council endorse Randwick’s Biodiversity Strategy.

 

Attachment/s:

 

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Randwick's Biodiversity Strategy: Protecting the Flora and Fauna of Randwick, Oct 2015

 

 

 

 


Randwick's Biodiversity Strategy: Protecting the Flora and Fauna of Randwick, Oct 2015

Attachment 1

 

 

Biodiversity Strategy 2015

PROTECTing the Native Flora and Fauna of Randwick

 

Contents

 

1.     Summary

 

2.     The Strategy

        2.1   Aim

        2.2   Vision

        2.3   Goals

 

3.     Biodiversity

        3.1   What is Biodiversity

 

4.     Biodiversity in Randwick

        4.1   Historical context

        4.2   Local flora and fauna

        4.3   Knowledge of biodiversity

        4.4   Identified threatened items

 

5.     Statutory Requirements

        5.1   Our State & Commonwealth responsibilities

        5.2   Randwick’s commitment to biodiversity

5.3 Risks and Threats

 

6.     Where to and How

 

7.     Implementation, Evaluation and Review

 

8.     Conclusion

 

9.     Glossary

 

10.   Further Reading and References

 

11.   Appendices

        I       Summary of species found in Randwick

        II      Legislation

 

1.   Summary

The first principle of the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity (Commonwealth of Australia, 1996) is that biodiversity is best conserved ‘in situ’, or where it naturally occurs. This places local government in a unique and important position to properly manage biodiversity. Randwick’s Biodiversity Strategy explains the current state of biodiversity in the city, and existing and planned conservation actions. It has been prepared by Randwick Council for use by the community, council departments, other landowners and developers. It complies with various Commonwealth and State legislations.

 

The biodiversity of Randwick City may be found within and is dependent upon, local terrestrial and aquatic environments.  The diversity of these living things can be considered at three levels of ecological organisation: the diversity of species, the genetic diversity contained within them; and the variety of ecosystems and ecological processes of which they form a part. Appendix I lists the living things indigenous to Randwick City that have been identified to date.

 

Threatened, vulnerable species or ecosystems are identified by Commonwealth and State legislation as at risk of extinction. Legislation is in place to respond to these risks and includes mandatory actions to be implemented by local government and other landholders to ensure continued survival of the species at risk. A number of plants, birds, frogs and ecosystems are identified as being at risk in Randwick City. Many other species and ecosystems in Randwick are considered ‘rare’, as less than 6% of our city’s nature-based habitat remains.

 

This strategy also takes into consideration marine organisms of the adjacent coast and marine waters as many land-based activities can affect marine biodiversity. Knowledge of the health of our local marine ecosystems and species is relatively poor as generally speaking, there is often only a limited collection of data to inform or guide the necessary management or planning decisions. Due to the expanse of off-shore coastal and marine waters involved Council is not the delegated management authority for these areas.

 

On a global and local scale, biodiversity provides all of our food and the raw materials for a wide range of products including clothing and medicinal goods, as well as the means to control pest plants, animals and diseases.

 

Biodiversity plays a significant role in important environmental processes which affect human well-being, such as the breakdown of water and atmospheric pollution, halting soil salinity, nutrient cycling and carbon absorption and climate stabilization (Binning and Young, NPWS 1999).

 

Clean and healthy marine environments also ensure marine flora and fauna are preserved and can continue to contribute to the complex functions of the Planet’s oceans and climate.

 

Bushland and other vegetation in Randwick City provides important habitat for migratory and sedentary birds, frogs, reptiles, insects and other organisms which make up a complex food chain. Approximately 33% of Australian bird species have been recorded in Randwick City within the last 10 years. This is considerably more than the number recorded in city areas further inland, which indicates the coastal corridor is imperative for the movement and survival of migratory and wading bird species.

 

Some more obvious benefits to human populations from local biodiversity include:

  Improved air and water quality

  Visual amenity

  Recreational space

  Plant pollination

  Temperature modification

  Insect and other pest control

  Catchment protection including flood and erosion control and

  Preservation of cultural identity and sense of place.

 

In addition, the natural beauty of the coastline and its bushland and open space settings, as well as the cleanliness of our beaches and marine waters, contribute to a broad range of financial benefits for local businesses, attracting local residents, national and international tourists and visitors.

 

The social benefits of Randwick’s biodiversity include aesthetically enhanced parks, educational opportunities for its many schools and the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and opportunities to appreciate the local natural heritage and indigenous culture. Biodiversity is known to contribute to the general well-being and mental health of individuals particularly within our highly urbanized society and facilitates a sense of national identity and a connection to the Earth for both indigenous and non indigenous Australians (DEST, 1993).

 

Biodiversity decline is caused by many human-induced processes.  These are referred to in State and Commonwealth legislation as ‘threatening processes’.  Some of these ‘listed’ threatening processes exist in Randwick City and require Council to act to reduce their impacts. Many other threatening processes are not listed but still have major impacts on the health of local biodiversity. 

 

This strategy identifies actions necessary aimed at halting the decline of local species and ecosystems by:

  treating threatening processes

  undertaking conservation and restoration actions

  encouraging the wider community to take responsibility for and assist in, its recovery where possible

  ensuring all council staff consider the impact of their decisions

  ensuring developments adequately address potentially negative ecological impacts and comply with their statutory responsibilities.   

 

2.   The Strategy

2.1     Aim

The purpose of this Biodiversity Strategy is to establish a positive understanding of biodiversity issues and  identify processes by which Council will meet its statutory and other responsibilities to identify, protect, restore, maintain, enhance and monitor local biodiversity.

 

2.2     Vision

The Biodiversity Strategy is responding to our 20-year community strategic plan known as City Plan. This plan’s vision is to build a ‘sense of community’ by ‘working together to enhance our environment, to celebrate our heritage and to value and serve our diverse community’.

This vision will be achieved through a network of healthy ‘natural areas’ and green spaces encompassing public and private land.  It is anticipated that Council and the community will work together to create and conserve habitat for our local flora and fauna for the enjoyment and benefit of current and future generations.

 

2.3     GOALS

Six priority activity areas or goals have been identified and form the focus of our implementation action. They are: 

 

(i) To monitor and maintain baseline information and inventories of biodiversity in Randwick.

 

(ii) To provide accurate advice and reporting regarding biodiversity to Council staff, landholders, developers, Government agencies and the public.

 

(iii) To protect biodiversity in accordance with Council’s strategic land-use roles and responsibilities.

 

(iv) To undertake on-ground work to protect, restore, maintain and enhance local biodiversity, including effective mitigation of threats.

(v) To protect genetic biodiversity via production of local provenance plants at Council’s nursery.

 

(vi) To increase community awareness and appreciation of the importance of conserving biodiversity and to engage our community in biodiversity conservation initiatives.

 

3.     Biodiversity

3.1   What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity represents the variety of all life forms, the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems of which they form a part.

 

Biodiversity changes occur over short and long term timeframes in response to natural and human influences. Biodiversity is essential to human life. It allows for the continuing operation of natural processes which in turn provide food, medicine, improved air and water quality, climate regulation, soil and catchment protection, nutrient cycling and carbon storage, aesthetic natural landscapes and traditional links of indigenous Australians to the environment. The functioning and maintenance of all ecosystems, landscapes, human settlements, industry and agriculture is very dependant on biodiversity. 

 

Biodiversity can be considered at three levels:

  Species Diversity – The variety of species on earth. It is the most common way people think about biodiversity.

  Genetic Diversity: The variety of genetic information contained in all of the individual plants, animals and micro-organisms that inhabit the Earth. Genetic variation occurs between individuals of the same species, between populations of the same species and between different species. It explains, for example, why some people have brown eyes and others have blue eyes. Maintaining a range of genetic material within a population of individual species enables the population to better adapt to changes in the environment, i.e. genetic diversity enhances species survival through time.

  Ecosystem Diversity - The variety of habitats, biotic communities and ecological processes (Commonwealth of Australia 1996).

 

There is still much to be learned about biodiversity, particularly the more primitive plants, invertebrate animals, micro-organisms, genetic variation and ecosystem functioning.

4.     Biodiversity in Randwick

 

4.1   HISTORICAL CONTEXT

The current state of our local biodiversity reflects the changes seen across Australia since the arrival of Europeans.  The urbanisation of the eastern suburbs commenced in the early 1800s, resulting in the local extinction of many species, both plant and animal, long before any systematic recording of local biodiversity was considered. The undulating landform and soft sands of the eastern suburbs made the clearing of vegetation a simple and relatively easy task. Urbanisation from the north-east of Randwick, following the formation of the colony spread southwards from Coogee in the following decades.  However, many large areas of bushland were cleared relatively recently in the 1960s and 1970s. 

 

The more biodiverse areas currently occur as the dozens of small patches of original vegetation that are scattered throughout the urban area. Approximately 240 hectares of remnant bushland remains, representing approximately 6.5% of Randwick’s total area. These patches vary in size from 60 hectares to single plants. The remaining local populations of native animals rely on these remnants of bushland, as well as on non-bushland habitats, such as private gardens and public parks.

 

Although conservation of marine biodiversity is not a local government responsibility, land-based activities can have a significant impact on marine biodiversity and council is mindful of these impacts.

4.2   LOCAL FLORA AND Fauna

Although there are few formal records of the fauna species that were native to this area prior to European occupation, it can be assumed from historical records that the Randwick area was once home to many species of mammals, such as wallabies and kangaroos, many more snake and lizard species, frogs and birds, particularly the smaller birds of scrub and heath vegetation.

 

The City of Randwick is fortunate that more than 300 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs are still represented in, or regularly visit, our City.

 

Our City is home to more than 500 species of vascular plants. The areas of remnant vegetation have been thoroughly surveyed for species so this count may increase by only a few species over the next decade.

 

Plant communities are made up of a range of plant species that prefer particular conditions. The variety and extent of these are a general measure of ecosystem diversity. Our Local Government Area (LGA) contains 16 vegetation communities such as Coastal Sandstone Heath, Coastal Dune Heath, Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub and Sydney Sandstone Gully Forest. Only very small remnants of these communities remain today when compared to those present in 1788.

 

Council has four marine protected areas within the LGA including two aquatic reserves located within the City Bronte-Coogee Aquatic Reserve, the other being Cape Banks located off Botany Bay National Park, an intertidal protection area at Long Bay and a Grey Nurse shark critical habitat area off Magic Point at the southern end of Maroubra beach.

 

Information on biodiversity is updated each year in Council’s State of the Environment (SoE) Report. Management information appears in some of Council’s open space plans of management and in vegetation management plans for non-Council land prepared by other local land managers such as golf courses.

4.3   knowledge of biodiversity

Base-line data is necessary to understand local biodiversity, that is, what species are currently present. This represents species diversity.  Gaps exist in the species lists of local invertebrates such as insects, beetles, butterflies and ants, or more ancient organisms such as fungi, lichens and bacteria. Knowledge of the local marine biodiversity is currently limited to around 362 fauna species and 27 flora species.

 

4.4   identified threatened items

State and/or Commonwealth legislation determines threatened species, populations and ecological communities.  They are classified as extinct, endangered, vulnerable or rare at a local, state or federal level. 

 

In recent years, 23 species of plants and animals that have been recorded in Randwick have been declared threatened under State and/or Commonwealth legislation.  Many more are recognized as being locally rare.  Of the threatened fauna species, some of these rely on the local area all year round, while others are migratory.

 

Two ecological communities with ‘endangered’ status are present in Randwick City; Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub, of which only 3% remains, and Sydney Freshwater Wetlands, of which only small, highly modified examples remain.

In the local marine environment, the Grey Nurse Shark, is the most prominent threatened species. However, the Great White Shark, the Black Cod and the Green Sawfish are threatened species which could occur in the ocean off Randwick City and in Botany Bay.

5.     statutory requirements

 

5.1   OUR STATE AND COMMONWEALTH RESPONSIBILITIES

Many actions identified under State and Commonwealth legislation are delegated to local government to implement and monitor. It is critical that Council exercises these responsibilities diligently, and with accuracy, to avoid loss of local biodiversity and possible prosecution.

 

This strategy has been prepared to be consistent with relevant international, national, state, regional and local laws, strategies, policies, and programs. It is also broadly consistent with the objectives and outcomes of the National Biodiversity Strategy and NSW Biodiversity Strategy.

 

Major legislation applies to threatened species; the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act, 1999, (Commonwealth) (EPBC Act) and the Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 (NSW) (TSC Act). This legislation protects threatened species, populations and ecological communities.  To address impacts and threats on each item listed under these acts, Recovery Plans and Priority Action Statements (PAS) are prepared.  The implementation of Recovery Plans and PASs are the responsibility of any landholder with threatened items present, including councils, statutory departments and private landholders.

 

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 is the principal planning legislation in NSW and is administered by the NSW Department of Planning. The most important sections of this act which affect Randwick’s biodiversity are 5A, Significant effect on threatened species, populations and ecological communities and 79C, Evaluation - Matters for consideration.  These two sections ensure that where developments may negatively affect biodiversity and its conservation, procedures are undertaken to modify the development to protect and conserve biodiversity.   This act also makes provision for environmental planning instruments such as local environment plans (LEP’s) and State Environmental Planning policies (SEPP’s), the preparation and implementation of which, can have direct impacts on biodiversity conservation. 

 

State Environment Planning Policy No. 19 - Bushland in Urban Areas (SEPP 19) is designed to protect and preserve bushland in urban areas that is zoned for public open space purposes.  It requires council to prepare plans of management for bushland in open space areas. It must be applied by council in the assessment of developments on adjacent land that may affect local bushland.  And its aims must be considered when council prepares local environmental plans (LEPs) and the retention of bushland must be given priority.

 

The Local Government Act 1993 sets out the charter for local government. The Sections pertinent to biodiversity conservation are Section 36 to 36N. These sections detail the management objectives and uses of community land with which council must comply.

 

The Noxious Weeds Act, 1993 defines the introduced plant species that pose a human health problem or are at risk to native vegetation conservation.  Randwick Council is responsible for the implementation of the Act within the city boundaries on both public and private land.

 

The Marine Estate Management Act 2014 provides for the integrated declaration and management of a comprehensive system of marine parks and aquatic reserves in the context of the whole marine estate. Under this Act, if there is development on land that is in the locality of the aquatic reserves and Council is of the opinion the development is likely to have an effect on the plants or animals within the marine park or aquatic reserve and their habitat, Council is obliged to consult with the relevant Minister(s) before finally determining the application.

 

5.2   COUNCIL’S COMMITMENT TO BIODIVERSITY

 

Council’s commitment to biodiversity and sustainability for the next 20 years has been captured in our 20 year strategic community plan. This Plan has been prepared to reflect the

community’s vision in conjunction with Council’s long term goals for the City. A key outcome in this Plan is Outcome 10 - A Healthy Environment which specifies that “bushland, open spaces and biodiversity are protected and enhanced for future generations“ (Randwick Council, 2013).

 

The Randwick Local Environment Plan (2012) is the statutory planning instrument that

currently applies to Randwick City. It was gazetted on 1 February 2013 and commenced

on 15 February 2013. The LEP designates the zoning, the development objectives and

the permissible uses for every parcel of land within the Randwick City Area.

 

The Randwick Development Control Plan (DCP) 2013 includes provisions to minimize the impacts on local habitat and biodiversity on-site and in adjacent areas, during construction,  and promotes inclusion of fauna friendly plant species as part of landscaping plans following construction works.

 

5.3   RISKS AND THREATS

The biodiversity of Randwick has been greatly reduced over the past 200 years, with an estimated 6.5% of the original remnant vegetation remaining.  Many species have become threatened or extinct at the local level, such as kangaroos and wallabies and many small bird species. Species extinctions can occur as a result of numerous, human-related actions and events.

 

The term ‘threatening processes’ is self-explanatory and some are so great and widespread that they have been identified in State and Commonwealth Acts as ‘key threatening processes’. These require certain actions to be taken by local land managers, including Council. Some threatening processes covered by legislation that are applicable to Randwick are:

  Invasion of native plant communities by Chrysanthemoides monilifera,

  Competition and grazing by the feral European Rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculu,

  Clearing of native vegetation,

  Predation by the Feral Cat Felis catus.

  Predation by foxes Vulpes vulpes

  Entanglement in, or ingestion of, anthropogenic debris in marine and estuarine environments

 

Other major threats to local biodiversity that are not covered by legislation include:

  Spread of exotic weeds and pests

  Altered fire and hydrological regimes

  Stormwater pollution

  Soil erosion

  Dumping garden waste

  Dumping household chemicals etc.

  Irresponsible pet ownership.,

  Riding of bicycles, motor bikes or horses in bushland.

 

A community which lacks interest, awareness and understanding of the values and importance of biodiversity can cause considerable damage. Council is responsible for fostering the understanding and repect of natural environments and encouraging residents to value and protect these precious areas.

 

Many seemingly benign management actions by Council and private landholders can detrimentally affect existing native flora and fauna species and plant communities. It is the responsibility of Council to ensure that all staff are aware of the impacts of their management decisions and that all environmental protection actions are implemented according to statutory requirements.  Council staff should aim to design and implement the highest standard of management actions.

 

The impacts of land-based activities on coastal waters and organisms are a major consideration in the protection of marine biodiversity. Council has a responsibility to ensure its own management practices do not detrimentally affect the marine environment.  A lack of understanding of impacts should not be an impediment to responsible design and management of council infrastructure, or to the enforcement of protective measures on private landholders.

 

6.     WHERE TO AND hOW

 

The following six measurable goals have been identified in this plan to determine how Council will conserve biodiversity. In most cases, the actions to achieve these goals are already being implemented.

 

(i)    To monitor and maintain baseline information and inventories of biodiversity in Randwick.

 

(ii)   To provide accurate advice and reporting regarding biodiversity to Council staff, landholders, developers, Government agencies and the public.

 

(iii)  To protect biodiversity in accordance with Council’s strategic land-use roles and responsibilities.

 

(iv)  To undertake on-ground work to protect, restore, maintain and enhance local biodiversity, including effective mitigation of threats.

 

(v)   To protect genetic biodiversity via production of local provenance plants at Council’s nursery.

 

(vi)  To increase community awareness and appreciation of the importance of conserving biodiversity and to engage our community in biodiversity conservation initiatives.

 

 

7.     IMPLEMENTATION, EVALUATION AND REVIEW

 

The outcomes of this Biodiversity Strategy will be achieved by implementing the Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan, This Action Plan forms the day to day work plan for relevant Council staff and ensures the integration of these goals into Council’s annual budgetary and reporting mechanisms. These actions in turn, are reflected in the position description accountabilities and work plans of the responsible staff.

 

Some of the actions required are already underway and have been in place for a number of years. Others may be updating existing actions or identifying new ways forward in the management and conservation of our biodiversity responsibilities. These goals often involve strong input and involvement of staff from different Council areas and in partnership with the community.

 

Resourcing is in part from Council’s operational budget with support from external grants or the current environmental levy program.

 

The actions identified within the 6 goals are reflected in the City Plan indicators aimed at measuring success or progress. These will continue to be reported in Council’s annual report and mandatory State of the Environment (SoE) report.

 

This Strategy will be reviewed on a regular basis in accordance with the process for Council’s other medium term plans and strategies but generally not exceeding a period of 5 years.

 

8.     CONCLUSION

 

Our Council is committed to ensuring ongoing protection and management of local biodiversity values within the City and adjacent areas, for the enjoyment of current and future residents and visitors experiencing our parks, foreshore reserves and streetscapes. With this commitment comes the need for greater understanding of biodiversity management and the responsibilities involved of all parties. It is intended that this Biodiversity Strategy forms an important strategic tool for identifying and implementing improved management, protection and restoration of our conservation responsibilities.

 

As new information, knowledge and science comes to light, there will be further opportunities, challenges and tasks to ensure the ongoing protection of our City’s biodiversity. The strategy, if applied in full, has the potential to guide the management and conservation of our City’s natural resources and contribute to a ‘nature coast’ icon for Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

 

9.     Glossary

Adaptive management

Flexible management practices that are able to change as more knowledge becomes available

Biodiversity

The variety of all life forms – the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the ecosystem of which they form a part’ (Commonwealth of Australia 1996)

Biotic community

Assemblage of populations living in a particular habitat, i.e. Groups of different species living in the same area

Bushland

 

Bushland remnant

An area where the original (pre-1788) bushland still survives. Bushland includes the plants, animals, micro-organisms, bushrock, leaf litter and other organic debris, the seed stored in the soil, and the soil.

Community

All the living parts of an ecosystem. [ANHC]

Ecological community

A vegetation community and its associated fauna organisms, animals, bacteria, fungi etc.

Ecological condition

The levels of biodiversity and functioning of ecological processes in an ecological community. Because of the complexity of measuring condition, an indicator may be used, such as the degree and extent to which a threatening process is operating, e.g. Weed invasion.

Ecological condition

The levels of biodiversity and functioning of ecological processes in an ecological community. Because of the complexity of measuring condition, an indicator may be used, such as the degree and extent to which a threatening process is operating, e.g. Weed invasion.

Ecosystem

The organisms which make up a community and the dynamic interactions between these and their non-living environment and between each other.[ANHC modified]

 

Educate

To increase awareness of local conservation issues, promote behaviour that has positive effects on the natural environment and alter behaviour that has negative effects.

Habitat

The structural environments where an organism lives for all or part of its life.[ANHC]

Identification

The confirmation of life forms against the work of a definitive higher authority using the Linnaean system of nomenclature.  Species: Plants - Harden 1990-1993; Birds - ; Mammals - ; Reptiles - ; Amphibians - ; Fish - ; Invertebrates - . Ecological communities: Benson and Howell; TSC Act. Populations: TSC Act.

Indigenous species

A species that occurs at a place within its historically known natural range and that forms part of the natural biodiversity of a place. [ANHC]

Involve

Provide opportunities for the community to be involved in regeneration and revegetation activities that create a sense of stewardship of the local environment.  Education and involvement covers a variety of activities such as the Bushcare Volunteer Program or the provision of talks and guided walks in bushland areas.

Local Significance       

Species, populations and ecological communities within Randwick local government area.

Monitor

The ongoing review, evaluation and assessment to detect changes in condition of the natural integrity of a place, with reference to a baseline condition in order to review conservation priorities, activities and resources.

 

National significance

Species, populations, ecological communities and places identified by the following: Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act; Register of the National Estate; Rare or Threatened Australian Plants (ROTAP); JAMBA; CHECK CAMBA. CHECK

Natural significance

The importance of species, populations, communities, ecosystems and places for their own existence value, or for present or future generations in terms of their scientific, social, aesthetic and life-support value.  [ANHC modified]

Population

Group of same species, commonly forming a breeding unit, sharing a particular habitat

Precautionary principle

Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation

Protection

Managing active and potential threatening processes to ensure that natural significance is retained.[ANHC modified]

Provenance

Place of origin of seed or other plant propagation material

Regeneration 

The recovery of natural integrity following disturbance. (ANHC)  Natural regeneration means the recovery of natural integrity by natural processes without human intervention. Assisted regeneration means the recovery of natural integrity by natural processes with human intervention.  Within Randwick City regeneration usually occurs where an indigenous plant species seed bank exists in the soil.

Regional Significance  

Species, populations and ecological communities within Randwick, Botany, Waverley, Woollahra, Sydney, South Sydney local government areas.

Remnant

Area where original (pre-1788) bushland still survives today

Remnant vegetation      

TO BE DEFINED BASED ON BUSHLAND. Remnant vegetation may be restored to bushland. Remnant vegetation may be of high conservation significance, including national significance. (Places where the original native vegetation of an area has survived or spread into adjacent areas by natural processes, i.e. is not derived from a planting)

 

Revegetation

The reinstatement of various elements of the original community that existed prior to disturbance in a given location.

 

Self Perpetuating Communities

flowering, fruiting, setting seed, germinating and reaching maturity to again set seed….

State Significance

Species, populations and ecological communities identified by the following: Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Threatening processes

As per the Threatened Species Conservation Act

 

10.   FURTHER READING AND References

Binning, C. and Young, M. (1999), Beyond Roads, Rates and Rubbish: Opportunities for local government to conserve native vegetation. National R&D Program on Rehabiliatation, Management and Conservation of Remnant Vegetation, Research Report, 1/99, Environment Australia, Canberra.

 

Commonwealth of Australia (1996) National Strategy for Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity . Australian Government Department of Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra.

 

Commonwealth of Australia (2002) Australian Biodiversity

Assessment. National Land and Water Resources Audit c/o Land &

Water Australia On behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia , Canberra.

 

DEH (2005) The Biodiversity Toolbox for Local Government, Department of Environment and Heritage, Commonwealth Government, Australia (from http://www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/toolbox/index.html accessed 4th March 2005)

 

DEH (2004) Australian Farm Journal BUSH p 12 November 2004

 

EPA NSW (1994)  Biodiversity, Environmental Matters 14, Environment Protection Authority, Chatswood.

 

Fallding, M., Andrew, H., Kelly, H., Bateson, P. and Donovan, I.(2001) Biodiversity Planning Guide for Local Government NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Hirschfeld, D. (1999) Prioritising Actions to Conserve Biodiversity in the Waverley Council Area, Prepared for Waverley Council by Sauveterre

 

Hornsby Shire Council (2004) Hornsby Shire Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, (from http://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/uploads/documents/BiodiversityConservationStrategyforweb.pdf accessed 22 February 2005)

 

Liverpool City Council (2003) Liverpool City Council Biodiversity Strategy. Prepared for Liverpool City Council by Eco Logical Australia.CD-ROM

 

National Parks and Wildlife Service (2001a) Biodiversity Planning Guide for NSW Local Government – In Brief, Prepared by Land & Environment Planning and Environs Australia; the Local Government Network for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

 

National Parks and Wildlife Service (2001b) Biodiversity Planning Guide for NSW Local Government – Edition 1, Prepared by Land & Environment Planning and Environs Australia; the Local Government Network for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

 

National Parks and Wildlife Service (1999) NSW Biodiversity Strategy, Hurstville, Sydney

 

Randwick City Council, State of the Environment Reports (2012)

 

Randwick City Council (2003/04) State of the Environment Report Background Paper

 

Randwick City Council (2013) The Randwick City Plan

 

Randwick City Council (2014-15), Randwick City Council Operational Plan 2013-17

 

Sproats, K. and Kelly, A. (1998) The Role of Local Government in Natural Resource Management – Discussion paper, Prepared for Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW , Sydney

 

United Nations (1992) Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3-14 June 1992 (from www.sovereignty.net/p/sd/a21 accessed on 4 May 2005

 

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2005) Agenda 21 Division for Sustainable Development (from http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/agenda21/index.htm accessed on 4 May 2005

 

United Nations Environment Programme (2005) Convention on Biological Diversity Website (from http://www.biodiv.org/convention/default.shtml accessed on 4 May 2005)

11.   Appendices

 

Appendix I: Summary of Species Found in Randwick

 

Animal / Plant Group

No. of species recorded in City of Randwick

LAND

 

Mammals

7

Birds (including shore birds)

171

Fish (freshwater)

1

Reptiles

29

Frogs

16

Plants (vascular)

510

Mosses

12

Lichens

3

Liverworts

5

Algae (freshwater)

10

Blue-green algae (freshwater)

6

Fungi

4

SEA

 

Mammals

4

Birds

51

Turtles

1

Fish (saltwater)

162

Other sea animals

168

Plants

27

 

This includes all animal species recorded since 1990 and all plant species recorded since 1970. For more information, refer to Council’s most recent State of the Environment Report or contact Council’s Bushland Management Section, general.manager@randwick.nsw.gov.au or view more detailed information at www.randwick.nsw.gov.au

 

This Strategy has been prepared so as to be consistent with relevant international, national, state, regional and local laws, strategies, policies, etc. A number of the more relevant of these are identified below.

appendix II: legislation

 

This appendix includes all legislation that applies to biodiversity conservation in Randwick City and that has been referred to in the preparation of the BCS. 

 

International

United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (ratified by Australia on 18 June, 1993) and Agenda 21.

Japan – Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA).

China – Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA).

 

National

National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity (1996).

National Local Government Biodiversity Strategy (1998).

Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment (1992) Schedule 6.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

National Weeds Strategy (1997).

National Strategy – Bitou Bush/Boneseed (2001)

 

State

 

Strategies relevant to Council’s activities:

NSW Biodiversity Strategy.

NSW Bitou Bush Strategy (2001)

 

Legislation relevant to Council’s activities:

Local Government Act 1993.

Local Government Amendment (Ecological Sustainable Development) Act 1997 (section 8).

Threatened Species Legislation Amendment Act 2004.

Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979.

Noxious Weeds Act 1993.

State Environmental Planning Policy No. 19: Bushland in Urban Areas.

Rural Fires Act 1997.

Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

National Parks & Wildlife Act 1974.

Marine Estate Management Act 2014.

Companion Animals Act 1998.

 

Regional and Local

 

Greater Sydney Local Land Service Transition Catchment Action Plan 2013-23

Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012.

Randwick Development Control Plan 2013

Council’s Annual Management Plan.

Randwick City Plan

Randwick City Council’s annual State of the Environment Report.

Randwick City Council Tree Preservation Order (2001).

Randwick Street Tree Master Plan (2002)

Randwick City Significant Tree Register

 

 

A number of Randwick City Council Open Space Plans of Management, including:

Glebe Gully Plan of Management, EBC Consultants, September 1986

Clovelly Bay Plan of Management, Manidis Roberts Consults, 2002

Frenchmans Bay Plan of Management, GHD, May 2002

Heffron Park Draft Plan of Management, Randwick City Council, 1996

Gordons Bay Reserve Plan of Management, Land Systems EBC, October 1994

Restoration of Indigenous Vegetation at Gordon’s Bay, National Trust of Australia (NSW), May 1994

Coogee Beach Foreshore Plan of Management, Manidis Roberts Consultants, November 1997

Malabar Beach and Foreshore Plan of Management, Manidis Roberts Consultants, October 1994

Malabar Headland Draft Plan of Management – Volume 1 The Plan, Manidis Roberts Consultants, May 1990

Maroubra Beach Plan of Management Overview, Hassell, September 1996

Trenerry Reserve Regeneration and Revegetation Plan, Seaside Landscapes, July 1991.

 

 

Development Control Plan - Prince Henry Hospital

Development Control Plan –Bundock Street  Defence Site Randwick (February 2003)

 

 


Environment Committee                                                                                       10 November 2015

 

RCC LOGO_Stacked_COLOUR_RGB

 

Environment Report No. E13/15

 

Subject:                  Update on waste management issues including programs and campaigns aimed at reducing littering and illegal dumping and improving recycling and resource recovery

Folder No:               F2004/07259

Author:                    Peter Maganov, Manager Sustainability; Talebul Islam, Coordinator Strategic Waste      

 

Introduction

 

In Motion Pursuant to Notice (Cr Stavrinos, NM 38/15), it was resolved that:

 

a)    Council bring back a report investigating the possibility of running an education campaign in the Randwick LGA on general litter (in particular cigarette butts) advising residents on how to dispose of their rubbish correctly; and

 

b)     as part of this report, look at grants offered by various government agencies aimed at funding general litter education campaigns. 

 

Issues

 

Council’s current Waste Management Strategy provides the strategic direction for waste management initiatives underway across Randwick.

 

While the Waste Management Strategy, developed in 2010, is currently under review, the strategy also provides the platform for a number of additional Council plans and policies including:

 

·      Randwick’s Resource Recovery Strategy

·      Our Illegal Dumping and Litter Management Plan

·      Randwick’s Recycling Contamination Management Plan.

 

One of the drivers for Council’s current review of its Waste Management Strategy has been the recent changes to the NSW Government Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (WARR) Strategy, 2014 – 2021 and the related adjustments to waste reduction targets set by the NSW Government. In addition to the NSW Government waste avoidance strategy, the Premier Mike Baird announced a number of new government priorities in September this year which included an intention to reduce the volume of litter by 40 per cent by 2020.

 

With regard to litter, Council’s more recent focus has been on:

 

·      illegal dumping issues across our community

·      improving kerbside collection performance results

·      reducing litter issues across our beaches and shopping areas.

 

In this regard, the Council response to illegal dumping has resulted in the roll-out of CCTV cameras for littering and dumping ‘hotspots’ and an agreement, funded to a large part by the NSW EPA, to expand the inner west Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) squad to incorporate eastern and southern beach areas which include both Waverley and Randwick local government areas.

 

There has also been a continuing major effort underway to improve kerbside collection programs for residents, student tenants and tenants of public housing areas all aimed at increasing correct resource recovery behaviour and reduce the incidence of kerbside littering whether in the form of poorly presented rubbish bins or unscheduled placement of ‘hard-waste’ household items on the kerb. This includes face-to-face meetings with tenants and new posters at multi-units using the homeowners images to successfully promote and encourage correct recycling and less dumping around on-site waste enclosures.

 

Over the past two to three years, Council has also worked with adjoining Councils on a number of combined community education programs aimed at reducing the level of littering particularly along our combined beach areas over the very busy summer months. Council’s previous beach litter campaign is to be reinstated for this summer aimed at reinforcing our messages of correct rubbish disposal for those visiting and frequenting our beaches over the summer months. This year’s campaign will include additional signage and enhanced infrastructure with additional staff on-site working to increase the understanding of beachgoers on bin and recycling station locations. Keep Australia Beautiful NSW has also agreed to provide staff and volunteers at a number of eastern beaches working with visitors to improve litter and waste.

 

A key problem for our heavily visited beaches remains the sheer numbers of visitors on continuously hot summer days. This huge load of people and the volume of food, drinks and other materials brought to the beaches on successively hot days and to adjacent park areas can make it virtually impossible for groups and individuals to see signage or even well-placed rubbish and recycling bins locations. The emphasis of the Council services during these peak times is to keep processing the huge volumes of litter material placed correctly in rubbish or recycling bins and to clean public areas before, during and after the waves of visitors presenting themselves on beaches and picnicking on the adjacent grass areas.

 

This year’s community education campaign will aim to incorporate a greater focus on follow up and evaluation so the lessons learned can be incorporated into a wider education campaign for the following holiday periods. A number of successful measures from other local Councils will also be included in the campaign being prepared for our local beaches. 

 

In keeping with the NSW Government’s renewed focus and interest in litter as an issue, there are funds available for local Council anti-littering programs. This funding is coming through the Waste Less/Recycle More grants program. Council has not been able to access these funds to date due to the immense pressure of funding applications received and processed by the NSW Government. Strategic Waste are working cooperatively with agencies to test our potential projects against the range of projects applied for across NSW Councils. Although there have been 2 successful funding rounds announced by the NSW Government, Round 3 project funding, its timeline and announcement of successful projects are not likely to be announced in time for the 2015-16 summer period.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:     A healthy environment.

Direction 10(d):        Waste is managed sustainably to ensure the highest level of resource recovery.

 

 

 

 

Financial impact statement

 

The existing community education campaign to reduce littering of our beaches over the summer period has a funding allocation of approximately $60,000 which forms part of the uncontested funding provided to Council from the NSW Government waste grants.

Conclusion

 

Littering is a significant issue with a strong public response to the unsightliness, clean-up and related environmental and social costs. This is evidenced by the consistent result in Randwick’s ‘Who Cares About the Environment’ community surveys where littering, beach and ocean pollution continues to show the highest concern amongst local residents. There also continues to be a pattern of community behaviour behind littering activity even when Council service levels are high, such as they are in both Randwick and Waverley through the provision of frequently located rubbish bins, recycling stations, regular beach-cleaning machinery in place as well as the attendance of outdoor staff to physically clean up after the huge numbers of visitors and beachgoers to our beach areas.

 

The NSW Government, SSROC member Councils as well as Randwick and adjoining Councils currently have a number of research and practical projects underway to improve the understanding, motivation and useful deterrents to littering. Results of these projects as well as Council’s review of our Waste Management Strategy will be reported further to Council by early next year. This will include the status of funding applications submitted by Council to the NSW Government funding programs.

 

Recommendation

 

That Council notes the various strategic and operational approaches aimed at reducing littering in its various forms, from the kerbside, in our parks, town centres and on our beaches.

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil