State News

Awards prove a year of adversity did not stop councils from outstanding environmental achievement

An ambitious strategy to reduce emissions, improve sustainable energy use, increase recycling, plant more than 1400 trees and inspire the community to embrace sustainability has earned City of Canada Bay Council one of the State’s top annual environment awards.

LGNSW President Linda Scott said City of Canada Bay Council was a worthy winner of the Local Government NSW’s (LGNSW) Excellence in the Environment Awards’ Local Sustainability Award and was a standout among an impressive field of 16 category winners.

“City of Canada Bay Council has done an outstanding job of developing a strategy that will lead their community to an environmentally sustainable future. It has already resulted in a 35 per cent reduction in council operational emissions and increased community recycling efforts,” Cr Scott said.

“They are a great example of how councils punch well above their weight in delivering outstanding environmental outcomes with limited resources at their disposal.

“Each year NSW councils invest around $1.7 billion in environmental management collectively and these awards recognise and celebrate their achievements.”

Other individual category winners at this year’s awards included:

  • Bathurst Regional Council’s Let’s Make It Last: water security communication and engagement program, which helped the Bathurst community achieve a substantial and sustained decrease of 63 per cent in water consumption to 130 litres per person per day from January 2019 to May 2020.
  • Shoalhaven City Council’s Bushfire Demolition Waste recycling effort, with council setting up a temporary processing facility to recycle around 18,000 tonnes of waste generated from homes destroyed in the summer bushfires to reduce pressure on limited local landfill capacity;
  • Campbelltown City Council’s efforts to eradicate fast growing and fast spreading invasive Frogbit weed through a 15-month project that saw massive removal and vastly improved surveillance methods, greatly reducing the weed that had threatened to choke upper Georges River.

“Overall, there were 38 finalists in 16 categories, representing a vast variety of inspiring council-led environmental initiatives across NSW,” Cr Scott said.

“What is especially impressive is that many councils undertook these resource-demanding projects while fighting through the effects of drought, devastating bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“NSW councils have a strong environmental record and LGNSW supports their efforts through these highly-respected awards as well as through a range of other initiatives.

“For example, we are leading councils’ call for the NSW Government to fund and help deliver a fresh approach to waste and recycling through our Save Our Recycling campaign.

“LGNSW also partners with State Government to provide the Increasing Resilience to Climate Change program, supporting council projects that make their communities more climate resilient.  Applications for Round 3, with $600,000 available, are closing this week (15 October).”

For more details on this year’s LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards, including case studies of winning projects, click here.

Note: Division A – population under 30,000; Division B – population 30,000-70,000; Division C – population 70,000-plus
Asbestos Management
Division A winner and overall category winner: Snowy Valleys Council
Division B highly commended: Tamworth Regional Council
Division C highly commended: Penrith City Council
Division C winner: Liverpool City Council
Environmental Health Management
Division C and overall category winner: Central Coast Council
Community Waste Services
Division C winner and overall category winner: Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation
Resource Recovery
Division C highly commended: Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils
Division C winner and overall category winner: Shoalhaven City Council
Behaviour Change in Waste
Division A highly commended: Muswellbrook Shire Council
Division A winner: Forbes Shire Council
Division B winner: Lane Cove Council
Division C highly commended: Northern Beaches Council
Division C winner and overall category winner: Waverley Council
Water Management
Division A winner: Murray River Council
Division C winner: City of Sydney
Natural Environment Protection and Enhancement: On-Ground Works
Division C highly commended: Wollongong City Council and Central Coast Council
Division C winner and overall category winner: Coffs Harbour City Council
Invasive Species Management
Division B winner: Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council
Division C winner and overall category winner: Campbelltown City Council
Roadside Environmental Management
Division C highly commended: Sutherland Shire Council
Division C winner and overall category winner: Port Stephens Council
Innovation in Planning, Policies and Decision Making
Division B winner and overall category winner: Byron Shire Council
Division C winner: Blue Mountains City Council

Communication, Education and Empowerment
Division B and overall category winner: Bathurst Regional Council
Division C highly commended: Campbelltown City Council and Northern Beaches Council
Division C winner: Blacktown City Council
Climate Change Adaption
Division C highly commended: Ku-ring-gai Council
Division C winner and overall winner: Penrith City Council
Towards Net Zero Emissions
Division B winner: Dubbo Regional Council
Division C highly commended: Georges River Council
Division C winner and overall winner: Shoalhaven City Council
Sustainable Infrastructure
Division A highly commended: Forbes Shire Council
Division B winner and overall category winner: Goldenfields Water County Council
Local Sustainability
Highly commended: Blue Mountains City Council
Overall category winner: City of Canada Bay Council
Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability
Loani Tierney, Mosman Council
Thanks to our Award sponsors including: Department of Planning, Industry & Environment, Environment Protection Authority, Department of Primary Industries, Ministry of Health, SafeWork NSW, Landcom, Water Directorate, NSW Roadside Environment Committee, Wolfpeak, Cleanaway and Local Government Super.