5 July 2012

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Councillor/Sir/Madam

 

You are invited to attend an ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE of Ashfield Council, to be held on Level 6, Civic Centre, 260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield on TUESDAY  17 JULY 2012 at 7:00 PM 6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

SEE ATTACHED AGENDA


 

Environmental Committee - 17 July 2012

 

AGENDA

 

1.               Opening

 

2.               Acknowledgement of Local Indigenous Community

 

3.               Apologies/Request for Leave of Absence

                   

4.               Disclosures Of Interest

 

Disclosures to be made by any Committee members who have a pecuniary / non-pecuniary interest in respect of matters that are before the Committee at this meeting.

(17/07/2012)

 

5.               Confirmation of Minutes Committees

 

Environmental Committee - 24/04/2012

 

6.               Staff Reports

 

6.1        Environmental Levy Projects 2012-13

 

6.2        GreenWay Governance Research Final Report

 

6.3        Final GreenWay Active Transport Strategy

 

6.4        Draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy

 

 

7.               General Business

 

 

 

8.               Close

 

 

 

 

 


Ashfield Council – Report to Environmental Committee held on Tuesday 17 July 2012 EC6.1

Subject                            ENVIRONMENTAL LEVY PROJECTS 2012-13

 

File Ref                            Environmental Levy

 

Prepared by                   Janene Harris - Team Leader Sustainability       

 

 

Reasons                          To provide an update to Council on the Environmental Levy Projects, and to outline proposed allocations for the 2012/13 financial year

 

 

Objective                         To seek Council’s endorsement of proposed funding allocations for the 2010/11 Environmental Levy funding

 

 

 


Overview of Report

This report outlines some of the successful undertakings of the Environment Levy and proposes funding allocations for Environmental Levy projects to be undertaken in the 2012/13 financial year.

 

 

Background

The Environmental Levy was established in the 2006/07 financial year as part of a special rates variation. Each year the levy funds approximately $140,000 - $150,000 worth of environmental programs. 

 

To date the Environmental Levy has supported a number of successful initiatives including the popular Treading Lightly sustainable living workshop series; energy efficiency initiatives including the installation of a 10kW Solar Panel System at Haberfield Library, water savings initiatives and the highly successful Kids EcoFestival (in partnership with Ashfield Mall).

 

Table 1 below summarises proposed budget allocations for the 2012/13 Environment Levy and the section following discusses each project area in brief.

 

Table 1. Environment Levy Proposed Projects for 2011/12

Project

Status

Budget Allocation

Environmental Workshops

Ongoing

$11,000

School & Early Childhood Environmental Education

Ongoing

$22,000

Water Efficiency Programs

Ongoing

$7,690

Energy Efficiency & Climate Change Initiatives

Ongoing

$9,850

 


 

Project

Status

Budget Allocation

Community Environmental Grants Program

Ongoing

$5,000

Street Trees

Ongoing

$30,000

GreenWay

New

$22,000

Bushcare and Biodiversity Programs

New

$28,000

Garage Sale Trail

New

$10,000

Total Environment Levy 2012/13

 

$145,540

 

Environmental Workshops

Ashfield Council has been a partner in the successful “Treading Lightly: EcoLiving in the Inner West” community workshop program for over 6 years.  Four councils, Ashfield, Burwood, Canada Bay and Leichhardt work together to provide our community with a comprehensive and coordinated calendar of sustainable living events. The total Treading Lightly Program provides over 50 workshops to the community each year on a broad range of topics. As part of this program each year Ashfield Council provides over 14 workshops covering a wide range of topics from Growing Food in Small Spaces to Learn to Cycle for Kids.

 

School and Early Childhood Environmental Education Resources & Programs

The school environmental education program is another successful ongoing program of the Environmental Levy. An allocation of funds is put aside each year from the Levy to support Ashfield schools, child care centres and playgroups in their endeavours to provide environmental education to children. Schools and childcare centres are visited on request, and Council’s Sustainability Team often partners with Library Services and Community Services staff to present sustainability themed library story time and school holiday activities.

 

Council through this program has also engaged various contractors to run environmental education modules in local Primary Schools. Each year this program reaches over 700 students, educating them in the areas of the waste management, recycling, smart shopping and litter. During 2011/12 Council extended this program to High Schools.

 

In April 2012 the Sustainability Team hosted the second annual Kids Eco Festival in partnership with Ashfield Mall. The festival was aimed at providing school holiday entertainment with a focus on sustainability. This festival continues to be a great success with over 1500 children and parents attending the festival throughout the week. Due to its ongoing success this Kids Eco Festival will continue to be funded through the environmental education arm of the levy.

 

Water Saving Initiatives

Council has in the past focused a lot of funding from the Environmental Levy toward water conservation projects and has had great success with reducing our water use. Through this program we have installed rainwater tanks at Council buildings and parks and upgraded our parks and public amenities with water efficient fixtures. Whilst there is always scope to do more the projects that remain are large scale capital projects that would require additional external funding through grants.


A small allocation from the environmental levy has been made towards water efficiency during 2012-13 to ensure we have some seed funding for larger projects, to enable us to carry out some water education programs and to allow Council the opportunity to act on any new water saving projects as they arise.

 

Energy efficiency and climate change programs

Council has committed to reducing its corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and has engaged Planet Footprint Pty Ltd to assist us in quantifying our greenhouse gas emissions on a corporate level. As with the water efficiency programs Council has been allocating funding from the Environmental Levy to this area for many years and whilst there is still much work to do a smaller allocation toward energy efficiency programs has been included in the 2012-13 environmental levy. This allocation will allow Council to undertake some energy upgrades for two sites within our top 10 energy using sites.

 

Street Trees

Each year there is an ongoing contribution from the Environment Levy towards the management and protection of the municipality’s street trees.

 

Community Environmental Grants Program

During 2011-12 Council included for the first time an environmental grants component to the Community Grants Program. This component was introduced following the increased number of requests for community activities and projects that had strong environmental and sustainability outcomes. The 2011-12 program was a success and as such an allocation has been made within the 2012-13 Environmental Levy to continue this program.

 

GreenWay

In September 2012, the GreenWay Sustainability Project and associated $1.83m funding will end. The Project has worked with partner councils and the community to deliver a diverse range of projects and coordinate regional, strategic planning for biodiversity, active transport and sustainable governance. The Project has already realised important sustainability outcomes for the partner councils and their communities and will build on this work until September 2012.

 

Securing an ongoing commitment and funding from the partner councils for the GreenWay for future governance and regional projects is an important next step to consolidating the work of the GreenWay Sustainability Project and ensuring the GreenWay continues its journey towards a community visioned reality. As such it is proposed that an allocation from the Environmental Levy be made to support the GreenWay Project into the future. Marrickville, Leichhardt and Canterbury Councils will also be considering budget allocations toward the GreenWay as part of their 2012/13 Delivery Planning and Budget process.

 

A meeting of the Mayors and General Managers of GreenWay councils was held on the May 17 to discuss the future governance arrangements of the GreenWay following the conclusion of the GreenWay Sustainability Project and associated grant funding in September 2012.  A number of issues were discussed including the level of funding to be provided by the partner councils to continue to advocate for the GreenWay to be built and to support the community with GreenWay programs.


There was support for making an interim decision about future governance and all councils present (Marrickville, Leichhardt and Ashfield) agreed that given the position of the NSW Government around the GreenWay a one year commitment would be suitable at this time. The preferred governance arrangement for 2012/2013 is scenario 1 (as detailed in Attachment 1) - a full time GreenWay Place Manager and part time Coordinator. Scenario 1 includes a $37,000 funding commitment from Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville Councils and $3,000 from Canterbury Council. At the writing of this report Marrickville Council has confirmed their contribution for 2012/13.

 

Council currently allocates $15,000 per year towards the GreenWay from the Sustainability Team’s annual budget. Therefore, an additional allocation of $22,000 has been included within the environmental levy to ensure Council can meet its proposed commitment ($37,000 total) to the future funding of the GreenWay.

 

 

Bushcare and Biodiversity Programs

Ashfield Council has traditionally supported the work of the Inner West Environment Group (IWEG) making a small financial contribution to IWEG to assist with the maintenance of the two bushcare sites within the Ashfield area, Cadigal Reserve and Richard Murden Reserve. As a volunteer group IWEG recognised that they were unable to continue to carryout bushcare at all of their sites and recently decided to focus their bushcare efforts to three sites within the rail corridor and give control of the bushcare sites within Cadigal Reserve and Richard Murden Reserve back to Ashfield Council. Council did not have a bushcare program or the resources to support these sites and were fortunate that the GreenWay Sustainability Project and the GreenWay Bushcare Program were able to step in to continue and enhance bushcare works at these sites. With the GreenWay Sustainability Project about to end it is essential that Council have in place resources and programs that will ensure bushcare activities can be maintained at our sites. It is also important that we have programs in place to support the many volunteers from the Ashfield area that are currently participating in the GreenWay Bushcare Program. The environmental levy allocation proposed to this program area will not only go towards covering Council’s ongoing responsibilities with regards to Bushcare but will also enable Council to carry out some broader biodiversity projects. 

 

Garage Sale Trail

The Garage Sale Trail is an internationally recognised community sustainability program that encourages householders to hold Garage Sales on one day. Ashfield Council was able to utilise funding from the Waste & Sustainability Improvement Payment this year to enable our participation in the 2012 Garage Sale Trail.

 

The Garage Sale Trail was held on May 5, 2012 with great success; over 35 garage sales were registered in the Ashfield area. 

 

The Garage Sale Trail presented a fantastic opportunity for Council to show its leadership across several of the themes in our Community Strategic Plan as it helps residents to act more sustainably and also encourages "Distinctive neighbourhoods" by creating connections between neighbours and the community generally. Results show that each seller made on average 6 new neighbourly connections, therefore resulting in 826 new neighbourly connections made within the LGA as a result of Council’s participation and support of the Garage Sale Trail.


 

In addition, this year’s event was held on May 5, the weekend prior to the May General Clean Up, so it not only provided a great community program but also worked to ensure less waste being sent to landfill as it provided an alternative to disposing items through the Clean Up. A total of 7,980 items were listed for sale within Ashfield and the sellers made an average of $401 in pocket money on the day, of which 74% was spent locally.

 

It is proposed that an allocation of funds be made within the environmental levy to ensure Council can continue to participate in the Garage Sale Trail in 2013.

 

Financial Implications

 

As described above in Table 1.

 

Conclusion

The Environmental Levy continues to facilitate a number positive and tangible programs and sustainability outcomes for our community. The 2012-13 Environmental Levy Project Plan as described in this report will enable Council to continue meeting the commitments it made when establishing the Levy, both through continuing the delivery of established programs, and through developing new initiatives and undertakings that are relevant and important to our community and the environment at the present time.

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Greenway Future Funding Proposal

10 Pages

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council endorse the Environmental Levy Projects for 2012/13 as tabled in this report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phil Sarin

Director Planning and Environment

 

 

 

 


Attachment 1

 

Greenway Future Funding Proposal

 











Ashfield Council – Report to Environmental Committee held on Tuesday 17 July 2012 EC6.2

Subject                            GREENWAY GOVERNANCE RESEARCH FINAL REPORT

 

File Ref                            GREENWAY

 

Prepared by                   Lauren McIver - Greenway Project Manager       

 

 

Reasons                          To advise Council of the completion of the Macquarie University research project as well as the key findings and recommendations.

 

Objective                         To ensure Council is aware of the innovative options for the ongoing governance of the GreenWay developed through extensive research and consultation.

 

 


Overview of Report

Macquarie University has recently completed a three year research project focussed on the governance of the GreenWay and has provided Council with a final report and the Key Research Findings.  This research was completed as a key activity of the GreenWay Sustainability Project (the Project), funded by the NSW Environmental Trust.

 

The Project engaged Macquarie University to assist with the development of a better-practice governance model for managing a shared asset (the GreenWay) consistent with the GreenWay’s sustainability objectives.  It aimed to improve the multi-stakeholder, sustainable management of shared assets through integrating the objective areas of governance, environment, transport and community with a coordinated approach by all stakeholders.

 

An action research process was adopted, including collaborative workshops, capacity building, mentoring and reflective practices as well as traditional research methods.

 

Key recommendations for governance models include a GreenWay Place Manager or an independent GreenWay Association.  These models enable ongoing partnerships and innovation to help realise the community’s GreenWay vision for an environmental, community and transport corridor.  The models have been discussed extensively with councils and the community through a series of workshops and meetings.  The research also included comprehensive consultation with GreenWay stakeholders through interviews and meetings.

 

The Macquarie University Final Report & Key Findings outlines the research approach, key findings and recommendations for the future governance of the GreenWay.  The research should be used to guide future decision-making and will be a valuable resource for councils and communities now and into the future.  The researchers also recommend stakeholders explore innovative alternatives for continuing to fund the current GreenWay Programs and realising the GreenWay pathway.  There are many examples provided in the paper for governance and funding alternatives possible under both the Place Manager and Association options.


 

Background

Since 2009 the GreenWay Sustainability Project has worked in a research partnership with Macquarie University focussed on the development of a sustainable governance model for the GreenWay.  The research, led by Jenny George, has included national and international case studies, action research and consultation with key GreenWay stakeholders, including councils, community groups and local residents.

 

The purpose of developing a sustainable governance model was to provide a framework for how the GreenWay, an asset shared between multiple stakeholders, could be successfully governed to realise the community’s vision of a recognisable environmental, cultural and sustainable transport connecting the Cooks River and Iron Cove.  

 

The research methodology, case studies, key findings from the literature and recommended models are outlined comprehensively in the Final Report and Key Findings.

 

The key recommendations are for a GreenWay Place Manager working across the four councils and with key stakeholders, or an independent GreenWay Association which would be supported by the councils but run independently.  Details on each of the models are included in the report, including key characteristics, benefits, a SWOT analysis and how each of the models could be implemented.  Another option emerging from consultation was for a Place Manager model to transition to an Association within a nominated period of time.

 

The recommendations have been presented to the Mayors and General Managers from the partner councils as part of future planning for the GreenWay following the conclusion of the GreenWay Sustainability Project in September 2012.  In 2011 each of the partner councils signalled their ongoing commitment to the GreenWay and in principle agreement to a Memorandum of Understanding outlining their financial and in kind commitment to this regional project.

 

Although the GreenWay shared pathway has been deferred by the NSW Government, many aspects of the GreenWay vision continue to be realised.  The GreenWay corridor and its surrounding catchment provides a platform for achieving significant sustainability outcomes for councils and their communities, including sustainability education, bushcare, environmental improvements, volunteer training and the community arts.  The has been clearly demonstrated across the four Council areas through the GreenWay Sustainability Project.

 

Financial Implications

This Project was a $90,000 research partnership of the GreenWay Sustainability Project, funded by the NSW Environmental Trust.

 

Public Consultation

Extensive consultation was undertaken as part of the research project and included workshops with Council staff, Mayors and Councillors as well as two community workshops attended by more than 80 community representatives in May 2011, the results of which were previously reported to Council.  The research also included extensive participation in GreenWay meetings, consultation with the GreenWay Sustainability Project and interviews with key community representatives.


 

A GreenWay Governance seminar was hosted by Ashfield Council on Tuesday 28 May to share the findings of the research and consider next steps beyond the grant funding.  The Key Findings Report is available on the GreenWay website at www.greenway.org.au and has been provided to community groups including Friends of the GreenWay and the Inner West Environment Group (IWEG).

 

The full Project Report is available for perusal at Ashfield Council and will be made widely available after being published by the authors in August this year.  The full report includes extensive information about local and international case studies, key findings from the literature and extensive information about the proposed models.

 

Conclusion

With the GreenWay Sustainability Project concluding in September 2012, councils have signalled their ongoing commitment to the GreenWay and are finalising their level of ongoing financial investment, with a view to employing a Place Manager for an initial 12 month period.

 

Macquarie University’s research will provide an excellent resource for councils and the community to achieve inspiring sustainability outcomes across four Local Government Areas.

 

The key findings and recommendations should be used by councils and GreenWay stakeholders to guide future decision-making on governance and to assist with the transition to a new governance model in order to continue GreenWay programs and realise the community’s GreenWay vision.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Macquarie University GreenWay Research Key Findings

17 Pages

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1/3 That Council notes the completion of the Macquarie University research partnership as part of the GreenWay Sustainability Project, including the Final Report and Key Findings.

 

2/3 That Council notes the key recommended models for the GreenWay include a GreenWay Place Manager, a GreenWay Association or a Place Manager transitioning to an Association.

 

3/3 That Council notes the researchers’ recommendations for exploring innovative alternatives for continuing to fund the GreenWay programs and realise the shared pathway, including philanthropic donations, entrepreneurship and corporate partnerships.

 

 

Phil Sarin

Director Planning and Environment


Attachment 1

 

Macquarie University GreenWay Research Key Findings

 


















Ashfield Council – Report to Environmental Committee held on Tuesday 17 July 2012 EC6.3

Subject                            FINAL GREENWAY ACTIVE TRANSPORT STRATEGY

 

File Ref                            GREENWAY

 

Prepared by                   Lauren McIver - Greenway Project Manager       

 

 

Reasons                          To report on outcomes from public exhibition and provide Council with the final GreenWay Active Transport Strategy for adoption

 

Objective                         Adoption of GreenWay Active Transport Strategy by partner Councils for ongoing implementation.

 

 

 


Overview of Report


The GreenWay Active Transport Strategy & Action Plan has been completed as a key activity of the GreenWay Sustainability Project.  The Strategy has been developed in collaboration with key stakeholders and provides a range of initiatives to encourage residents to increasingly choose healthier transport options such as walking and cycling.

 

This Strategy is part of a suite of documents that support the GreenWay’s realisation, both as a safe off-road active transport route and the broader GreenWay concept of a more liveable, environmentally and socially sustainable corridor.

 

The Strategy has been publicly exhibited by the GreenWay Sustainability Project and the Project’s four partner Councils.  Feedback for the Strategy was positive from a broad range of stakeholders. More than 100 responses were received for the online feedback survey as well as several detailed submissions.   Suggestions for the draft Strategy have been considered by the Project, Councils and its consultants and incorporated into the final Strategy & Action Plan.

 

The GreenWay Active Transport Strategy provides a valuable guide for Councils to improve health and well-being for residents as well as assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Implementation of initiatives is currently underway by the GreenWay Project and the partner Councils.  The Strategy will continue to be implemented by the partner Councils and overseen by ongoing dedicated resourced for the GreenWay, such as the GreenWay Place Manager.  It will assist in developing an active transport culture and provide further impetus for the NSW Government to implement the GreenWay shared pathway from the Cooks River to Iron Cove.

 


 

Background

The GreenWay Active Transport Strategy & Action Plan has been developed as a key activity of the GreenWay Sustainability Project, a partnership between Ashfield, Leichhardt Marrickville and Canterbury Councils funded by the NSW Environmental Trust.  The Strategy & Action Plan was developed by AECOM and Sustainable Transport Consultants in collaboration with the Project’s partners and key stakeholders.

 

The primary aims of the Strategy are to encourage greater use of the GreenWay for active transport and to promote an increased uptake of healthier transport choices such as walking and cycling. The Strategy also supports the utilisation of and access to future light rail stations, by encouraging dual mode transport (active and public transport).

 

There are many benefits to increasing active transport, including the positive health effects, increased fitness, well-being and a reduction in the environmental impact of transport.   As car use is preferred by many individuals for perceived convenience, time efficiency and autonomy, new strategies and initiatives need to be developed to make cycling and walking a more attractive, efficient and ultimately preferred options.

 

The GreenWay, with its stretch of open space, provides a significant opportunity to increase people’s use of active transport and open space at the same time.  The Strategy includes a suite of initiatives developed from a review of national and international case studies and targeted to user groups. 

 

Scope

While this strategy addresses various issues in order to enable the required behaviour change for an increase in residents choosing active travel, there are some barriers that are beyond the means of this strategy.  This includes heavy traffic conditions and problematic crossings of major roads.  The deferral of the GreenWay shared pathway (during the development of the Strategy) means these issues will no longer be largely resolved by the creation of an off road shared pathway alongside the light rail.  To resolve these issues without the GreenWay shared pathway, traffic modification and new crossings would be required. 

 

Councils have been approached for initial consultation by the Sustainable Transport division of Transport for NSW as part of a project on the “Cooks River to White Bay Active Transport Corridor”.  In addition, a new pathway over Parramatta Road will be constructed as part of access to the new Taverners Hill light rail stop. A “Build the GreenWay” campaign is continuing, led by local Councils, Friends of the GreenWay and local residents.

 

Initiatives

The initiatives are outlined in the Strategy. They have been developed following a review of national and international case studies as well as consultation with the community and key stakeholders.  The emphasis is on behaviour change as well as creating connections between people and place.  They include bicycle training, lifestyle promotion, an active travel map and smart phone application, awareness days and themed tours, signage and way-finding, and end of trip facilities and aids. 


The initiative matrix identifies which initiatives will target various user groups.  They have been tested and modified through extensive consultation with partner Councils, state agencies, community groups and local residents.

 

A targeted program of initiatives is currently being implemented by the GreenWay Sustainability Project in partnership with local community groups and partner Councils.

 

Initiatives currently being rolled out include:

Bike training and bike racks for schools

End of trip facilities in Council parks

Signage and way-finding

GreenWay Active Travel Map

Inaugural GreenWay Hub Day -  23 June 2012

Launch of the GreenWay Food & Art Trail - Saturday 23 June 2012

 

Financial Implications

This project has been completed in partnership with consultants AECOM and Sustainable Transport Consultants as part of the GreenWay Sustainability Project, funded by the NSW Environmental Trust.  The value of the consultancy is $81,286.  The Project is currently implementing initiatives up to $200,000 with partner Councils.  It is recommended that Councils continue to implement these initiatives as part of ongoing active transport and sustainability programs within their organisations and in order to each objectives set out in the Community Strategic Plan.  Staff from each of the Councils are already involved in implementation.  This will continue under the direction of future GreenWay staff, such as the GreenWay Place Manager.

 

Other Staff Comments

 

 

Public Consultation

 

Strategy Development

The development of the Strategy included significant community and stakeholder consultation to draw on the knowledge and experience of groups that have been involved in the GreenWay for many years, as well as current GreenWay users, potential users, Councils and state agencies.  Research included surveys, interviews and community and stakeholder workshops. 

 

A range of stakeholders have been involved in this process including Councils, community groups, state agencies, advocacy groups, local residents and open space users.  The Research & Consultation Report includes a comprehensive overview of the process and key findings. 

 

Public Exhibition

The draft Active Transport Strategy and Action Plan was endorsed by the four partner Councils for public exhibition during March 2012.  The exhibition was widely promoted to GreenWay stakeholders, local residents as well as directly to people who had participated in the consultation process, through GreenWay e-news, Council website and Mayoral Columns.


An online survey was set up on the GreenWay website at www.greenway.org.au to enable stakeholders to provide quick and convenient feedback on the draft Strategy.

 

More than 100 responses to the online survey were received as well as several detailed submissions, including a submission from Friends of the GreenWay, The Environment Works and a representative from the GreenWay Steering Committee.  Overall, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive with the majority of respondents indicating support for the Plan and its initiatives to encourage an increased uptake of walking and cycling.  The most popular initiatives included improved active travel access to CityRail and future light rail, GreenWay Hubs & Green Safe Streets, signage & way-finding and the active travel map & app.  This feedback has guided the staging and prioritisation of implementation.

 

Some suggested improvements were also identified through the public exhibition process. The key themes emerging from feedback included including a more accurate timeframe and costings for initiatives, explaining the connection between a “place-based” approach and increasing active transport, clearer references to past work and showing how this Strategy could be delivered by Councils beyond the grant funding for the GreenWay Sustainability Project.

 

It has also been necessary to clarify the scope of this Strategy.  While the GreenWay Active Transport Strategy was never intended to be a “blueprint” for delivering the GreenWay shared pathway, it will assist in cultivating fertile ground and an active transport culture, which will assist in demonstrating the overwhelming need for a shared pathway to Transport for NSW as part of its studies for the “Cooks River to White Bay Active Transport Corridor”.

 

All submissions were reviewed by the Project, the Active Transport Working Party and its consultants. 

 

This feedback has been incorporated into the Strategy, which now includes revised costings for initiatives, and detail on how this strategy will be integrated into Councils’ existing management and operational plans.  Other changes included enhanced illustration of Council bike route connections (especially to the light rail) and clearer inclusion of ongoing barriers, potential funding opportunities and a revised action plan with more realistic timeframes.

 

The result is a comprehensive Strategy which is part of a suite of documents that support the GreenWay’s realisation, both as a safe off-road active transport route and the broader GreenWay concept of a more liveable, environmentally and socially sustainable corridor.  The final GreenWay Active Transport Strategy will be made available on the GreenWay website and provided to each of the partner Councils and key stakeholders.

 

Conclusion

The Strategy and its initiatives represent a unique opportunity to enhance the health and well-being of local residents by encouraging and facilitating an uptake of healthier transport choices such as walking and cycling.


 

The ongoing implementation of this Strategy will assist Council’s to achieve the objectives for sustainability and active transport as outlined in the Community Strategic Plan. It will assist in developing an active transport culture and provide further impetus for the NSW Government to implement the GreenWay shared pathway from the Cooks River to Iron Cove.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Final GreenWay Active Transport Strategy & Action Plan

81 Pages

 

Attachment 2View

Background Research & Consultation Report

17 Pages

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1/2   That Council adopts the GreenWay Active Transport Strategy & Action Plan

 

2/2   That Council notes the requirement for ongoing implementation of the GreenWay Active Transport Strategy and its initiatives as part of its ongoing active transport and sustainability programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phil Sarin

Director Planning and Environment

 

 

 

 


Attachment 1

 

Final GreenWay Active Transport Strategy & Action Plan

 


















































































Attachment 2

 

Background Research & Consultation Report

 


















Ashfield Council – Report to Environmental Committee held on Tuesday 17 July 2012 EC6.4

Subject                            DRAFT GREENWAY BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY

 

File Ref                            GREENWAY

 

Prepared by                   Adam Ward - Biodiversity Officer       

 

 

Reasons                          To seek endorsement for public exhibition of the Draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy

 

 

Objective                         To provide a framework and action plan for protecting and enhancing biodiversity on both public and private land within the GreenWay Catchment.

 

 

 

 


Overview of Report
The draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy provides a mechanism for the consolidation and realisation of agreed GreenWay biodiversity objectives established through stakeholder participation during its preparation. This Strategy will provide increased understanding of GreenWay biodiversity values and increased community and stakeholder participation in the protection and enhancement of biodiversity within the GreenWay catchment.

 

The Strategy will provide guidance for future Plans of Management, capital works and operational programs for community land within the GreenWay catchment.  With the future management of the GreenWay requiring specific on ground management actions, there is a need for a strategic framework which ensures management actions are tailored to suit this unique urban biodiversity corridor. This framework will continue to be delivered as part of current biodiversity activities through community participation, changes to Council’s planning and management framework and consultation with advisory agencies.  The adoption of this strategy will assist GreenWay partner Councils in meeting their statutory obligations in relation to biodiversity protection.

 

The outcome of this Strategy will be to provide clear direction and understanding of existing GreenWay ecological processes and the actions required to sustain and consolidate the natural environment within the GreenWay.

 

This report seeks approval for the Draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy to be placed on public exhibition.

 

 

 

Background

In 2011 the GreenWay Sustainability Project appointed Australian Wetlands Consulting to develop the GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy including a consultation process with the partner Councils’ biodiversity staff and the community. During development of this Strategy, the Greenway Council Reference group was formed with biodiversity staff from all partner councils participating.


This group has met periodically throughout the development of the draft Strategy to incorporate the specific concerns and operational considerations of each council.

 

The GreenWay Biodiversity community reference group was formed to provide local knowledge and an opportunity for the GreenWay community to provide input and feedback. Members of the community and representatives of GreenWay action groups attended a series of review meetings to provide input and feedback on each section of the document as it was developed. The contribution of this group was invaluable and their comments were incorporated into the document where possible.

 

The GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy builds on the work completed during the preparation of the GreenWay Revegetation & Bushcare Plan and the GreenWay Flora & Fauna Literature Review. These documents have been prepared as activities of the GreenWay Sustainability Project.

 

GreenWay Biodiversity Vision 

 

Through consultation with the community working group, the following vision for biodiversity in the GreenWay has been developed:

 

Biodiversity in our GreenWay is…

o an important wildlife corridor that is supported by a broader network of green streets and open space, linking habitat areas within and adjacent to the catchment.

o an urban refuge for a wide variety of native plants, animals and other organisms, where biodiversity can adapt and flourish in the face of current and emerging threats.

o supported by a community that feels connected to their local environment and has a sense of ownership of the GreenWay, actively protects the GreenWay and is educated about the importance of biodiversity.

 

 

Biodiversity Objectives

The content and actions for the GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy are structured according to the six biodiversity objectives, developed and agreed by community stakeholders to support the realisation of the GreenWay Biodiversity vision.

 

1.   Create a flora and fauna corridor which supports the original vegetation of the area, provides habitat, and facilitates movement and migration for a wide range of native plant and animal species throughout the GreenWay catchment;

 

2.   Identify areas within and adjacent to the GreenWay catchment with high biodiversity values that require protection and improve the connectivity between these areas;

 

3.   Protect and enhance the habitat and migration opportunities for locally significant or threatened native species, populations and communities (including the endangered population of Long-nosed Bandicoot), and allow for their continued evolution and survival in and beyond the GreenWay catchment;


 

4.   Engage and educate residents and the broader community, including local businesses and visitors to the GreenWay, to encourage a sense of ownership and participation in protecting and restoring biodiversity in the GreenWay catchment;

 

5.   Mitigate key threats to biodiversity to increase the survival and adaptive capacity of species, populations and ecological communities of plants and animals.

 

6.   Provide strategic guidance to councils, private landowners and major stakeholders on how to coordinate biodiversity management across the four local government areas.

 

Biodiversity Action Plan

The action plan component of the Biodiversity Strategy provides specific actions for GreenWay stakeholders to realise biodiversity objectives. Actions within the strategy include ‘bio-link’ plantings to increase habitat; public education and awareness activities as well as threatened species and land management guidance. Actions are focused on extending revegetation and habitat beyond the core corridor and into privately owned lands within the GreenWay catchment.

 

Additional Considerations

Council considered the GreenWay Revegetation and Bushcare Plan at the Environmental Committee Meeting 28 June 2011. At this time a number of issues were raised as potential amendments to the Revegetation Plan, it was thought that many of these issues would be better included within the GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy and subsequently resolved this in Minute No 272/11 at the Council Meeting 12 July 2011. The issues to be considered through the development of the Biodiversity Strategy and the reference to where these considerations have been addressed in the Strategy are included in the table below.

 

 

Suggested Consideration

Biodiversity Strategy Reference

2. Include an action plan (in conjunction with other corridor landowners) as soon as possible to catch and remove feral foxes, rats and cats from the GreenWay corridor.

 

Chapter 8 – Mitigate key threats to biodiversity (page 37)

Action Plan – Objective 5 Actions on Vertebrate Threats (page 51)

4.   Add words to the effect:

“Council to prepare as soon as possible, further education and publicity encouraging residents and landowners to curfew pet cats indoors between sunset and sunrise" see Pest Animal headings.

 

 

Chapter 8 – Mitigate key threats to biodiversity (page 37)

Action Plan – Objective 5 Actions on Vertebrate Threats (page 51)

 

6. Add words to the effect:
"Council to install appropriate road signage and slow devices in surrounding streets in areas likely to have Long-nosed Bandicoot activity." ref Leary et al. ...date?

Chapter 8 – Mitigate key threats to biodiversity (page 37)

Action Plan – Objective 3 Actions on Traffic and Signage (page 47)

8. Add words to the effect of:

"Council is to use the precautionary principle when considering land planning within two kilometres of the GreenWay Trail. i.e. Endangered Species habitat protection, possible travel routes and habitat on land where building demolition, construction or landscaping is proposed, specially the Summer Hills Flour Mills and Lewisham Towers current DAs."

Action Plan – Objective 3 Actions on Design Guidelines (page 48)

 

Objective 6 -  Actions on Planning and Compliance (page 53)

 

 

9. "Development Applications for land adjacent to the GreenWay Biodiversity Trail incorporate habitat and shelter for Long-nosed bandicoots and other endangered native fauna."

 Action Plan – Objective 1 Actions on Existing values (page 44)

 

10. Can you please incorporate suitable words to the effect of:

"The Plan needs to address at a generic, as well as the level of typical detail, the interface between the bush re-establishment sites and the light rail and the GreenWay Trail, in a way that maximises biodiversity, reduces access and management problems, and responds to resources, timing, and sequencing issues.

 

 


The plan should be seen as a "working document" that responds to changing circumstances, and ensures that opportunities for biodiversity and community volunteer involvement are maximised at all times. The document is reviewed and updated in the light of the forthcoming biodiversity plan."

Chapter 5 – Biolinks (Page 14)

 

Action Plan – Objective 2 Biolinks Actions (page 45)

 

11. Include information for people who are living with possums in their roofs and do not know how to remove them.  (Additional request.)

 

Action Plan – Objective 4 Education Actions (page 48).

 

 

 

Financial Implications

The preparation of this Strategy was funded as an activity of the GreenWay Sustainability Project, a partnership between Ashfield, Leichhardt, Marrickville and Canterbury Councils funded by the NSW Environmental Trust. The activities in the action plan will be incorporated into partner councils’ existing programs were appropriate. The implementation of this action plan will be overseen by the GreenWay Place Manger.  

 

Other Staff Comments

Not applicable

 

 

Public Consultation

During the early stages of development of the Greenway Biodiversity Strategy representatives of the public expressed that they would like to be involved in its development. As a result the GreenWay Biodiversity community reference group was formed. Members of the community and GreenWay action groups were invited nominate representatives to attend a serious of meetings aimed at providing the group with an opportunity to provide feedback on each section of the document as it was developed. The contribution of this group was invaluable and their comments were incorporated into the document where appropriate.

 

Representatives from the following groups participated in the reference group:

·    The Cooks River Mudcrabs

·    The Inner West Environment Group

·    Friends of the GreenWay

·    Callan Park Bushcare.

 

Public exhibition of the draft Strategy will provide the wider community a chance to review the document.


 

Conclusion

The Greenway Biodiversity Strategy will provide a framework and action plan for protecting and enhancing biodiversity on both public and private land within the GreenWay catchment. It will also provide strategic guidance for future Plans of Management, capital works and operational programs for community land within the GreenWay catchment. 

 

This Strategy will provide a mechanism for the realisation of the agreed GreenWay Biodiversity objectives identified by stakeholders and the community. These objectives will be realised through an increased understanding of biodiversity values of the GreenWay and opportunities for a greater level of council and community participation in the provision of habitat and the protection and enhancement of biodiversity.

 

Following endorsement from the partner Councils, the GreenWay Sustainability Project will commence the public exhibition, including the GreenWay website and Council websites.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy

80 Pages

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council endorses the draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy for public exhibition for 28 days starting in July 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phil Sarin

Director Planning and Environment

 

 

 

 


Attachment 1

 

Draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy

 































Attachment 1

 

Draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy

 


Attachment 1

 

Draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy

 


















Attachment 1

 

Draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy

 












Attachment 1

 

Draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy

 











Attachment 1

 

Draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy

 



Attachment 1

 

Draft GreenWay Biodiversity Strategy