Excellence in the Environment Awards

  • Date:

    3 December 2019

  • Time:

    9:30 am - 4:00 pm

  • Location:

    Waterview, Bicentennial Drive, Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park

  • Recognising outstanding achievements by local government in managing and protecting the environment.

In 1997, Local Government NSW’s predecessor organisation initiated environment awards aimed at the work that councils do on behalf of their communities. This year the Excellence in the Environment Awards celebrated 22 years of inspiration from NSW councils in programs, projects and people across 15 award categories, culminating in two prestigious Local Sustainability Awards: one for overall council performance, and one to recognise the individual achievements of a council staff member or elected councillor in the field of sustainability.

Entries for the 2019 Awards are expected to open in June .


2018 Winners

The 2018 Excellence in the Environment Awards was held on 3 December 2018 at the Waterview Function Centre, Sydney Olympic Park. View the photos taken by Eventpix on the day.

Asbestos Management

Winner Division B and Overall Category Winner

Ballina Shire Council - Integrated asbestos waste management program

Ballina Shire Council's Waste Management Centre developed an integrated response to management of asbestos risk that focuses on staff and community education in conjunction with modified site procedures. This included a media campaign, providing a free asbestos testing service and household asbestos disposal kit, introduction of a secondary inspection bay at the waste management centre to enable appropriate load inspections and using a portable asbestos analyser as a screening tool.

Case Study (PDF, 166KB)

Winner Division C

Wollongong City Council - Asbestos awareness: a matter of life and death

The City of Wollongong has continued its focus on asbestos by implementing a holistic marketing and educational approach.  This included working collaboratively with SafeWork NSW and local Bunnings stores across the region to increase the reach of the asbestos awareness campaign.

Behaviour Change in Waste

Winner Division C and Overall Category Winner

City of Parramatta - To bin or not to bin, that is the question: The Riverside Theatres’ waste campaign

The Riverside Theatre has a target of diverting 90% of its waste from landfill by 2038.  Through engagement and change in practices, the program approximately halved waste to landfill in the first year, significantly increased recycling and eliminated many forms of plastic waste.

Case Study (PDF, 471KB)

Winner Division B

Cessnock City Council - Better not mess with Cessnock: illegal dumping campaign

"Better not mess with Cessnock" aims to reduce illegal dumping in Cessnock local government area especially in the many bushland areas affected by dumping.  A targeted 12 month media campaign aimed to debunk some of the common excuses used for illegal dumping; educate and rally resident to report dumping; change the behaviour and build a sense of community pride.

Highly Commended Division C

Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils - Recycle night? Recycle right!

The Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils designed a campaign to humanise the recycling process.  Recycle Night? Recycle Right! tells the stories of the people who work at material recovery facilities, the impact contamination has on their work environment and encourages residents to recycle right as their actions matter.

Community Waste Services

Winner Division C and Overall Category Winner

Inner West Council - Rethinking Food Organics: one size doesn't fit all

Inner West Council approached food waste in a holistic manner in line with the waste hierarchy and mindful of the fact that one size does not fit all. The food waste avoidance program Food Fix, targeted all residents with face to face engagements and online support to encourage residents to adopt food waste avoidance strategies. Council subsidised home composting equipment through Compost Revolution and community composting through Compost Huts and Compost Collective. Food waste was recycled through kerbside collection services in some areas.

Case Study (PDF, 141KB)

Winner Division B

Albury City Council - Upcycle Shop

Albury City Council have partnered with Aware Programs to provide the local community with a second hand goods shop located at the Albury Waste Management Centre.   The Aware Program's team includes long term job seekers and persons requiring retraining for new careers. The Upcycle Shop gives new life to items that have been discarded by residents diverting them from landfill.  This initiative started in December 2016 and had diverted 125 tonnes of second hand goods as at June 2018.

Highly Commended Division C

Blacktown City Council - All Eyes on Blacktown: reducing takeaway litter through enforcement and fast food outlet partnerships

Like many areas, Blacktown City had a visual litter problem along the major arterial roads. With the assistance of a NSW EPA grant, Council's interventions at eight fast food outlets along 13 arterial roads and targeted enforcement led to an 82% reduction in litter in the project area.

Resource Recovery 

Winner Division B and Overall Category Winner

Cessnock City Council - Game changer: the development of a transfer station at Cessnock Waste Management Centre

The transfer station at the Cessnock Waste Management Centre maximises resource recovery by directing customers past a series of drop-off points for various recoverable materials. A series of weighbridges accurately accounts for resource recovery drop-offs and rewards this behaviour with a significant price reduction.

Case Study (PDF, 67KB)

Climate Change Action 

Winner Division C and Overall Category Winner

Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils - Solar my School

Solar my School is a Council-run project designed to help primary and secondary schools in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs 'go solar' and access the financial, environmental and educational benefits of clean, locally produced renewable energy.  In two years, over 56 of 63 schools are participating, with 1,839MWh/yr locally-produced clean energy, avoiding 1600 tonnes/yr in CO2 emissions and reaching and inspiring 21,000 students.

Case Study (PDF, 287KB)

Winner Division A

Cowra Shire Council - Climate smart innovation in the Central West

The Climate Smart Innovation Conference was hosted by Cowra Shire Council and the Natural Resource Management Advisory Committee in April 2018. This dynamic conference incorporated a variety of outstanding speakers, workshops and tours showcasing the regions latest innovations in response to a changing climate and associated climate adaption research.

Winner Division B

Wingecarribee Shire Council - Lighting the way: Southern Highlands street lighting upgrade

This project was developed to upgrade all inefficient category P streetlights with equivalent performance LED's across the Wingecarribee Shire. The stage one project has seen 1,777 lights upgraded, reducing carbon emissions by approximately 524 tonnes CO2equivalent per annum.

Highly Commended Division C

Northern Beaches Council - Building resilience into infrastructure assets project

Northern Beaches Council partnered with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia to produce Practice Note 12.1: Climate Change Impacts on the Useful Life of Infrastructure. The practice note was developed to provide guidance to local government asset managers on the likely impacts of climate change variables on assets and adaptation measures across each climate variable to extend the useful life of infrastructure.

Case Study (PDF, 191KB)

Highly Commended Division C

Penrith City Council - Climate Adapted People Shelters

Western Sydney is susceptible to extreme heat over the summer months, and users of public transport are often in demographics most at risk from heat. By working with an extensive range of project partners, a design competition was held to design a climate adapted people shelter (CAPS). The winning design was installed in Kingswood opposite Nepean Hospital. Key features of the bus shelter include extended shade coverage, roof insulation, cross flow ventilation, biomimicry design, and integrated solar panels and LED lighting. Subsequent monitoring of the shelter demonstrated significant improvements in temperatures compared to a traditional bus shelter, and highly positive feedback from its users.

Case Study (PDF, 265KB)

Communication, Education and Empowerment

Winner Division A and Overall Category Winner

Muswellbrook Shire Council - Sustainable Futures Program

Muswellbrook Shire Council's Sustainable Futures Program includes a range of activities which empower the community to make sustainable choices and improve outcomes by reducing food waste, improving water efficiency, growing local food and increasing rates of upcycling and renewable energy uptake. In just over a year, more than 1,800 community members have enjoyed over 80 interactive events.

Case Study (PDF, 413KB)

Winner Division B

Wingecarribee Shire Council - Backyard burning map app

Wingecarribee Council developed an app to improve community awareness of Council's backyard burning rules and to assist fire agencies and Council's compliance officers. The Map App provides clear information on when, where and how pile burning of dead and dry vegetation needs to occur in line with Council's policy.

Winner Division C

City of Canada Bay - Mind our Mangroves: year 1

The Mind Our Mangroves project was designed to engage directly with residents living on the foreshore of Canada Bay about mangrove destruction in the local community.  It used community cultural development techniques to change attitudes towards the management and maintenance of mangroves. Year 1 of this successful project engaged with hundreds of people along the foreshore and the local community through the school public art project.

Highly Commended Division B

Ballina Shire Council - Educating our community through animation: let's clean up our river

Ballina Shire Council has produced a series of animations asking the community in the Richmond River catchment to "Love it or Lose it".  The short animations use humour to highlight how behaviours within the urban and rural setting are contributing to poor health of local waterways. The project is a collaboration between Lismore City Council, Kyogle Council, Rous County Council, Richmond Valley Council and Local Land Services NSW.  The animations aim to educate and encourage the community to make behaviour changes that will ultimately improve our local environment.

Highly Commended Division C

Blacktown City Council - Community garden and healthy living program

The Community Garden and Healthy Living program focuses on improving the health and environmental knowledge of seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who are now living in Blacktown.  This partnership program started through discussions between Council and doctors at Blacktown Mt Druitt Community Health Service and was developed as an innovative approach to positively engage communities in the Blacktown area, where health issues, social exclusion and lack of knowledge of sustainable living remain areas of concern for each of the partner organisations.

Community Sharps Management 

Winner Division B and Overall Category Winner

Wagga Wagga City Council - Be sharps smart

Wagga Wagga City Council’s Health Officers focused on developing and publishing a children's book to increase sharps awareness helping children across the community to identify incorrectly disposed sharps and take immediate action to step away and notify an adult. Council embarked on a roadshow visiting all interested childcare centers to impart the “be sharps smart” message as well as installing additional sharps bins for community use.

Case Study (PDF, 174KB)

Innovation in Planning, Policies and Decision Making  

Winner Division C and Overall Category Winner

Northern Beaches Council - Protecting public and private assets at Collaroy-Narrabeen Beach

Collaroy-Narrabeen Beach suffered significant erosion during the June 2016 East Coast Low resulting in a number of properties being evacuated and deemed unsuitable for occupation and a large number of other properties being at imminent risk of damage from any subsequent storms. Council was required to make immediate decisions on the long-term management of the area and adjust its whole planning framework to implement those decisions. A revised policy and planning framework was developed and implemented within 6 months of the event.

Case Study (PDF, 303KB)

Highly Commended Division C

Newcastle City Council - Urban creek rehabilitation and naturalisation

Newcastle City Council's urban creek rehabilitation and naturalisation works seek to secure a 'blue' and 'green' corridor network for the City. Council has partnered with the Soil Conservation Service and Hunter Local Land Services to design and construct natural channels. Outcomes include higher permeability of riparian landscapes for local fauna and instream biota, and improved hydrological function of urban creeks.

Invasive Species Management

Winner Division B and Overall Category Winner

Wagga Wagga City Council - Weed hygiene station

Wagga Wagga City Council’s weed hygiene station is different from other boot scrubbers as it has a duster to clean down footwear, clothing, pet fur, bike parts and a walkway metal grate that the boot scrubber is attached to. The most important part is the sump that sits underneath the grate for catching vegetation and soil thus minimising the spread or movement of debris once cleaned from the user and enabling propagation of collected seeds, contributing to weed monitoring.

Case Study (PDF, 350KB)

Natural Environment Protection & Enhancement: On-Ground Works 

Winner Division A and Overall Category Winner

Kempsey Shire Council - Boyters Lane Wetland rehabilitation project

Kempsey Shire Council purchased a 25ha degraded dairy farm property within the lower Macleay River estuary for the purpose of developing 6 hectares for community development. The site contains small pockets of important aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and is recognised as a locally important wading and migratory bird roosting and foraging site. To date over 15,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted, 8ha of mangrove and saltmarsh protected and improved, 2kms of walkways, a bird hide and environmental information hut have been constructed.

Case Study (PDF, 299KB)

Winner Division B

Bathurst Regional Council - Recovery of the Mac

Recent field surveys conducted by DPI Fisheries identified that riparian and in-stream habitats are generally in poor condition along the upper Macquarie River with few native trees, and no native shrub layer or refuge holes for native fish.  The Recovery of the Mac project remediated two rock weirs to improve fish passage and provide in-stream fish habitat, and control of invasive weeds such as crack willows. Fisherman and community volunteers planted long-stem native species, sedges and reeds to reinstate riparian habitat, provide shade, and improve the health of the river.

Winner Division C

Tweed Shire Council - Oxley River bank erosion stabilisation

Tweed Shire Council worked with three private landowners at two sites on the Oxley River to undertake large scale bank erosion stabilisation works following the devastating floods from Cyclone Debbie in March 2017. Around 250 hardwood logs were installed to stabilise the banks and improve aquatic and riparian habitat. Banks were reprofiled to a stable grade and planted with over 2,000 native trees, shrubs and groundcovers, and stock exclusion fencing was installed to provide long term stability.

Highly Commended Division C

City of Ryde - Shrimptons Creek riparian rehabilitation project

The Shrimptons Creek Rehabilitation project was designed to restore ecological function and integrity to the highly urbanised waterway within the City of Ryde. The project delivered in-stream water quality improvement structures and riparian restoration increasing habitat corridors, canopy connectivity and coverage.

Roadside Environmental Management 

Winner Division B and Overall Category Winner

Bathurst Regional Council - Bathurst roadside vegetation management plan

In April 2018, Bathurst Regional Council adopted the Bathurst Roadside Vegetation Management Plan. The culmination of five years of work to assess the conservation value of more than 1100 km of roadside vegetation and prepare a management framework, the plan aims to improve the management of roadside vegetation and integrate management of the roadside environment with other Council planning mechanisms.

Case Study (PDF, 331KB)

Winner Division A

Mid-Western Regional Council - High biodiversity roadside weed control and habitat creation

Mid-Western Regional Council conducted weed control across 300ha (624km) of high and moderate conservation value roadside reserve to improve and/or maintain ecological condition. An additional 16ha of private property adjacent to high and moderate value roadside reserve was rehabilitated.  The works on private property has resulted in 216ha of improved habitat connectivity.

Sustainable Infrastructure

Winner Division C and Overall Category Winner

Penrith City Council - Jordan Springs Community Hub

The Jordan Springs Community Hub is a new centre that demonstrates leading practice in sustainable building practices, accessibility, and community strengthening. Some of the key sustainability features of the Hub include timber construction, geothermal heating and cooling, 20kW PV solar system, energy efficient lighting, and water efficient fittings. Particular attention was given to the challenge of urban heat and the building features passive design principles for cooling.

Case Study (PDF, 435KB)

Water Management

Winner Division C and Overall Category Winner

Liverpool City Council - Amalfi Park Basin: Brickmakers Creek flood mitigation project

Brickmakers Creek was a primary cause of major flooding of the northern Liverpool CBD, a major highway and over-floor flooding of residential properties. Creek enhancement works achieved the primary objective of flood mitigation and also delivered multiple community benefits including provision of wetland, gross pollutant trap and bush regeneration to improve water quality and ecological health and establish active and passive recreation facilities.

Case Study (PDF, 117KB)

Winner Division B

Ballina Shire Council - Smart metering

Smart water metering has been introduced across Ballina Shire, providing customers with the assurance that Council is monitoring their water supply for leaks while also giving customers the opportunity to access their consumption data.  This service includes rapid leak detection where abnormal usage patterns are identified, and notifying customers of a potential leak immediately.

Local Sustainability

Winner Division C and Overall Category Winner

City of Parramatta Council - Environmental sustainability strategy

The City of Parramatta is experiencing a period of significant growth and transformation.  Currently home to more than 245,000 people, the population is estimated to increase to 400,000 by 2036. Recognising the need to manage this growth for the benefit of both existing and future communities, the Environmental Sustainability Strategy outlines key sustainability priorities to ensure that as the City grows, better quality of life is created, not just for people, but for all living things.

Case study (PDF, 400KB)

Highly Commended Division C

Blacktown City Council - Sustainable Living Blacktown

Blacktown City Council is committed to building the best, being a sustainable organisation and to be leaders in sustainability for the community. By using a multi-prong approach, consistent monitoring and evaluation, and being flexible and adaptable, Council can achieve its sustainability goals through community engagement and works programs.

Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability

Peter Maganov - Randwick City Council

Peter has been the Manager, Sustainability and Strategic Waste since the commencement of Randwick City Council's innovative ‘Sustaining our City’ environmental levy program almost 15 years ago.

Peter has led Council's small team integrating sustainability programs and aspirations across Randwick's strategies and plans, with other departments and areas of Council as well as with an extensive range of external community organisations.

Peter's commitment and leadership of Randwick's sustainability initiatives has resulted in a transformation and longevity extending throughout Council's operations, across into the wider community and to the local government sector.

Over the past 2 years, Peter has successfully lead a team who have an impressive array of achievements including:

  • Completing the sustainability education 'hub' with a purpose built outdoor classroom and 'wild food', native habitat, honey and native bee trails
  • Coastal walkway upgrades protecting sensitive vegetation while providing access to a million visitors annually at South Maroubra and Malabar
  • 50 kilowatts of solar PV added at two community centres
  • Stormwater recycling now saving > 400 million litres of potable water per year
  • Electric bicycles added to fleet of hybrid and electric vehicles for staff use
  • Biodiversity design and habitat support with 8 local schools and a further 22 food and native garden grants to local schools
  • Randwick's annual Eco Living Fair providing specialist stalls, presenters and demonstrations.
  • Randwick's first Biodiversity Strategy
  • Renewable Energy Master Plan
  • An updated Energy and Greenhouse Management Plan
  • A final Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap
  • A draft Strategic Sustainability Framework.

Peter is able to influence and negotiate on substantial programs, projects and strategies which have strengthened Randwick's sustainability results and reputation across the local government sector.





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