Media release - Newcastle’s world-leading environmental initiatives win major award

December 3, 2019

City of Newcastle’s efforts to bring the city up to world-leading environmental standards through initiatives such as a 5MW solar farm, 5000 new LED street lights and electric vehicle charging stations has earned it the leading prize in Local Government NSW’s (LGNSW) Excellence in the Environment Awards.

LGNSW President Linda Scott said Newcastle led an impressive array of 16 category winners at this year’s awards.

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

“The City of Newcastle is an outstanding example of the environmental leadership councils provide, implementing a whole-of-council sustainability framework based on leading-edge United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

“They delivered more than $10 million in projects to improve sustainability, using CSIRO predictive modelling to reduce air conditioning loads on buildings, established a network of sky cameras to predict cloud impact on solar power, created an e-transit hub with a solar car park and built a 5MW solar farm.

“They also planted 1000 street trees and 100,000 native plants.

“The outcome is a city that is well positioned for environmental sustainability well into the future.”

The initiative also won the prestigious Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability for the City of Newcastle’s Innovation and Sustainability Coordinator, Adam Clarke.

“Adam showed great leadership in driving many of these initiatives through a combination of inspiration, education and enthusiasm and is a deserving winner of this year’s individual award,” Cr Scott said.

Waverley Council was also a big winner on the day, receiving awards in the Towards Net Zero Emissions, Water Management, Behaviour Change in Waste and Sustainable Infrastructure categories.

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

  • Parkes Shire Council’s ‘Water Story’, an effective communications program, including a giant frog mascot, to educate the community on broad water issues and important upgrades to recycled water infrastructure;
  • Bayside Council’s Community Recycling Hub, that allows residents to drop off unwanted items at two locations, resulting in the collection of 44 tonnes of community waste, 90 per cent of which was recovered;
  • Tweed Shire Council’s Tackling Mosquitoes Together project, which saw collaboration with seven Northern Rivers councils prepare for potential disease vectors in a changing climate such as Asian tiger mosquitoes, known carriers of Dengue fever, through the establishment of rapid response networks.

“NSW councils have a strong environmental record and LGNSW supports their efforts through these awards as well as a range of initiatives,” Cr Scott said.

“We are also joining councils on calling for the NSW Government to fund and help deliver a fresh approach to waste and recycling through our Save Our Recycling campaign.”

A full list of LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards and project ‘snapshots’ can be found here.

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LGNSW EXCELLENCE IN THE ENVIRONMENT 2019 WINNERS BY CATEGORY

 

Note: Division A – population under 30,000; Division B – population 30,000-70,000; Division C – population 70,000-plus

 

Asbestos Management

Division C and overall category winner: Penrith City Council

Division B winner: Bega Valley Shire Council

 

Behaviour Change in Waste

Division C and overall category winner: Waverley Council

Division B winner: Bega Valley Shire Council

 

Climate Change Adaption

Division C and overall category winner: Dubbo Regional Council

 

Communication, Education and Empowerment

Division C and overall category winner: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

Division A winner: Parkes Shire Council

 

Community Waste Services

Division C and overall category winner: Bayside Council

Division A winner: Parkes Shire Council

Division B winner: Bega Valley Shire Council

 

Environmental Health Management

Division C and overall category winner: Tweed Shire Council

 

Innovation in Planning, Policies and Decision Making

Division C and overall category winner: Tweed Shire Council

 

Invasive Species Management

Division B and overall category winner: Port Stephens Council

Division C winner: Georges River Council

 

Natural Environment Protection and Enhancement: On-Ground Works

Division C and overall category winner: Blue Mountains City Council

 

Resource Recovery

Division A and overall category winner: Lockhart Shire Council

Division B winner: AlburyCity Council

 

Roadside Environmental Management

Division A and overall category winner: Griffith City Council

Division B winner: Wingecarribee Shire Council

Division C winner: Coffs Harbour City Council

 

Sustainable Infrastructure

Division A and overall category winner: Parkes Shire Council

Division C winner: Waverley, Woollhara and Randwick councils

 

Towards Net Zero Emissions

Division C and overall category winner: Waverley Council

 

Water Management

Division C and overall category winner: Waverley Council

 

Local Sustainability

Division C and overall category winner: City of Newcastle

 

Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability

City of Newcastle Innovation and Sustainability Coordinator Adam Clarke