Urban Sustainability

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The environmental footprint of a city is enormous - many times bigger than its physical size.  Cities are a drain on resources, they create pollution which extends over vast areas, and without careful management they degrade and often destroy biodiversity. 

City residents are entitled to a healthy environment in which to live. TEC is campaigning for sustainable cities with clean air, improved public transport, protected parklands and bushland, sustainable water use, and binding environmental principles on developers.

Register of Threats to Open Space (current and links to campaign groups)


[Complete this short questionnaire and contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at TEC to tell us about a threat]

Royal Botanic Gardens & The Domain

Threat: commercialisation

New Masterplan includes a hotel, ferry wharf, concert stage, shops and restaurant facilities deep in the gardens. While some of these may enhance the gardens the construction of a 5-star hotel and other commercial facilities is particularly concerning. 07/14

Marinas – Berrys Bay & elsewhere

Threat:  commercialisation

Heritage buildings and public land are under threat from a massive marina development on at Berry's Bay in Waverton. Boads of up to 45m are proposed to berth there. The encroachment of large scale marinas is also a threat on the Georges River and other Sydney waterways. Link.  07/14

Middle Head, Sydney Harbour

Threat: commercialisation

Sydney Harbour Federation Trust proposes to build an aged care facility involving the sale of public land on the former military land at Middle Head. Public access to parts of the foreshore would be affected. The site is of heritage significance and, as the determining authority on the proposal, the Trust appears to have a conflict of interest as it is also stands to benefit financially. The proposal is exempt from normal state planning legislation. Link.  07/14


Threat: commercialisation & privatisation of public land

The original design for the Barangaroo redevelopment and open space has been altered to fit around the proposed casino and includes an increase in floor space and building footprint for a variety of residential, commercial and other uses. Link. 07/14

Tempe Wetlands

Threat: motorway construction

Despite alternative options, the WestConnex Delivery Authority and NSW Government Ministers have refused to guarantee protection for the wetlands, a rare open space in the inner south. The current reserve constitutes 16% of the open space in the Marrickville LGA which already has one of the lowest ratios of open space in greater Sydney. The recent rehabilitation of the wetlands has seen a return to the area by some native species not seen in decades. Link. 07/14

Mountain bike tracks – Hornsby & elsewhere

Threat: commercialisation, environmental degradation

Amendments to the National Parks and Wildlife Act in 2010 allow for the construction of "thrills and spills" mountain bike tracks in national parks and reserves. This was based on the assumption that illegal track use and construction would decline with the provision of legal high impact bike tracks. Link. 07/14

NSW govt WIC Act amendments


Briefing Note: Water Industry Competition Act Review –

Dropping the ball on recycling and a stalking horse for privatization?

The NSW Government has released a position paper on the review of urban water regulations including the Water Industry Competition Act 2006 (WICA). A key objective of WICA was to ease pressure on drinking water supplies by promoting the development of alternative sources of water such as recycling and stormwater harvesting.

Read more: NSW govt WIC Act amendments



NSW's rampant urban sprawl has produced dirty air that is exposing millions of people to adverse health impacts and it could get worse if the state's new planning system panders to developers, TEC said today releasing a briefing paper.




The draft Wyong Shire Local Environment Plan is an environmental disaster that gives free rein to developers to trash the Shire’s environmental heritage. It should be scrapped, the Total Environment Centre (TEC) warned today.