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.

Central Coast councils cook the books on open space


Three Central Coast councils are inflating the area of land within their boundaries zoned public urban open space by including non-urban land and land not under their management Total Environment Centre said today.

Read more: Central Coast councils cook the books on open space

Hands off our Urban Sanctuaries


Total Environment Centre has launched a new campaign and DIY defender tool kit to help communities preserve Sydney's parks and green spaces – the situation is urgent, says TEC executive director Jeff Angel.

Read more: Hands off our Urban Sanctuaries

State Government must save Wyong's environment from Council's rampage


The NSW Government must stop Wyong Council's destruction of the Shire's precious natural environment the Total Environment Centre (TEC) has warned on release of a map showing multiple environment threats.

Read more: State Government must save Wyong's environment from Council's rampage

Court rejection of developer take-over of public reserve, 'a boost to urban sanctuary campaign


In a watershed moment for the protection of public land in NSW, the Land and Environment Court has ruled that Newcastle's iconic King Edward Park will be preserved for public recreation.

Read more: Court rejection of developer take-over of public reserve, 'a boost to urban sanctuary campaign

Register of Threats to Open Space (with date of entry 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]

Click on the map to see the location of the threats and more info: 


Threat: environmental degradation, fragmentation

Plans to develop bushland through rezoning placing Katandra Bushland Sanctuary under threat. Wildlife corridor to be cut in two.

Manly Dam to Manly Lagoon Wildlife Corridor

Threat: environmental degradation, future development

Proposed as a reserve by local environment groups. Council unwilling to take on administering crown land.

Moorebank Marina Development

Threat: environmental degradation, pollution

250 berth marina development approved in 2014. Concerns over flooding, vehicle access and boat overcrowding on the Georges River.

King Edward Park, Newcastle

Threat: commercialisation, privatisation of public land

Proposed function centre and car park on headland

Georges River corridor (Oatley to Campbelltown)

Threat: future development, environmental degradation

Unprotected foreshore land under various tenures (crown leases, road reserves, council land) is vulnerable to pressure from developers. 10/14

Georges River (mid-estuary)

Threat: environmental degradation

Quarrying, stockpiling of waste, relocation of army facilities and development due to the Intermodal threaten both private and public lands containing Cumberland Plain & Sydney Turpertine Ironbark Forest. Both are endangered ecological communities. 10/14

Georges River National Park

Threat: environmental degradation

The construction of illegal 4WD and trailbike tracks is resulting in severe erosion. 10/14

Huntington Heights, Doonside

Threat: environmental degradation

Representative Cumberland Plain woodland on surplus Department of Education land. The department wishes to rezone and sell the land. Blacktown Council unwilling to purchase into public ownership. 10/14

Various areas of Crown Land in the Manly and Warringah Shires

Threat: commercialisation, environmental degradation, privatisation of public land

Some very fragile areas of bushland have already been sold to developers. 09/14

French's Forest new hospital development

Threat: Environmental degradation, fragmentation

Clearing completed of 6ha of critically endangered Duffy's Forest Ecological Community. Site sits within wildlife corridor connecting Manly Dam, Queeenscliff Lagoon, Narrabeen Lagoon and Middle Harbour. 09/14

French's Forest road widening

Threat: Environmental degradation, fragmentation, pollution

Road upgrades associated with the new Northern Beaches Hospital would potentially destroy a critical crossroads in the wildlife corridor between Manly Dam and Narrabeen Lagoon. Biobanking credits to be used to buy bushland in Hills District. 09/14

Garigal National Park mountain bike tracks

Threat: Environmental degradation

The jury is still out on whether it is more effective to construct official mountain bike trails to counter the building of illegal ones leading to erosion and environmental degradation. While the debate goes on, the park Plan of Management was changed in 2013 to allow for the construction of bike trails in Bantry Bay. 09/14

Old Man's Valley, Hornsby

Threat: privatisation of public land

12ha of Open Space Public Recreation land in danger of being sold by Hornsby Council. Money from sale to be used to pay for rehabilitation of adjoining 28ha quarry site, responsibility for which was secretly onsold to Hornsby Council in 2002. 09/14

Casula Parklands

Threat: pollution, environmental degradation

Two access roads to the proposed Sydney Intermodal Terminal will have devastating impacts upon the parklands surrounding the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. 09/14

Coopers Paddock, Warwick Farm

Threat: commercialisation, environmental degradation

Liverpool Council approved the rezoning of 14ha of the treasured 31ha area for industrial development in 2012. About 1km from the Liverpool CBD, Coopers Paddock contains 170 species of native fauna, 9 of which are threatened. A critical oasis for nature and again the destruction is partly driven by the Intermodal Terminal. Includes River-Flat Eucalypt Forest and Cumberland Plain Woodland. 09/14

Cumberland Conservation Corridor

Threat: Environmental degradation

A regional proposal to connect NSW Government determined Priority Conservation Lands on the Cumberland Plain. 70% of the proposal area is already in public ownership making it highly feasible. Money for the remainder is supposed to be the first target of the Sydney Growth Centres Conservation Fund. However NSW Government is allowing Councils to zone lands for development. 09/14

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 (until recently) 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