District Plans - Sydney on a greener track

The release of the draft District Plans by the Greater Sydney Commission marks a potentially new direction in making Sydney liveable and more environmentally sustainable, TEC said today.  “The structure and culture of the GSC are distinctly different to past agencies and they have engaged in new research and community engagement techniques, including sponsoring an independent Environment Panel to provide a detailed analysis of Sydney’s environmental problems and solutions,” said Jeff Angel, Executive Director of the Centre. “Critical issue like adequate green spaces, tree canopy, dangerous urban heat and climate change are major challenges for Sydney.”  “We can’t stop the planning and development boat so we need to improve and control its direction; and certainly not let speculation and narrow economic claims drive it. A city has to achieve liveability, sustainability and economic goals at the same time. We have encouraged people to suspend cynicism at our community meetings. The draft District Plans are an important part of this process.”  “The independent report by the Environment Panel which comprised 15 peak professional, community and academic groups will be released shortly. It will help the community and government benchmark the draft plans and provide important perspectives.”  “It’s encouraging that the GSC supported this process and we look forward to further assisting them and the government,” Mr Angel said.

NSW climate change move – far sighted

The announcement of a net zero emissions target for NSW will have far reaching, positive impacts on the state’s economy and environment, TEC said today. “It will need a wide range of concrete and specific programs across key pollution sources such as land clearing, energy production and urban development.  A number of major policy areas are already in flux and will need to be brought into line with the new target,’’ said Jeff Angel, Executive Director of Total Environment Centre. "To reach the 2050 target, substantial action will have to start now and the community will be looking for effective policies.'' ‘’For example, Sydney is about to review its Metro Plan via the Greater Sydney Commission and inevitably low emission transport, energy efficient buildings and expanding tree cover will have to become prominent.  Land clearing laws, which are proposed to be weakened across the state must be redrafted.  And NSW should quickly phase out coal fired power.’’ ‘’The credo for a 21st century state is to be green and resilient in the face of climate change and play its part in global efforts to thwart dangerous climate change.  We look forward to examining the government’s detailed plans,” Mr Angel said.  

Council’s Tree Removals Panders to Vandalism

The precedent set by a Sydney council’s imminent removal of mature native trees in a harbour foreshore park in order to provide water views is inherently dangerous and should be put on hold, Total Environment Centre said today. “Council’s proposed actions appear to be rewarding tree poisoners. Inner West Council plans to remove healthy native trees in Balmain’s Mort Park as part of a landscape plan which has been dogged by one-sided consultation, tree poisonings and loss of community representation through council mergers,” said TEC Natural Areas Campaigner David Burgess. “A policy of destroying trees for harbour views is archaic and sets off the alarm bells for green space all along Sydney’s waterways big or small.” “When first mooted at a public meeting in 2015 mainly residents whose views would be enhanced by the destruction appeared to know the meeting was on. Since then community members wanting a say have been thwarted by a lack of information and the loss of democratic representation through the council mergers.” Trees in Mort Park have also been the subject of regular poisonings. “Tree poisoning is a serious offence that requires a regulated policy response from councils under the Local Government Act but it doesn’t look as if that’s occurred in this case. Instead Inner West Council appears to be rewarding the perpetrators by finishing off the job”, Mr Burgess said. “It’s not just environmental vandalism but economic vandalism. Trees are known to have great economic benefits to the urban community. The decision to remove trees in a public space, where much has been invested by council and members of the community in planting programs, in order to cater to the private property interests of a minority sets a very dangerous standard.”

Energy market rule-maker says no to real reform

Australia’s energy market rule-maker today baulked at a golden opportunity to modernise and decarbonise Australia’s energy system by valuing electricity generated close to where it is also consumed.

Bushland bulldozed on Threatened Species Day

Environmental groups have called for an urgent meeting with Environment Minister Mark Speakman and the Premier about today’s bulldozing of bushland listed as critically endangered – on National Threatened Species Day.

Sydney Green Grid is in danger of whiteanting

While the NSW government’ s announcement of funding for Sydney’ s green grid is welcome –it’ s under ongoing threat because increasing numbers of parks and green spaces are being sold or alienated, Total Environment Centre said today.“A growing city needs more and better parks but you can’ t achieve that vision if councils are selling off green space; government agencies are destroying parks for infrastructure; green canopies removed for development; and bushland bulldozed for housing asset protection zones,’’ said Jeff Angel, Executive Director of the Centre.

Call to stop carbon price rorting of power bills

As the ACCC ramps up action against the private sector about carbon tax rip-offs, Total Environment Centre today called on Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan to use his federal consumer law powers to prevent state governments from forcing electricity retailers include misleading information about the carbon price impact on electricity bills.

Charity, Church and Local Gov support NSW CDS

With a NSW government decision on a container deposit system (CDS) is expected in the next few weeks, prominent charity, church, local governmentand green groups have joined in a call for the promised ‘world’s best’ system.The Baird government has been considering a ten cent refundable deposit scheme and a drinks industry alternative.  

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