Monday, 30 October 2017 13:25

West best in the environment

Blue Mountains City Council officer accepting award for winning project Return of the Bottomless Pool in Yosemite Creek, North Katoomba. Blue Mountains City Council officer accepting award for winning project Return of the Bottomless Pool in Yosemite Creek, North Katoomba.


Western Sydney has again shown its strong environmental credentials at the Local Government NSW Excellence in the Environment Awards this month.

WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “I would like to congratulate Blue Mountains, Blacktown, Cumberland, Liverpool and Parramatta councils on their award-winning projects.

“I would particularly like to congratulate Carmel Hamilton of Penrith City Council on receiving the Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability.

“Councils rely on dedicated officers to make projects come to life, and I have no doubt that the award is well-deserved,” he said.

“It is also worth noting that the projects listed below are just some of those making Western Sydney a more sustainable place – so a big thankyou to all those working to keep Western Sydney a great place to live,” said Cr Bali.


Natural Environment Protection and Enhancement

Blue Mountains City Council

Project: Return of the Bottomless Pool in Yosemite Creek, North Katoomba

Award: Winner

Decades of urban storm water runoff resulted in sedimentation, erosion and decline of Yosemite Creek's water quality, as well as loss of habitat and aquatic biodiversity. Local residents lamented the loss of their favourite swimming hole, as the 'bottomless pool' at the base of Minnehaha Falls filled with sediment.  A coordinated and collaborative approach with Blue Mountains City Council,  government agencies, businesses and the local community resulted in the successful restoration of Yosemite Creek and the return of the pools including Minnehaha's 'bottomless' plunge pool.

Read more (PDF 133kb)


Blacktown, Burwood, Canterbury Bankstown, Canada Bay, Parramatta, Ryde, Cumberland, Hunters Hill, Inner West, Strathfield, The Hills councils 

Project: Get the Site Right blitz

Award: Highly commended

The NSW Environment Protection Authority, Department of Planning and Environment, and 11 councils joined forces for a soil and erosion control blitz at construction sites around Parramatta River. More than 500 inspections were conducted across two targeted campaigns on developments of all sizes. Called 'Get the Site Right', this initiative is part of the Parramatta River Catchment Group's mission to make the Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025, and highlights the role that developers and builders play in cleaning up the river.


Climate Change Action

City of Parramatta Council

Project: Climate resilient Parramatta

Award: Highly commended

The Climate Resilient Parramatta Program aims to create a city that is eco-efficient, and a community that is resilient to challenges of climate change.  The program includes projects that either reduce emissions, mitigate climate risks, or build the community's capacity to adapt to climate change impacts such as extreme heat. It involves capital works to demonstrate best practice through the installation of rooftop solar systems and energy-efficiency upgrades at Council buildings, community engagement and capacity building around energy efficiency and managing extreme heat, plus policy changes to support improved energy and water efficiency for new developments.


Communication, Education and Empowerment

Blacktown City Council

Project: Environmental recognition business program

Award: Highly commended

In an ongoing effort to improve catchment water quality, Blacktown City Council developed a recognition program to address environmental compliance within the commercial and industrial sector.  The Environmental Recognition Business Program acknowledges businesses that are meeting regulatory standards and also being proactive in reducing their environmental impact.  In this way Council acknowledges and encourages those setting a positive example rather than concentrating efforts on penalising businesses causing environmental harm.


Blacktown City Council 

Project: Flappy the Fishing Bat

Award: Highly commended

Blacktown City Council's Flappy the Fishing Bat Project investigated the threatened Large-Footed Myotis species, commonly known as the fishing bat, as an indicator of water quality in local creeks and waterways. During the project, 282 local residents volunteered over 840 hours to build and install bat boxes and wildlife cameras, undertook water bug sampling and bat night walks. Combining these activities with community events and the launch of an iconic character and children's activity book, the community were able to learn about the Fishing Bat and behaviours that impact the water quality in the local creeks.


Water management

Liverpool City Council

Project: Liverpool Integrated water quality improvement

Award: Highly commended

Liverpool City Council is implementing integrated water management initiatives to improve water quality in older suburbs through the retrofitting of gross pollutant traps and monitoring, and in new suburbs through requirements for the land development industry to provide for water sensitive urban design.


Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability

Carmel Hamilton

Penrith City Council

Carmel joined the Penrith Sustainability Team as the Sustainability Education Officer in 2006 and became the Sustainability Co-ordinator in 2009 after the sudden passing of Louise.

Carmel's work has been instrumental in mainstreaming sustainability within Penrith City Council. Key to this was Council's adoption of the Sustainability Policy and Sustainability Strategy in 2015. Carmel has worked closely with the Strategic Planning Team to embed sustainability actions into a new suite of IP&R documents. Under her leadership, the sustainability team has:

  • Incorporated sustainability into staff performance.
  • Undertaken staff engagement programs including lunchtime information sessions and an ideas program.
  • Developed the Cooling the City Strategy, which aims to combat the challenge of urban heat in a changing climate.
  • Introduced the Sustainable Buildings Policy, which ensures the construction of any new buildings or major renovations achieve sustainable outcomes.
  • Developed policies such as the Sustainable Events Policy and the Community Gardens Policy and Guideline.  
  • Secured the Sustainability Revolving Fund, which since its inception in 2003, has provided close to $1.5 million towards capital works to improve our sustainability of Council’s assets, saving $600,000 pa.

Carmel has provided leadership on sustainability initiatives at Penrith City Council and continues to build on Louise's legacy.


Last modified on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 13:39