Minutes of the Sustainable Futures Committee

 

 

Meeting Date:     Thursday, 9 August 2018

Location:            Jervis Bay Rooms, City Administrative Centre, Bridge Road, Nowra

Time:                   4:05pm

 

 

The following members were present:

 

Clr Kaye Gartner - Chairperson

Clr Patricia White

Clr John Levett

Clr Mark Kitchener

David Brawn

Oisin Sweeney

Robert Hayward

Peter McVay

Larraine Larri

 

Also present:

 

Carmel Krogh – Director, Shoalhaven Water

Stephen Dunshea – Director, Finance Corporate & Community Services

Gordon Clark – Manager, Strategic Planning

Kelie Clarke – Manager, Environmental Services

Tom Dimec – Manager, Asset Management

Darren O’Connell - Energy Management Coordinator

Avelynne Wilby – Waste Services

Fiona Schreurs – Resource Recovery Project Coordinator

Antonia Bewley – Ulladulla High School – arrived 4.20pm, left 4.45pm

Takesa Frank – Ulladulla High School – arrived 4.20pm, left 4.45pm

 

 

The Chair gave an Acknowledgement of Country.

 

 

Apologies / Leave of Absence

 

Clr Findley, Clr Pakes and Clr Wells were on leave.

 

 

Confirmation of the Minutes

RESOLVED (Clr Levett / By consent)

 

That the Minutes of the Sustainable Futures Committee held on Thursday 07 June 2018 be confirmed, with the amendment that Darren O’Connell (Energy Management Coordinator) had been present.

CARRIED

 

Declarations of Interest

 

Nil

 

 

 

PRESENTATIONs

 

SF18.32     Seal the Loop

 

Takesa Frank and Antonia Bewley from Ulladulla High School gave a presentation on the “Seal the Loop” project, which seeks to reduce the amount of discarded fishing equipment in the Shoalhaven by installing brightly coloured bins in popular fishing spots for anglers to dispose of their waste. Made from recycled plastics, the bins will also display messages to help promote responsible disposal of fishing materials, and advice on injured wildlife.

Each year 640,000 tonnes of lost and abandoned fishing equipment threatens sea life. Discarded fishing equipment can remain in oceans for up to 600 years.

Potential bin locations are: St George Basin, Sussex Inlet, Narrawallee Headland, Ulladulla wharf, Mollymook reef, Crookhaven River/Greenwell Point, Point Perpendicular, Shoalhaven River, Clyde River, Burrill Lake, Meroo Lake beach, Tabourie Lake, Lake Conjola, Culburra, Huskisson wharf, Bawley Point wharf, Kioloa, and Pebbly Beach. The Committee recommended adding Bendalong Boat Harbour to this list.

Council would be asked to fund the purchase of bins, and maintain them by emptying them once a month in winter and every fortnight in summer. This could change depending on the usage. The cost of each bin is $86. Reusable PVC pipe can also be used. The money raised would go towards rehabilitation of injured wildlife.

The Committee members commended the two presenters for their work on the project. Larraine Larri recommended they contact Robyn Ralph, secretary of Red Head Villages Association. The Committee also advised that the Recreational Fishing Trust handles grant applications and could also promote the initiative to the finishing community.

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation (ISJO), which is funded by the State Government, has recently completed a trial with Wollongong using the same bins. EPA funding is available through the ISJO if the items are EPA branded. Partnerships with projects such as Take 3 for the Sea will also help to brand and localise the initiative.

 

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Committee accept the presentation for information.

 

RESOLVED (Peter McVay / Larraine Larri)

That the Committee accept the presentation for information.

CARRIED

 

 

 


 

Reports

 

SF18.24     Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness

HPERM Ref: D18/231645

Stephen Dunshea (Director, Finance Corporate & Community Services) explained that the opportunity to receive a presentation by representatives of NatureMapr and Atlas of Life had been put to the Shoalhaven Tourism Advisory Group, who declined as it does not appear to offer immediate benefit to tourism.

Kelie Clarke (Manager, Environmental Services) explained that the last meeting of the Committee had resolved to use the $20,000 of its remaining 2017-18 budget to purchase the app for Council, which has now been effected. Ongoing maintenance costs are estimated at $10,000 per year, and bids are being submitted for those costs.

Bob Hayward reported that he has attended the NatureMapr training workshops. The $20,000 cost is for adaptations to the app that Council may require. Kelie Clarke is to clarify with NatureMapr who in Council will be responsible to identifying the required customisations. She confirmed the app had also been discussed at the recent meeting of the Shoalhaven Natural Resources & Floodplain Management Committee, and staff are looking at whether amendments can be made for the app to assist with coastal management as well. The project rests with the Environmental Services unit.

Larraine Larri reported that Red Head Villages Association held a NatureMapr information session recently, which attracted 22 attendees. Peter McVay had also attended the same workshop described by Bob Hayward, and confirmed there had been much enthusiasm, with particular interest in its potential for invasive species monitoring.

 

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Sustainable Futures Committee note the following recommendation adopted by the Shoalhaven Tourism Advisory Committee on 25 June 2018 regarding the ‘Atlas of Life’:

1.    The Shoalhaven Tourism Advisory Group receive the report for information and decline the need for a presentation – recommending that Shoalhaven Tourism does not support co-funding the implementation and ongoing costs.

2.    Acknowledging that the program seems like a great idea for environmental engagement, however, the application does not directly drive out of season visitation and add to our regions ability to support year-round employment, as is the main goal of Shoalhaven Tourism promotion.

 

RESOLVED (Larraine Larri / Clr Levett)

That the Sustainable Futures Committee note the following recommendation adopted by the Shoalhaven Tourism Advisory Committee on 25 June 2018 regarding the ‘Atlas of Life’:

1.    The Shoalhaven Tourism Advisory Group receive the report for information and decline the need for a presentation – recommending that Shoalhaven Tourism does not support co-funding the implementation and ongoing costs.

2.    Acknowledging that the program seems like a great idea for environmental engagement, however, the application does not directly drive out of season visitation and add to our regions ability to support year-round employment, as is the main goal of Shoalhaven Tourism promotion.

CARRIED

 

 

 

SF18.25     Reduction of Plastic Waste at Shoalhaven City Council Businesses and Administration

HPERM Ref: D18/263960

Stephen Dunshea explained that this report had arisen from Clr Gartner’s request to the General Manager for information on Council’s use of single-use plastics. He had considered it was important to report it to this Committee formally to demonstrate what actions have been taken. Small but important steps are being taken to reduce single-use plastics in Council facilities.

Clr White noted feedback received that the new single use cups at the Entertainment Centre are very hot when full, so people are using two at a time. She also queried the use of the single-serve sachets in the Committee Room and Council Chamber, and asked whether jars of coffee / sugar etc. could be used instead.

Fiona Schreurs (Resource Recovery Project Coordinator) suggested the single-use plastic initiative has to be enshrined in Council’s culture. For example, balloons should no longer be used for celebrations, trying instead reusable alternatives such as bunting. Avelynne Wilby (Waste Services) acknowledged that any calls for action on waste reduction need to come from the different Council departments themselves – e.g. libraries’ coffee shops operationally belong to the Recreation Community and Culture Unit – as Waste Services do not have the authority.

Stephen Dunshea noted that Council’s use of single-serve consumables will depend on the location they are offered; there are issues of hygiene, freshness and wastage to be considered.

 

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Committee receive the steps being taken within Council’s facilities and businesses to reduce use of single-use plastics report for information.

 

RESOLVED (Clr White / Oisin Sweeney)

That the Committee receive the steps being taken within Council’s facilities and businesses to reduce use of single-use plastics report for information.

CARRIED

 

 

 

SF18.26     Sustainable Energy Policy

HPERM Ref: D18/253867

Darren O’Connell described the policy’s background. The draft focuses on three areas: the improvement of Council’s energy efficiency; the generation of renewable energy; and addressing greenhouse gas emissions. The energy policy sets out Council’s overarching commitment towards energy efficiency, its objectives and vision ready for adopting at this point, to be followed by more detailed work to deliver a Sustainable Energy Strategy.

Peter McVay noted that other councils, including Bega and Eurobodalla, have been undertaking similar work, and asked whether Shoalhaven could tie in with those initiatives. Darren O’Connell suggested that perhaps the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation could provide the opportunity to work with Wollongong, Kiama and Shellharbour Councils.

The Committee agreed to recommend the draft policy be put on public exhibition, and that members would give feedback as part of that process.  

Action: Darren O’Connell to provide updates on the Sustainable Energy Policy to Committee members to facilitate comments during the public exhibition period.

 

Recommendation

That the Sustainable Futures Committee review the draft Sustainable Energy Policy (attached) and provide input and feedback on the development of the final policy.

 

RECOMMENDATION (Peter McVay / By consent)

That the Sustainable Futures Committee recommend to Council that the draft policy be placed on public exhibition prior to adoption.

CARRIED

 

SF18.27     Energy Matters

HPERM Ref: D18/254587

Darren O’Connell explained the fact sheets been produced with Andrew Truran. The format is intended to facilitate communication. The current list is:

·         Sustainable Energy Policy

·         Sustainability Advantage Program

·         Social Access Solar Garden

·         Planet Footprint

·         LED Streetlighting Upgrade

·         EV Charging Station Policy

·         Cities Power Partnership

·         Open Energi - Demand Management

·         SCC General Supply Electricity Contract

·         Milton Water Treatment Plant Micro Hydro

·         Flow Power Retail Electricity

·         Callala Wastewater Treatment Plant Solar Farm

·         Shoalhaven Water Behind the Meter Solar PV

The Chair noted that the Working Party who had met prior to this meeting had found that the big issue is communication, and that we need to send the message that the possibility of change is real.

The fact sheets are stored in TRIM, and can also be uploaded to the Hub for Councillor access. It was proposed they be published on the Council website under the Sustainability section. They may also be shared with the Community Consultative Bodies.

A discussion followed of the different projects and approaches to using and purchasing energy. By this time next year there may be more options to purchase energy for 2020 than only approaching retailers.

Action: To upload the fact sheets to Hub and/or the Sustainability section of the Council website.

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Committee adopt the Energy Matters one-page fact sheets.

 

RESOLVED (Clr White / Peter McVay)

That the Committee adopt the Energy Matters one-page fact sheets.

CARRIED

 

 


 

SF18.28     Revolving Energy Fund

HPERM Ref: D18/255098

This item had emerged from the previous meeting’s request that Darren O’Connell look into green revolving funds. The project has been retitled Revolving Energy Fund to make it clear that the focus will be on energy saving projects rather than the full range of “green” projects such as composting or water saving. The reason for their exclusion is that their payback times are so long that they are limited in their capacity to raise money for subsequent projects.

Darren explained that a Revolving Energy Fund would be established with an initial budget. A section of Council with an idea for a project involving saving electricity or renewable energy could apply to access the money in the Fund. The criteria would be that the project must be consistent with Council policy, and have narrow enough payback potential (i.e. will generate savings that will more quickly accrue to the Fund). The application would be submitted to Environmental Services. A panel could be set up to meet each year to assess the applications. Successful projects would be allocated funds, every year the savings would be reinvested in the Fund, to the point where the capital cost of the project is paid back. The project asset would realise the savings from then on. Darren has discussed this with Stephen Dunshea and Finance, who are looking at the details. Over time the Fund would become a tool to support good projects that might not be prioritised in annual budgets.

Stephen Dunshea agreed that his section considers the scheme has merit, but they needed the preliminary view of the Sustainable Futures Committee before undertaking more detailed finance work. A report may be ready for the next meeting, workload permitting. Council operates a Ten Year Long Term financial plan, and the Fund would be integrated into that financial plan.

 

Recommendation

That the Committee

1.    Note the Revolving Energy Fund scheme (REFund) discussion paper.

2.    Request that a detailed report be produced for the next Committee meeting outlining the scheme after consultaton with relevant stakeholders.

 

RECOMMENDATION (Larraine Larri / David Brawn)

That the Committee

1.    Note the Revolving Energy Fund scheme (REFund) discussion paper.

2.    Request that a detailed report be produced for the next Committee meeting outlining the scheme after consultaton with relevant stakeholders.

CARRIED

 

 

SF18.29     Cities Power Partnerships (CPP) Summit: 18-19 October 2018, Kiama

HPERM Ref: D18/255720

Clrs Findley and Gartner will be attending the Summit, and Darren O’Connell is also considering attending. It was confirmed that Council will fund community members to attend conferences, contingent on a Council resolution for each instance. The cost of the Summit is $500 for community/NFP and $750 for others. Larraine Larri expressed interest in attending for one day.

Recommendation

That

1.    The Sustainable Futures Committee ensure that Council is well represented at the Cities Power Partnerships Summit in Kiama, 18-19 October 2018.

2.    Council approve funding for two Community Representatives of the Committee to participate.

 

RECOMMENDATION (Larraine Larri / Peter McVay)

That Council:

1.    Be well represented at the Cities Power Partnerships Summit in Kiama, 18-19 October 2018.

2.    Approve funding for two Community Representatives of the Committee to participate at a cost of $500 per person from the energy/power budget.

CARRIED

 

SF18.30     Report of "Narratives of Climate Change" Symposium

HPERM Ref: D18/255801

Larraine Larri shared her experience of attending this cross-disciplinary symposium, which took place in Newcastle on 5 and 6 July. The event brought together academics, artists, and activists to share understandings about how we tell the stories of climate justice, climate science, activism, and creative storytelling. Larraine instanced several sessions in her presentation that had particularly struck her:

Professor John Reid (ANU), “Walking the Solar System” – in the act of “walking” in a horizontal position, as if walking the Solar System, “you are reminded that the Universe is vast and that Earth is a precious enclave within it.”

The Simon Kerr Perspective, “Music for a Warming World” – a performance about coming to terms with a warming world that ends on a note of hope. Dr Kerr is open to opportunities to perform the work around Australia and Larraine would particularly like to invite him to come to the Shoalhaven.

Knitting Nannas Against Gas and Greed – The Knitting Nannas recognise the distress of living in a world increasingly damaged, i.e. “solastalgia” (Solace + desolation = a form of homesickness except the victim has not left their home or home environment). Larraine described her responses to participating in a morning spent in the Pilliga with the Nannas, observing the damaging effects of natural gas flaring on the environment.

                

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That as part of the Community Engagement strategy the Committee investigate inviting Dr Simon Kerr to perform “Music for a Warming World” in the Shoalhaven.

 

RESOLVED (Larraine Larri / Clr Levett)

That as part of the Community Engagement strategy the Committee investigate inviting Dr Simon Kerr to perform “Music for a Warming World” in the Shoalhaven.

CARRIED

 

    

 

Addendum Reports

 

SF18.31     Outstanding Action Table - Update

HPERM Ref: D18/264121

Recommendation (Item to be determined under delegated authority)

That the Outstanding Action Table be received for information.

 

This item was not addressed and will be considered at the next meeting of the Committee.

 

 

General Business

 

Kelie Clarke reported on the recent Councillor Briefing with Rada Germanos, Doctor for the Environment, on Climate Change and Human Health.

Griffith University project on Managing environmental change through planning for transformative pathways: invitations for the workshops on 31 August and 23 November have been circulated. Community workshops will also be held the Saturdays following these workshops.

Kelie Clarke and Gordon Clark have been carrying out work around the Resilient Sydney strategy (http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/vision/towards-2030/resilient-sydney). The Committee agreed to support inviting someone to attend and brief on this project.

Adapt NSW: Council has obtained scholarships to send staff to the adaptation training program.

The Committee discussed green bins, and Council’s exploration of a new waste management facility that will efficiently sort the contents of the red bins to extract green material. A Council delegation is currently visiting Poland to look at the technology.

Drought

Clr Gartner spoke about the ongoing drought. Carmel Krogh (Director, Shoalhaven Water) reported that pumping from the river ceased on 22 July, and that the Shoalhaven is now being supplied by Bamarang Dam. Level 1 water restrictions will probably have to be implemented in the first week of September. She is concerned that deeper water restrictions may be necessary over the summer. Council is starting a number of campaigns to inform residents  of the restrictions and ways to reduce water use. Carmel is in discussions with a video presentation company who have worked on Greenpeace’s plastic campaign, to try something different. It can be frustrating trying to get the water conservation message across – the little things people do every day that add up. More innovative or quirky communication messages may help to highlight the issue.

REMS (Reclaimed Water Management Scheme): this is the first winter that Council has not discharged into the ocean. The 2017/18 financial year had the largest usage of reclaimed water yet. Carmel clarified that water from REMS1A – covering St Georges Basin, Callala, Culburra and Vincentia treatment plants – comes to bulk storage at Callala. Clr Levett noted that many people remain unaware of the REMS system.

Larraine Larri reported that the Yalunga Reserve Committee has received anomalously high water bills, and on investigation they had found that the automatic cut-off taps in the public toilets were creating a backsurge that set off a flow of water from these taps. Council has been made aware of this issue.

Bicycle track

Oisin Sweeney gave an update on the possible bicycle link between Erowal Bay and Old Erowal Bay. Clr Levett has circulated a map of potential routes to local CCBs, and his next step will be to approach Council for a preliminary scoping study. Gordon Clark advised that this should be brought to Council sooner rather than later as there may be potential issues such as transfers of title.

 

There being no further business, the meeting concluded, the time being 5.54pm.

 

 

Clr Kaye Gartner

CHAIRPERSON