As a result of significant urban development and population growth within the Camden Local Government Area, Council faces significant challenges in maintaining the rural charm and lifestyle that is so highly valued, accommodating this growth and creating a sustainable environment, community and economy for the benefit of our current and future populations.
The following sustainability programs and initiatives demonstrates Council’s commitment to becoming more sustainable in the day-to-day operations:
Council has adopted a Sustainability Strategy to increase its focus on sustainability and work with the community to achieve positive outcomes for the local environment.
The Strategy is a four-year plan that brings together actions that Council will implement to work towards a resilient, healthy and connected Camden, by covering five key themes:
- Creating Sustainable Urban Environments – to embed sustainability principles into urban planning and design
- Protecting Our Natural Environments – to improve biodiversity management and the health of our waterways
- Improving Resilience to Climate Change – to understand the climate risk for Camden and build resilience to climate and natural disasters
- Building Sustainable Communities – to increase awareness, knowledge and capacity in our communities so that they can respond and take action on sustainability issues
- Leading By Example – to demonstrate leadership to the community by improving the sustainability performance of Council
Actions are identified in each of these themes along with success measures so that we can monitor our progress towards creating a sustainable Camden.
For more information contact Council on 4654 7777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water Saving Initiatives
Council is aware of the need to conserve water and has adjusted its operations across a number of areas to minimise water use, particularly in outdoor situations.
Council is currently operating under exemptions obtained from Sydney Water that allow it to continue to provide services for the community. The exemptions include an allowance for maintenance of established parks, gardens and sportsfields, as well as cleaning of amenities and facilities, and in the construction of roads and footpaths. Council is working closely with Sydney Water and is continuing to look for ways to continue to reduce water use.
Council has made the following changes to comply with restrictions and to become more water-wise:
- Reprogramming irrigation systems to ensure that they only operate for 2 hours per day before 10am and after 4pm.
- Slowly reducing the irrigation of gardens and lawns to encourage them to be less reliant on scheduled irrigation.
- Contacting all regular users of council sportsgrounds and community facilities to ensure everyone is aware of the water wise requirements.
- Looking for ways to further reduce the amount of water used to suppress dust by using products such as ‘Dust Seal’. This reduces the number of treatments needed from three down to one per day.
- Looking for plants with low watering requirements for inclusion in future landscaping and streetscapes.
- All contractors undertaking work on behalf of Council have been contacted and requested to obtain the required exemptions. Copies of exemptions have been provided to Council.
The Curry Reserve Water Play park is currently exempt from water restrictions. The facility has been designed to be water efficient with treatment and recycling of the water, and the use of a timer to ensure it is not operating when no one is using the facility.
If you have any concerns regarding water use by Council please contact Council on 4654 7777 or by email.
Any complaints regarding water use by businesses or members of the community should be directed to Sydney Water. Sydney Water have the ability to not only check the water use against the current exemptions but also to enforce water use, which Council is unable to do. You can report this information online or by calling 13 14 50.
Energy Saving Initiatives
Council actively manages energy consumption at its buildings and facilities, looking at the amount of electricity and gas used and how it is used. Energy saving opportunities identified are prioritised and implemented according to costs and payback period. Council has also installed solar photovoltaic cells on our Oran Park Administration building, The Mount Annan Leisure Centre, Narellan and Camden Libraries and the Narellan Child, Family and Community Centre. This means that these facilities are partly powered by the sun!
For more information about energy consumption at Council’s facilities contact Council on 4654 7777.
Sustainable Choice provides guidance and support to its member councils to help them work toward procuring products and services that have environmental, social, financial and cultural benefits. By making informed procurement decisions based on quadruple bottom line considerations, councils can reduce their impacts and risks now and for the future. In many cases, long term cost savings to council occur as a result.
Sustainable procurement is also an effective way for councils to meet other responsibilities, such as energy and water saving plans, greenhouse and waste reduction strategies and community service and environmental obligations.
Camden Council became a member of Sustainable Choice on 8 July 2008.
Sustainable Choice is administered by Local Government Procurement and is a subsidiary of Local Government NSW.
Council facilitates a number of community events throughout the year. In 2012, Council formalised its commitment to facilitate sustainable events in the adoption of a Sustainable Events Policy. The objective of this policy is to provide guidelines, advice and standards to ensure events are operated in an environmentally sustainable manner. The policy ensures sustainable considerations for venue selection, transport, equipment and supplies, promotion, waste and information and handouts.
Keep NSW Beautiful (KNSWB)
Formerly known as Keep Australia Beautiful NSW, Keep NSW Beautiful (KNSWB) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation facilitating litter reduction and environmental sustainability.
KNSWB works with communities to educate and motivate environmental initiatives through its programs including Blue Star Sustainability Awards (formerly Sustainable Cities), Take the Pledge, KNSWB Litter Congress, Community Litter Grants and EnviroMentors.
Council has been an active participant of the Tidy Towns Program and member of KNSWB since 1987. Council has also participated in the Sustainable Cities Program and more recently in EnviroMentors, a sustainability education program delivered in local primary schools.