A NSW council has been awarded one of the state’s top annual environment awards.

Wollongong City Council’s operational efforts to ensure the region’s long term environmental sustainability has earned it the Local Government NSW’s (LGNSW) Excellence in the Environment Awards’ Local Sustainability Award. 

LGNSW President, Linda Scott, said Wollongong City Council was a worthy winner of the award and was a standout among an impressive field of 14 category winners.

“Wollongong City Council has tackled the daunting task of developing an overarching strategy, Sustainable Wollongong 2030, to secure their community’s environmental future, uniting Council’s many and varied environmental strategies, programs and plans into a united approach,” Cr Scott said.

“The process involved exhaustive community consultation and staff engagement to develop what I think is a world-class strategy. They are another great example of how councils punch well above their weight in delivering outstanding environmental outcomes with limited resources at their disposal.

“Each year NSW councils invest around $1.7 billion in environmental management collectively and these awards recognise and celebrate their achievements.”

Individual category winners at this year’s awards included:

  • Randwick City Council’s Small change, big difference – a community engagement campaign for successful FOGO implementation: the introduction of food organics and garden organics (FOGO) collection service to Randwick presented challenges to the community’s waste management practices. Randwick City Council developed and ran a comprehensive community engagement program to ensure an effective transition to the new service
  • Lachlan Shire Council’s Renewable Energy Project: Lachlan Shire Council developed and adopted an energy sustainability plan that aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It features solar power and renewable energy installations, battery storage trials and other initiatives that were so effective it resulted in a massive $590,000 in savings
  • Byron Shire Council’s Bow-wow Leash Me Now! A dog owner behaviour change campaign on social and other media, aiming to encourage dog owners to exercise greater control of their pets and reduce the risk of dog attacks on koalas

“Overall, there were 35 finalists in 14 categories, representing a vast variety of inspiring council-led environmental initiatives across NSW,” Cr Scott said.

“What is especially impressive is that many councils undertook these resource-demanding projects while dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 lockdown orders.

“NSW councils have a strong environmental record and LGNSW supports their efforts through these highly-respected awards as well as through a range of other initiatives that respond to the climate change emergency, transition to a circular economy and protect our local biodiversity.

“I congratulate this year’s winners as well as all the highly commended projects across our state, which are just a small sample of the hard work councils undertake to ensure the sustainability of our environment.”

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