Around the councils: Cooling streets, cleaning up beaches

Cooler streets: Concord West Sustainable Village. Pic: Canada Bay Council.



Cooler high tech streets in Canada Bay

Canada Bay Council, in Sydney’s inner west, has breathed new life into one of its local shopping strips by cooling down its roads by eight degrees.

The council realised that businesses were suffering because they were in full sun all day so it turned down the heat using four innovative products: Ascrete (white asphalt); TonerPave, which uses the toner from recycled printer cartridges, reclaimed asphalt pavement and warm mix, which has lower construction temperatures, takes less energy to make and has lower emissions.

The results were excellent. The strip [Victoria Street], which was renamed Concord West Sustainable Village, became busier and peak visiting time was extended from 1pm to 2pm. The council’s project had social as well as economic aims: to get locals leaving their cars at home and to make the shopping strip a more communal place to be for residents.

A key part of the early planning process was community engagement. The usual complaints prompted by a new road did not occur. It was so successful that residents were on board and happy with the results.


Learner drivers get free graded route maps to help them pass driving test

Ku-ring-gai Council will offer learner drivers free ready-made route maps to help them build up experience and confidence before they sit their driving test.

The council has developed nine separate driving routes graded according to the degree of difficulty and the required level of experience needed to pass the provisional driving test.

Routes include the approximate journey time, skills to practice such as merging and advice on changing lanes and sharing the road with larger vehicles. The maps also include features for novice drivers to be aware of, such as school zones, pedestrian crossings and roads with high traffic volumes.

All the nine routes are downloadable via the Council’s website at or a free printed booklet of the maps can be requested by phoning 9424 0000.

Ku-ring-gai Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the maps had been developed by the council’s road safety officer in cooperation with the Roads and Maritime Service.

“Teaching someone to drive is a responsible and occasionally stressful experience, given the number of hours that learner drivers have to log before they can attempt a driving test,” Ms Anderson said.

“Not so long ago learner drivers could use shopping centre car parks and quiet back roads to gain valuable experience. But with Sydney’s roads becoming so much busier it’s far more important to be well prepared before you go out on the road.

“These prepared maps take much of the stress out of working out where to go with your learner driver.”


Council’s beach cleaning pays off

Central Coast Council has improved its water quality ratings and made its beaches cleaner using a raft of measures.

The council put gross pollutant traps at key locations, more bins at popular dog walking spots and asked crews to clean Macmasters Beach and Pearl Beach Rockpool four times a year.

The council also invested $30 million on improving major sewerage transfer systems that service Forresters Beach, Terrigal, Avoca, North Avoca and Kincumber.

Central Coast Council plans to invest a further $36 million on improving the sewerage system, sewage pumping stations and sewage treatment plants throughout the former Gosford Local Government Area.

The council manages and tests 44 swimming sites across the region, including beaches, lagoons, lakes and baths, in collaboration with the Office of Environment and Heritage.

Of all the sites, 28 returned very good or good water quality ratings in the Office of Environment and Heritage’s annual BeachWatch reports.

The results of a recent report for five beach swimming areas – Terrigal Lagoon, Copacabana Beach, Pearl Beach Bath, Ocean Beach and Lighthouse Beach – have improved as a result of Central Coast Council’s management.

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