Randwick Council tops NSW council sustainability awards

By Paul Hemsley and Julian Bajkowski There’s no shortage of awards and prizes for sustainability initiatives, but Sydney’s Randwick City Council has taken out top honours over its state local government peers for its unwavering commitment to a long-term, well-rounded suite of community measures designed to deliver water, waste and energy savings. The Eastern Suburbs […]

Rises in council rates and utility bills contribute to inflation

By Julian Bajkowski Price rises in bills to consumers from council rates and state energy suppliers have helped nudge-up Australia's official inflation rate, the quarterly figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week have revealed. The stronger than anticipated rise in the ABS’ Consumer Price Index of 1.2 per cent in the September […]

Council makes the most of the rain

Penrith City has been harvesting stormwater runoff and using it to water sporting fields and flush toilets.   Deputy mayor Jim Aitken said the initiatives have saved council and the community tens of thousands of dollars and millions of litres of drinking water each year.   “Penrith City is doing its part to help secure […]

Queensland minister claims mayors playing politics

The Queensland government has claimed changes to water pricing would save communities hundreds of dollars.   Minister for Energy and Water Utilities, Stephen Robertson said the Council of Mayors had put politics ahead of the interests of their ratepayers by refusing the high-level government briefing. "They instead continue to perpetuate the blame game which has paralysed […]

Commission findings on water utilities blasted

The Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW (LGSA) have strongly rejected the findings on Local Water Utilities (LWU) in the National Water Commission’s recently released report entitled Urban Water in Australia: Future Directions 2011.   The Report’s section on LWU alleged public health, the environment and basic levels of service in regional and rural […]

LGSA rejects water utilities report

New South Wales councils have rejected key findings of Infrastructure Australia’s report into Local Water Utilities (LWU) and are “furious” at the lack of consultation. The Infrastructure Australia Report on Regional Towns Water Quality and Security found that in many regional towns, water quality did not always meet health standards and planning for security was often […]

World first for bottled water ban

The University of Canberra has become the first tertiary institution to ban bottled water across its entire campus. Initiated by students in partnership with not-for-profit organisation Do Something, it will be the world's biggest bottled water ban to date. Phased in across retail outlets, cafes and vending machines, the ban will effectively stop the sale […]

DECCW stores data with NetApp

By Lilia Guan   Growth of data storage forced the DECCW to expand its storage requirements.   David Schneider, Director of Information Management and Communication Technology for the DECCW, said, through a tender process, the Department looked for a flexible, scalable storage solution that was able to keep up with its growth and meet the […]

MDBA to reassess local impacts of Basin plan

By Angela Dorizas The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has announced that it will undertake further analysis of the social and economic impacts of proposed water cuts on local communities. MDBA chair, Michael Taylor, said the decision to conduct an expanded study was in response to recent community backlash against the scale of cuts. “Over the […]

NSW Government sends mixed messages on water

By Lilia Guan A recent speech by the Minister for Water, Phillip Costa, has caused confusion among councils seeking decisive action from an inquiry started three years ago. Mr Costa told delegates at the 2010 Water Management Conference in Orange he supported a model of regional alliances of local water utilities that is consistent with […]

Behaviour change delivers real returns

By Angela Dorizas Councils in New South Wales and Victoria have achieved the best results from sustainability policies and practices, but there is still room for improvement in changing staff behaviour. Internal research by independent ‘environmental scorekeeper’ Planet Footprint found that of its 203 local government clients, councils in NSW and Victoria were the best performers […]

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