In this edition of LG Focus our feature is Environmental Management. It seems appropriate therefore, to acknowledge World Environment Day, 5 June, and the diversity with which it was celebrated across communities.

The Tasmanian Government chose this time to announce a container refund scheme for that state, to be implemented 2022.

More locally, Waratah Wynyard Council announced its first Environmental Plan. The Plan will focus on proactive natural resource management, economic future-proofing, Council’s role in sustainability in its own activities, community resilience - enabling communities to transition and adapt, planning for and mitigating climate impacts on
our built environment.

A $34.9 million package for reforms to waste recycling in Victoria was finally announced on 2 June. It’s to be hoped this will help bring councils in that state some security.

A tender has been won in Western Australia for the container deposit scheme to start there in 2020. It will be coordinated by not for profit organisation WA Return Recycle Renew.

Inner West announced it had become the first council in New South Wales to be 100 percent divested from fossil fuel. It follows trail blazers like New York City which divested its $189 billion in pension funds in 2018; Ireland, the first nation to divest its public funds from fossil fuel companies invested in oil, gas and coal; while Oslo became the first capital city to divest from fossil fuels in 2015.

City of Marion, South Australia, invited residents to ‘pack your nude food (plastic free) picnic tea’ for a screening of inspirational short film Plastic Alarm, by Arlian Ecker a.k.a Plastic Free Boy, about the problems and solutions of plastic pollution. 

Cairns, Queensland, celebrated with its fifth annual Ecofiesta, a sustainable living festival that combined a day of live entertainment with an indoor expo featuring over 100 market stalls, with everything from solar installers through to organic beauty products. The main attraction was ABC’s celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis (Costa the Gnome) and Dirtgirl with the Get Grubby kids show.

Congratulations to the winners of the Smart Cities 2019 awards announced at the end of May. Environmental sustainability projects featured prominently amongst shortlisted nominees and winners.

A stand out winner was Latrobe City, Victoria, which has built Australia’s largest real time environmental monitoring network, which combines ‘bushfire ignition detection, flood level monitoring, air quality tracking and 24 hour microclimate weather monitoring’ and relays the information to residents instantly. 

The category win was shared with City of Darwin for its ‘Switched on Darwin’ project which uses a range of technologies to make the city more sustainable and liveable.