Sustainable Cities 2019 Council Awards Finalists

Environmental Sustainability Award

Hume City Council
Recycled Road
In an Australian-first trial, soft plastics from approximately 200000 plastic bags and packaging, and 63000 glass bottle equivalents were diverted from landfill to construct a Hume road.

Laid in May 2018, Craigieburn’s Rayfield Avenue also contains toner from more than 4500 used printer cartridges and 50 tonnes of recycled asphalt. To top it off, this sustainable road, known as ‘Reconophalt’, has a 65 per cent improvement in fatigue life and a superior resistance to deformation. This means the road will last longer, allowing it to better handle heavy vehicle traffic. This new benchmark in sustainability is thanks to a partnership between Hume City Council, Downer, Close the Loop and RED Group.


Brimbank City Council
Sunvale Community Park

Sunvale Community Park is a new 1.1ha re-purposed community facility within the Central Sunshine Activity Centre. An area without access to sufficient public open space but identified as a high growth region.

This new park is a large natural open space with abundant shade, tree planting and open lawns. Playgrounds feature integrated water play, sensory gardens and a skate facility along with BBQ, toilets and outdoor fitness.

Guided by Brimbank City Council’s award winning Creating Better Parks Policy and Plan, it is Council’s most ambitious water recycling project to date in a park setting.


Frankston City Council
Powering up local communities

Over the last two years, Council has fully funded the installation of 20 solar power systems (136 kilowatts of combined solar capacity) on its community-use facilities, benefiting 17 local sport and recreation clubs, two community centres and a Men’s Shed.

The electricity cost savings allow these groups to direct their resources into delivering other important services. The project is expected to reduce over 205 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year and includes the trial of solar battery storage. By proactively investing in solar, Council is helping to lessen the effects of climate change and support the Frankston City community to build their resilience and thrive in a carbon constrained future.


City of Ballarat
Creating a Cooler Ballarat

The City of Ballarat has instigated a suite of integrated water management projects to save water in the city, create a more aesthetically pleasing municipality, and – most importantly – to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.

The works have been undertaken on the back of the ‘Cool It’ study, commissioned by the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance and auspiced by the City of Ballarat. The outlined the need to address areas of urban heat stress through growing the tree canopy. Additional supporting works include Green Blue passive irrigation program, allowing for planting to occur in areas of the CBD where it wasn’t previously feasible, and a mulching program that resuses fallen trees to mulch garden beds around the city.


City of Wyndham, Community Infrastructure & Sustainaility
Wyndham Aboriginal Community Centre (WACC) & Integrated Family Centre

A flagship project, the Wyndham Aboriginal Community Centre (WACC) & Integrated Family Centre, was designed to achieve a minimum of 5 Star Green Star As Built, certified by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and reflect Councils specific ESD requirements.

The design principles of the building will incorporate carbon neutral building operations, water sensitive urban design, connected and universal access facility that encourages and provides for all travel options, design that actively facilitates integration and landscapes which align to the local environment. This facility will deliver community spaces, kindergarten rooms, maternal child health consulting rooms, office space, and consulting rooms that will cater to the growing needs of the Wyndham community. A dedicated space for the Aboriginal community will provide a culturally safe space to host community services and events. Community using the building will learn about culture and green building design.


City of Wyndham, Sustainability Team
Supporting biodiversity on private land

Wyndham City has developed community programs to support their rural and urban residents enhance biodiversity on their properties.

Habitat Heroes supports the establishment of habitat gardens in urban areas, while the Land Protection Grant Scheme works with rural landholders to manage remnant habitat on their land. Both programs provide technical support, develop tailored biodiversity plans for each property, provide material support and ongoing access to technical advice. As a result, there are thousands of extra native plants and several hundred hectares of native vegetation managed for biodiversity.


City of Melbourne
Carbon Neutral Events

In a bid to tackle climate change, City of Melbourne became the first organisation to have an event portfolio certified Carbon Neutral under the National Carbon Offset Standard by the Australian Government.

The portfolio includes two of Melbourne’s high-profile Premier events: Melbourne Fashion Week and Melbourne Music Week. Together these events were predicted to produce 993 tonnes of carbon equivalent (CO2-e) in 2018. These emissions were neutralised through investment in certified carbon offset projects, including a renewable wind project located in Zhangbei County, China, and a savannah fire management regime in the North Kimberley region of Australia.

To further support the success of this project and to help event partners and suppliers minimise their environmental impact, City of Melbourne also created a range of online resources, including a ‘Sustainable Event Guide’, a ‘Sustainable Business Guide’ and a ‘Carbon Neutral Guide’.

Protection of the Environment Award

City of Wyndham, Coast and Water Team
Site Environmental Management Plans – Protecting the environment one development at a time

The City of Wyndham is one of the fastest growing residential areas in Australia, with the estimated population to reach over 400000 by 2036.

During construction, this vast scale of development has the potential for a massive impact on waterways, natural habitats and trees if it is not well managed. Wyndham is proud to hold a reputation for one of the most thorough and comprehensive approaches to environmental protection during development through the use of Site Environmental Management Plans (SEMPs). Works are not permitted to proceed until the plans are stamped and endorsed by Council.

A compliance program has also been established in partnership with EPA Victoria, with inspections, rectification notices and enforcement action taken where appropriate to protect Wyndham’s unique natural environments.


Frankston City Council
Mapping wildlife – an important step in conservation

Frankston City has developed on online Wildlife Mapping tool that harnesses community ‘people power’ to note where wildlife is, which in turn informs Council action on the greatest areas of need for wildlife protection.

Furry, feathered and scaly – all animals count. If residents see one, dead or alive, they can help by dropping a pin on a map in the area they have spotted the wildlife, and if possible, take a photo and upload it too.

The key aim is to use the information gathered to help keep native wildlife safe from injury on the roads. By involving local residents in the collection of data, they can feel more connected to their local environment and community while making a highly worthwhile contribution to wildlife conservation – a positive outcome for people and wildlife alike.


Maribyrnong City Council
The Braybrook Community Riparian Link On The Maribyrnong River  Council

In order to increase habitat and biodiversity of native flora and fauna along the riparian zone on the Maribyrnong River escarpment in Braybrook, a 100 metre by 50 metre infestation of Chilean Needle Grass and Serrated Tussock along the escarpment was removed.

Additionally, more than 1000 native tubestock plants were planted by the local community on National Tree day 2018. The local community link with nature by planting on the river and to learn about biodiversity in flora and fauna of the Maribyrnong River buy hosting wildlife show on the day by Wild Action.

Clean Beach/ Waterways Award

Frankston City Council
Bay Friendly Businesses Project

Frankston City Council recently implemented the Bay Friendly Businesses project in partnership with the Victorian Government, EPA Victoria and 3199 Frankston Beach Patrol, to improve the health of Port Phillip Bay by reducing stormwater pollution.

Two hundred businesses were engaged, through face-to-face meetings, networking events and with educational materials. A number of businesses participated in a Voluntary Code of Practice, with three achieving recognition as ‘Bay Friendly’. Voluntary actions undertaken by participating businesses include no longer distributing plastic bags, replacing disposable plastic straws with paper ones and dropping waste oil off to an oil recycler. The sharing of business achievements through media promotions can help inspire others to take similar steps to reduce stormwater pollution and waste. There have been no known closures of Frankston Beach since the commencement of the project.


City of Wyndham, Coast and Water Team
Wyndham’s Healthier Waterways Program –Stormwater Infrastructure for the Future

The health of Wyndham’s waterways is a high priority for the community. The volume of litter and nutrients entering rivers, creeks and Port Phillip Bay is growing every year with sometimes deadly impacts on local wildlife, including the protected platypus. To respond to this challenge Council has committed more than $3 million to upgrade existing underperforming litter or gross pollutant traps (GPTs) and stormwater treatment wetlands.

The upgrade program has been developed in response to a comprehensive audit of the performance of all Council’s wetlands and GPTs against current best practice standards for stormwater treatment. Over the next 4 years these upgrades will substantially improve the health of our major urban waterways, including the Werribee River, Lollipop Creek and Skeleton Creek, as well as providing significant improvements for local residents and biodiversity through new native habitat planting and park furniture additions to wetland reserves.

Litter Prevention Award

Maribyrnong City Council
Don’t mess with our Parks – Litter education

Maribyrnong City Council in partnership with Sustainability Victoria trialled a series of different litter education and prevention techniques as part of the Don’t mess with our Parks project.

One of the most effective techniques was the introduction of frog friendly litter education signage which drew a direct connection between litter and the survival of local threatened species, the Growling Grass frog.

Council designed and installed signage across 24 major parks across the City, explaining the link between litter and the ongoing health of our frog populations and waterways. To expand the impact of the project, Council also designed another ‘Frog Friendly Park’ sign and installed these in local schools and parks.


City of Greater Dandenong
Living Rivers Project

The primary purpose of this project was to increase the awareness of the impact of littering and pollution on waterways. This was done through saturating all age and socioeconomic groups throughout Council area with a variety of educational materials.

The highlights of this project include the publishing of a ‘Healthy Waterways Heroes’ children’s book and animation, the creation of a food trader kit about appropriate stormwater practice, and unique educational stormwater pit lids. The project involved collaboration between numerous Council departments, businesses, residents, young adults, children and their parents. The collateral created under this project has continued to be used, further developed and distributed within the municipality and beyond.

 Resource Recovery & Waste Management Award

City of Wyndham, Waste and Education
Wyndham Waste Watchers

Inspired by the ABC’s War on Waste series, 10 families from across Wyndham took part in Waste Watchers, a program to put the large amounts of waste leaving our households on a diet.

Over the four-week period, participants were equipped with knowledge on how they can reduce what they send to landfill and improve their recycling, through methods like composting, worm farms, keep cups, boomerang bags, soft plastics recycling and more. Overall the group reduced their garbage by 68 per cent.

Key to this success was composting organic food waste through a worm farm or compost bin, recycling soft plastics at their local supermarket and improving their recycling knowledge.


City of Ballarat

SmarArt was founded in 2017 and is now an annual event at the Ballarat Show.

It engages a full range of talents to encourage thinking about reuse and recovery of materials that would previously have been thrown out. Creative pieces of art are generated by young children, through to adults with examples so far including an amazing scarf knitted from teabag strings, a plastic bag formal ball gown, and a plastic bag swan sculpture. The focus from council operations is so often on things like collection, bin placement, and contamination. This initiative gives the City of Ballarat a chance to engage with the community and get them to think about alternative uses for materials normally considered waste.


Maribyrnong City Council, Corex Recycling, Friends of Stony Creek, Friends of Newells Paddock, Friends of Maribyrnong Valley
Remove and recycle tree guards in Maribyrnong

With the help of volunteers, more than 5000 tree guards were sent off to Corex recycling to be recycled into new products and avoid being landfilled.

Tree guards are used to protect new plants in revegetation areas for the first 12 months, and then are reused. If, however, they are damaged, they will be sent to landfill.

This initiative, allows them to be recycled into new products.


City of Wyndham, Waste and Education
Towards 90% Waste Diversion – Wyndham’s Waste & Litter Strategy 2016-2040

Wyndham City’s Waste & Litter Strategy 2016-2040 provides a long-term vision for waste in Wyndham. This Strategy shifts the focus from waste management to resource management by concentrating on topics that will instil waste avoidance, reduction, reuse and recycling.

The Strategy is made up of a series of long-term aspirational targets for 2040, as well as short-term targets which are updated every four years providing a pathway to achieving the long-term vision.

This application is focusing on the Strategy’s first four years of implementation and the key strategic outcomes achieved during this period.


Frankston City Council
Frankston’s Dog Agility Park – good for dogs, owners and the environment

The innovative new Dog Agility Park installed at Ballam Park is a great demonstration of local government ‘closing the recycling loop’, choosing recycled resources in the construction of a community asset.

It provides pet friendly agility and play equipment, fencing, water provisions and a doggie waste bin.

Showcasing a unique range of recycled plastic products including a balance beam, pooch post, bridge, weave poles plus seats and tables for people, it attracts people and dogs from near and far. It is easy to keep clean and equipment pieces can be replaced when worn or damaged. Parts can also be returned to Replas for recycling once again.


City of Wyndham, Asset Rehabilitation & Sustainability
Recycled Materials in Roads and Footpaths

Wyndham’s population is growing at a rapid rate, as a result, the city’s demand for infrastructure and waste production have been increasing.

An opportunity was observed to combat both these issues by testing methods of resurfacing roads and footpaths using recycled content. Road resurfacing trials took place in January 2019 at Point Cook and Wyndham Vale incorporating recycled plastic and glass in the asphalt from plastic bags, glass bottles and printer cartridges. Geddes Crescent Reserve footpath in Hoppers Crossing is the first in Australia to trial a newly developed cement mix formula by Swinburine University using plastic and glass fines as an aggregate replacement. These innovations lead to better use of materials that would historically have ended up in landfill.


City of Glen Eira, Sustainability and Waste Teams
Food Waste Recycling

Glen Eira City Council commenced food waste recycling on 1 May 2018.

Food waste recycling was identified as a priority in Council’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2016-2021. Residents with a green waste bin can now put their food scraps in with their garden waste. This organic waste is turned into compost at Veolia processing facility and used in agriculture, parks and gardens to improve soil.


Frankston City Council
Leading the way in waste recovery

The impressive Frankston Regional Recycling and Recovery Centre (FRRRC) has diverted over 30700 tonnes from landfill for recycling over the past two years.

As a relatively new resource recovery centre, it plays an important role in providing accessible waste disposal options for residents and trades people from far and wide. The centre is supported by education on reuse of items and correct disposal of hazardous materials. The Treasure Chest Shop also enables items to be sold for reuse. FRRRC is a focal point for large partnership waste events such as the Garage Sale Trail and Detox your Home which have been highly successful.

Community Government Partnership Award

Friends of Maribyrnong Valley and Maribyrnong City Council          
Pipemakers Park working together

Pipemakers Park, 7 kilometres NW from Melbourne, is an eight-hectare conservation park with two wetlands, some native bush, a history garden and open green spaces.

From 2012, the Friends of Maribyrnong Valley have been volunteering with Maribyrnong City Council and park rangers at Pipemakers Park carrying out hands on conservation work.

Hand weeding, watering new planting, mulching out planting areas to slow and reduce weeds; plant many native plants to help with increasing biodiversity and habitat in native flora and fauna, as well as help improve wetland by planting to slow erosion on the banks.


City of Wyndham, Sustainability
The Ecoliving Centre – practical, everyday residential sustainability

Wyndham Vale’s Ecoliving Centre is a demonstration of practical, everyday residential sustainability.

Design retrofits, a thriving ‘learner’ garden and community education sessions, delivered through dedicated volunteers, provide the Wyndham community with practical ways to live more sustainability.


Frankston City Council
Greening Our Future

This popular environmental events series supports the local community to live more sustainably by using less resources, creating less waste and actively enhancing our local biodiversity and natural environment. With a wide range of free, practical sessions on a variety of topics, residents of all ages and backgrounds can learn new ways to make a positive environmental difference through every day actions.

Event topics evolve to meet the needs and interests of the community, offering both new and repeat sessions on topical subjects. In partnership with community groups, community centres and on occasion a neighbouring council, the program has gone from strength to strength, with the sell-out bookings, positive reviews and over 2,000 residents taking part over the past two years. Events attract a wide audience, with diverse topics including worm farming, composting, home solar and batteries, habitat gardening, decluttering, home eco-makeovers, caring for trees, birdwatching and waste-wise living.


Brimbank City Council
Seedlings for Schools

Council provides ongoing support to local schools to help them improve their environmental performance and curriculum. Growing food in schools helps children connect with where their food comes from and learn life-long skills in composting, caring for plants and creating healthy nutritious meals.

To facilitate more food growing in Brimbank schools, Council has recently positioned itself as the conduit between the Dame Phyllis Frost Women’s Centre that has a fully-functional commercial nursery, and local schools that are keen to grow their kitchen gardens.

In 2018, thirty-four local schools responded to an expression of interest, and on Tuesday 30 October, Council distributed a total of 856 punnets of vegetable seedlings.

In November, as a follow on, Council organised a teacher professional development workshop at St

Albans Meadows Primary school that covered the basics of growing a productive edible garden. This program was a successful, cost-effective program that delivered multiple benefits.


City of Melbourne
Urban Forest Fund

The Urban Forest Fund is a community grants program for new greening projects in the City of Melbourne.

The Fund aims to build partnerships between government, the private sector, and the local community through an annual grants program, which provides matched funding for greening projects on private property.

In 2018, the City of Melbourne delivered the first round of the Fund. One successful project includes the ‘Greening Howlett Street Project’ – a community driven initiative to green the communal areas of an apartment complex in Kensington which received a $100,000 grant.

This Fund grant resulted in over 1500 new plantings, a green wall, and a new stormwater harvesting and irrigation system.


City of Wyndham, Sustainability Team
Green Living Series – Garden Champions

What began five years ago as a Council run series of events, the 2019 Green Living Series, now boasts more than 50 environmentally themed events, with more than 20 percent solely led by local community groups.

The partnerships between Council and Community fostered through the opportunity for community groups to facilitate workshops on behalf of Council within the Green Living Series and well as being engaged by Council to host their own events entirely.

This partnership allows for growth, initiative and networking across local community groups. Findings from the Green Living Series identified the need for ongoing community-led programs. In March 2018 the Gardening Champions program was launched at Saltwater Community Centre. The aim of the project is to give participants the opportunity to learn how to cultivate their own food and to encourage positive social interaction with the community.


City of Melbourne
Melbourne Renewable Energy Project

The Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP) marks the first time in Australia that a group of local governments, cultural institutions, universities and corporations have collectively purchased renewable energy from a newly built facility.

Under this project, fourteen members of the buying group combined their purchasing power to support the construction of the Crowlands windfarm near Ararat. The 39-turbine windfarm is owned and operated by Melbourne based clean energy company Pacific Hydro.

MREP members committed to purchase 88 GWh of electricity per year from the windfarm under a long-term power purchase agreement. The agreement enabled Pacific Hydro to progress financing and construction arrangements for the project; and because the windfarm will generate more than the group’s needs, it will bring additional renewable energy into the market. This new windfarm in regional Victoria has begun supplying energy to power Town Halls, bank branches, universities and street lights across Melbourne.

Cultural Heritage Award

Moonee Valley City Council
Babepal Paen-mirring

The development of Babepal Paen-mirring ceremonial rock circle at Five Mile Creek Essendon was a collaboration between Moonee Valley City Council and Wurundjeri Tribe in consultation with Friends of Groups and the wider Moonee Valley community.

The site represents the three families of Wurundjeri with groups of three rocks placed a metre apart forming the shape of a mother’s tear running down to the banks of Five Mile Creek. Protecting a registered scatter site, the rock circle now represents so much more. The continuation of cultural heritage through land management and conservation, a gathering place for members of the Aboriginal community, and a place to reflect on our collective past.


City of Ballarat
Avenue of Honour and Arch of Victory beautification

In preparation for the 2015 100-year anniversary of the start of World War I, the City of Ballarat committed to undertake a series of improvements along the Avenue of Honour to give improve the visual amenity of this important monument in time for the anniversary.

The project included landscaping and earthworks, removal of weed tree species and suckers which had invaded the roadside over several decades, re-sculpting drainage, and a full program of tree replacements.

The project was planned and implemented in conjunction with the Avenue of Honour and Arch of Victory Committee. It was very important to have the input of the committee to ensure all works were undertaken in a respectful manner, sympathetic to the heritage of this important monument. Council continues, and is committed to, the ongoing maintenance of the Arch and the Avenue in conjunction with the committee following these works.

To view the Community Led Sustainable Cities Awards finalists, click here.