SUSTAINABLE CITY OF THE YEAR 2019
This year’s Sustainable City of the Year winner has demonstrated an exceptionally high standard of entries covering all categories and demonstrating the collaborative participation with their communities.
The City of Wyndham is one of the fastest growing residential areas in Victoria and the rapid growth and urban expansion has led to a number of environmental and sustainability challenges. To respond to these challenges Wyndham City has initiated a number of initiatives.
Some of these projects include Wyndham’s waterways upgrade of their gross pollutant traps and stormwater treatment. Wyndham Vale’s Ecoliving Centre, a ‘learner’ garden and community education program that provide the Wyndham community with practical ways to live more sustainability. Truganina South Primary School have embedded sustainability into students daily learning. The Green Living Series which has more than 50 environmentally themed events. The Wyndham Aboriginal Community Centre and Integrated Family Centre, has achieved a 5 Star Green Star As Built, certification from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). The Werribee River Association is working hard to gather data to help with work on natural habitat revegetation and water quality improvement.
COMMUNITY LED PROJECTS
ACTIVE SCHOOLS – COMMUNITY PROJECTS
St Macartan’s Parish Primary School
St Macartan’s: Making a difference
Saint Macartan’s Parish Primary School is a lighthouse for Sustainable Living.
Building design, indigenous landscaping and the Sustainability Centre are all vehicles for the development of behaviours which exemplify stewardship of the environment. The students are engaged and lead the community in developing awareness and the need for behavioural change to reduce the impact that we have on our environment through Leadership Teams.
The Sustainability Teams monitor waste, energy, water and biodiversity at the school whilst the social and well-being student teams ensure that the individual’s needs are also addressed.
The school is “a tidy town” where a holistic approach nurtures the development of a community that is aware of the world around it and takes ownership of the stewardship required to ensure the protection of the environment.
Minnie Vinnies, Recycling Paper
CLEAN BEACH/ WATERWAYS – COMMUNITY PROJECTS
Yarra Riverkeeper Association
Yarra River Blitz
The Yarra River is the largest contributor of litter into Port Phillip Bay. Much of the litter entering the Bay is trapped in reed beds in the lower Yarra. These areas are extremely difficult to access. The small size of litter in these areas make litter collection time consuming and expensive.
This project was designed to remove accumulated waste from reed beds in the lower Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers using a unique approach which incorporates a boat mounted vacuum system with traditional waterway cleaning techniques.
This project has greatly reduced the amount of litter and microplastics residing in the Yarra and Maribyrnong and has prevented millions of microplastics from escaping into the Bay.
The Association have completed three Blitzes in the Yarra and Maribyrnong, have removed close to 20 tonnes of rubbish and have engaged Councils, industry and community to improve our wonderful waterways.
Kananook Creek Association, Green Army Kananook Creek Restoration
COMMUNITY ACTION AND LEADERSHIP – COMMUNITY PROJECTS
Kensington Street Compost
The Kensington Compost first began in 2016 when a resident posted on a community Facebook page, asking where they could dispose of kitchen scraps to prevent them going to landfill.
Two years later, there are 15 different drop off locations in Kensington where residents can dispose of their kitchen scraps in an environmentally friendly way.
Each location has a series of compost bins and worm farms at various states of composition. Volunteers use signage which clearly states what can and can’t be composted and which bins are full and shouldn’t be used.
Once the waste has broken down it is given away free of charge to residents and other community groups. Volunteers monitor the bins each week to ensure they are working well. It is run exclusively by volunteers with no funding. All bins and worm farms have been donated by community members.
LITTER PREVENTION – COMMUNITY PROJECTS
Beach Patrol Australia
Cleaner Port Phillip Beaches
Beach Patrol Australia (BPA) provides the means to channel the energy and enthusiasm of local communities to remove litter from their beach and prevent this litter from entering and harming the marine environment.
To date, BPA has kick- started thirty beach cleaning groups covering most of Port Phillip coastline. Each group typically cleans their beach on a monthly basis and submits the data on what they collect to BPA’s litter database.
Bellarine Catchment Network, Caring for our bays
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION – COMMUNITY PROJECTS
Frankston Beach Association Inc.
Frankston City – Foreshore Revegetation
Frankston Beach Association volunteers come from the general community and local education institutes and they form Working Bees. Members participate in restoration and preservation of the City of Frankston’s 5-kilometre remnant strip of coastal flora.
The Primary objectives are to rehabilitate 5,000 square metres of degraded coastline between Palm Court and Beach Street, Frankston; consolidate natural heritage aspects of this remnant of pre-European coastal flora; reduce effects of wave erosion and improve dune system stability by planting additional native primary dune stabilisers.
Volunteer teams have removed tonnes of weeds and litter in readiness for new plantings. In 2018, over 2500 tubes were planted to complement established remnant indigenous shrubs and trees.
3000acres, Expanding Community Composting in Melbourne
PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT – COMMUNITY PROJECTS
Raising Rarity Team
Raising Rarity Project
The Raising Rarity project focuses on assessing the horticultural potential of rare species, to establish suitability for eventual introduction into cultivated systems, such as home gardens.
The assessment program is elaborate, requiring germinating wild seeds, and monitoring growth and changes across all stages of maturation and repeating this process for multiple generations. If a species is successfully “tamed”, it may end up being available for the public to purchase through plant sales organised by the Cranbourne Friends, who will get involved with the project by growing the successfully cultivated species in order to sell them.
‘Natured Kids’ Narelle Debenham, Outdoor environmental activities, educating and empowering young people
Youth and Environmental Action
Phoebe is determined to make a difference, no matter how small or challenging it may be, including bringing awareness of environmental issues to local youth, and improving youth health (by participating on the 2019 Melbourne Container Terminal Committee, and youth forums).
She has been involved in a number of programs, such as her schools’ ADVANCE and STEM programs, where she worked alongside Melbourne Water, Friends of the Brisbane Ranges and the Werribee River Association to improve the environment and protect wildlife.
Phoebe created a Mobile Phone Recycling Box for the Zoo’s Victoria “They’re Calling on You” campaign, on which she began mid-2018 during her work experience placement at Werribee Open Range Zoo.
She is a Melbourne Ocean Youth Ambassador for the Sea Life aquarium and is an active member of Beach Patrol 3030.
Oscar Baldacchino, Save the critically endangered helmeted honeyeater
DAME PHYLLIS FROST AWARD
‘Natured Kids’ Junior Landcare: ‘Helping habitat for wildlife’
*Fam Charko, Marine Biologist, Science Communicator, and Officer of Everything
*Karin Traeger Hermosilla, The Plastic Runner
SUSTAINABLE COUNCIL AWARD
CLEAN BEACH/ WATERWAY – COUNCIL
Coast and Water Team – City of Wyndham
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.
COMMUNITY GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP – COUNCIL
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.
*City of Melbourne, Urban Forest Fund
*Sustainability Team – City of Wyndham, Green Living Series – Garden Champions
CULTURAL HERITAGE – COUNCIL
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.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY – COUNCIL
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’.
*Brimbank City Council, Sunvale Community Park
*Frankston City Council, Powering up local communities
*City of Ballarat, Creating a Cooler Ballarat
*Community Infrastructure & Sustainaility – City of Wyndham, Wyndham Aboriginal Community Centre (WACC) & Integrated Family Centre
*Sustainability Team – City of Wyndham, Supporting biodiversity on private land
*Friends of Bayside Roads, Friends of Bayside Roads Litter Patrol
LITTER PREVENTION – COUNCIL
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.
PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT – COUNCIL
Maribyrnong City Council
The Braybrook Community Riparian Link On The Maribyrnong River
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.
RESOURCE RECOVERY AND WASTE MANAGEMENT – COUNCIL
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.