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Over 80 per cent of Waverley Council’s 2021/22 environmental initiatives in progress, according to new report

Waverley Council has renewed its environmental vision amid COVID-19 impacts. Photo: Facebook/Waverley Council.

By PATRICK MCKENZIE

Waverley Council has renewed their commitment to achieving its environmental vision for the local community, as a report at a recent council meeting indicated that many initiatives remain in progress.

During a February meeting, council heard that over 80 per cent of the ‘Sustainable Environment’ activities in Operational Plan 2021-22 were in progress, while nine per cent had been completed.

Corporate Planning and Reporting Coordinator Sneha Sabu wrote in the six-monthly progress report that the figures indicate progress against council’s 2018-22 Delivery Program, a subset of the longer 2018-2029 Community Strategic Plan.

The report stated that “COVID-19 and related restrictions may continue to impact on some activities, and it is possible some events and other programs may not be able to be delivered as planned”. 

In the operational plan, 28 of the 161 activities were impacted by COVID-19.

Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos relayed confidence in council’s concurrent 2018-2030 Environmental Action Plan, pointing to ongoing changes to reduce the area’s carbon footprint, conserve water and manage bushland through regeneration programs.

“Waverley Council was one of the first local governments nationally to formally articulate a strategic environmental vision for its organisation and community which included a detailed and funded cost-effective 10-year roadmap of actions to realise its goals,” Cr Masselos said.

“In July last year, Waverley Council became one of the first organisations in Australia to declare a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.”

The six-monthly progress report states that “emissions that cannot be avoided must be eliminated by purchasing equivalent greenhouse gas removals”. 

The report goes on to reveal that council recently purchased emission credits through “internationally recognised accreditation systems”, though does not specify which systems the emissions credits were bought through. 

Community consultation

During the meeting, longtime Greens councillor Dominic WY Kanak also moved a motion to extend the consultation period for the draft Waverley Local Environmental Plan (WLEP) until April 2022.

The motion suggests that the extended consultation period would include public information sessions, workshops and surveys to help form a “statutory document that reflects the aspirations and concerns of the community”. 

The document would replace the preexisting 2012 WLEP and would bring minor changes to “provide greater protections for the existing character of the area” while preserving the maximum building height and floor space ratio controls for all properties.

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