WALGA undertakes both policy and projects covering a range of environmental issues, creates awareness about specific environmental issues and provides resources to support Local Government Officers and Elected Members.

EnviroNews

To subscribe to WALGA's monthly Environmental and Climate Change newsletter, click here.

WALGA Environment Platform

The WALGA  Environment Platform is an online hub for the Local Government Sector to network, share information and build capacity in Environment and Sustainability issues. The Platform provides networking groups for Elected Members, Officers and LGmap users.

Herbicide Use and Integrated Weed Management Working Group - Expressions of Interest Open

The Environment Policy Team is seeking members to join a Herbicide Use and Integrated Weed Management Working Group, made up of Local Government officers.
 
The purpose of the Working Group is to share information and address knowledge gaps, to ensure Local Governments can make informed decisions on weed management approaches that are most suitable for their local context.
 
Following a WALGA workshop last December, Local Governments from across the State identified a number of areas where improvements could be made to further best practice management, and demonstrate environmental and social responsibility including:

  • sharing information from trials on the cost and effectiveness of different weed control methods
  • sharing information on innovative technologies and practices that have improved the efficiency of different weed control methods
  • simplifying the understanding of the legislative framework that regulates weed management and herbicide use
  • increasing community understanding of the safe use of chemicals and the limitations of different weed control methods, to help manage expectations and build community support for weed control programs;
  • organising events that build the capacity of the sector, including webinars, forums and training
  • enhancing WALGA’s Preferred Supplier Panel for Parks and Gardens to provide more non-chemical weed control suppliers, natural area specialists, and strengthen contractor safety performance; and
  • facilitating and participating in collaborative research opportunities, including the long-term effects of herbicide use on environmental values, post-burn weed control, and herbicide resistance.
The Working Group will provide guidance and technical advice on the key actions that WALGA and group members will undertake to progress improvements. The Working Group will meet quarterly.

Expressions of Interest are invited from Local Governments from metropolitan and regional areas, across all staff positions (Executive Managers to Officers).

For more information or to register your interest, please contact Melanie Davies, Biodiversity and Sustainability Project Officer, or call (08) 9213 2065, by Wednesday, 10 March.

Coastal Grants Boost

Community organisations and Local Governments can apply for a share of more than $4 million in grants, for projects that rehabilitate, restore and enhance beaches and coastal environments. 

The increased grant program is part of the commitment made by State Government to invest in coastal erosion hotspots and tackle the impacts of climate change on the State’s coastline.

Funding available includes up to $300,000 per proposal under the Coastal Adaptation and Protection program; up to $125,000 per proposal under the Coastal Management Plan Assistance Program and up to $60,000 per proposal under Coastwest. Applications close on Wednesday, 31 March 2021.

WALGA will be hosting an infosession for our members on the grant program on Wednesday, 17 February with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and the Department of Transport.

For more information or to express interest in attending the infosession, please contact the WALGA Environment Policy Team.

Seeking Expressions of Interest to Host the Next WA State Natural Resource Management and Coastal Conference

Denmark-Ocean-Beach.jpg

Image: Ocean Beach in Denmark (Source: WALGA).

Expressions of interest are sought from interested Local Governments and regional bodies, including partnerships or consortia, to host the next WA State Natural Resource Management and Coastal Conference. The Strategic Committee that oversee the selection process is open to the Conference being held in either 2021 or 2022 and notes that, due to the time required to organise a conference, a 2022 date is more likely.

This is a re-advertised call for expressions of interest as the Host who was awarded the conference from the original call is no longer able to host the conference.

The conference attracts around 200 delegates from community and not-for profit groups, Local Government, State Government, academia and industry.  The conference is an important opportunity to focus on the challenges and opportunities in planning and managing our natural resources, both inland and at the coast.

The Conference has the potential to bring many positive benefits to the host and local community, providing a unique opportunity to showcase a local area, and providing a significant boost to the local economy.

For bids that are partnerships or consortia, a lead agency or organisation needs to be nominated who will be the Conference Host Organisation.

For more information about the expression of interest, click here

Those organisations who submitted a bid through the first call can either re-submit that bid or submit a fresh bid.

Expressions of interest close on Monday,  15 March 2021 at 5:00pm.

For further information, please contact WALGA's Acting Manager Environment Policy,  Garry Middle, on (08) 9213 2049. 

Current Issues

Changes to the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) 

In November last year, the changes to the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) went through parliament and were given assent to by the Governor. WALGA has prepared a report that provides the details of the changes of most relevance to Local Government. In summary, the changes include

  • Changes to the assessment of proposals and schemes by the EPA including establishing a bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth for joint assessments and approvals;

  • Introducing cost recovery for EPA assessments;

  • Changes to the clearing permuting process; and

  • Changes to licensing, notably a shift from licensing premise to licensing activities

The report also provides an analysis of the changes against WALGA’s submission on the draft Bills introduced early in 2020.
All inquiries on this document should be directed to Garry Middle, A/Manager Environment Policy on  9213 2049.


Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) releases draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Guideline

The EPA has released a draft Environmental Factor Guideline for Greenhouse Gas Emissions after a 12 week consultation period during which almost 7000 submissions were received, including a submission from WALGA that was endorses by WALGA State Council on 6 September 2019.

The draft guideline requires proponents of major greenhouse gas emitting projects to show how they can reasonably and practicable avoid, reduce and offset emissions to contribute to the State's aspiration of net zero emissions by 2050.

The draft guideline has been provided to the EPA's Stakeholder Reference Group, of which WALGA is a member, for a further round of feedback with a focus on new information that should be considered in finalising the guideline.

The EPA intends to release the final guideline in March 2020.
 

Tuart Woodlands and Forests of the Swan Coastal Plain Listed as Critically Endangered by the Australian Government

The ‘Tuart ( Eucalyptus gomphocephala) woodlands and forests of the Swan Coastal Plain’ have been listed as Critically Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, effective as of 4 July 2019. Listing means that any activity likely to have a significant impact on the ecological community needs to be referred to the Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy for assessment and approval. 

The Approved Conservation Advice provides information on how to identify areas of Tuart woodlands and forests that are protected under national environmental law, and the priority research and conservation actions. The conservation advice is available on the Department of the Environment and Energy’s website.

WALGA has put together an InfoPage, which identifies the 20 Local Governments currently known to contain the Tuart woodlands and forests, summarises the key diagnostic characteristics for vegetation to be considered as part of the ecological community, and highlights the priority conservation actions. 
 

Sustainability Comparative Analysis Report

WALGA and the City of Perth have collaborated to put together a summary report looking at a number of the leading global sustainability frameworks available to Local Government in driving their sustainability programs.   

In approaching sustainability, Local Governments need to align their work against clear and robust frameworks. There are several sustainability frameworks that allow for this, with added benefits of benchmarking and mainstreaming sustainability across organisations.

The report reviews and analyses five frameworks that have been adopted within the sector to assess their suitability for driving sustainability organisation-wide within Local Government.

What is clear when looking at frameworks, is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for any Local Government across the board. In considering the adoption of a framework it is vital that an organisation assess their own unique and context specific requirements so that any approach can be deeply embedded and become a part of the organisations identity.
 

Past WALGA Submissions

   

Submission to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation on Modernising the Environmental Protection Act 1986 .
Submission to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation on its  draft Compliance and Enforcement Policy.