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EnviroNews
DECEMBER 2019
WALGA
Issue 12

In this issue:

Events, funding opportunities and resources:

Welcome to the Final Issue of EnviroNews for 2019!
In this last issue of EnviroNews for 2019, the Environment Team thought we would share some of our key highlights from 2019 - but most importantly, we wish you and your families a safe and festive holiday season and look forward to working with you all in the New Year.
2019 has been another busy year for the WALGA Environment Team on the policy, advocacy and events front. The team has also rolled out a new online Environment Platform for our members and is preparing to launch the re-branding of the Environmental Planning Tool in early 2020.

To read more, click here.
The Environment Team looks forward to working with you all in 2020 and from us to you, best wishes for a safe and festive holiday season.
Sector Comments Sought on WALGA's Draft Submission to the Environmental Protection Act 1986
WALGA is calling for sector feedback on its draft submission to the State Government on proposals to modernise the Environmental Protection Act 1986 by COB Monday, 6 January 2020.
Local Governments have significant interactions with the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act), in relation to their land use planning responsibilities and in their role as land owners and managers.

The draft submission provides comment on proposed amendments to the EP Act as well as additional matters that WALGA considers should also be included in the Bill or be considered to improve the effectiveness of the EP Act. In particular Local Governments may wish to consider proposals related to changes to licences, the clearing permit process and schemes.

The submission should be read together with the exposure draft bill and discussion paper which is available on the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) website.

WALGA is seeking sector feedback on the draft submission by Monday, 6 January at 5pm. Please provide your comments to environment@walga.asn.au.

Following feedback, the draft submission will be finalised for consideration by WALGA State Council.

WALGA also encourages Local Governments to submit their own submissions directly to the Department by Tuesday, 28 January 2020.
For more information, please contact Environment Policy Manager, Nicole Matthews on (08) 9213 2039.
Sector Comments Sought on WALGA's Draft Submission to the Native Vegetation in Western Australia Issues Paper
WALGA is calling for sector feedback on its draft submission to the State Government on it's Native Vegetation in Western Australia Issues Paper by COB Monday, 13 January 2020.
Local Government has a significant stake in native vegetation management in WA, in terms of their statutory land use planning responsibilities and in their role as land owners and managers.

WALGA is seeking sector feedback on the draft submission by Monday, 13 January at 5pm. Please provide your comments to environment@walga.asn.au.

The submission should be read together with the State Government's Issues Paper.

Following feedback, the draft submission will be finalised for consideration by WALGA State Council.

WALGA also encourages Local Governments to submit their own submissions directly to the Department by Monday, 10 February 2020.
For more information, please contact Environment Policy Advisor, Garry Middle on (08) 9213 2049.
Native Vegetation Consultation - Additional Workshops in January 2020
The Department has announced new workshop dates in January 2020 to support regional communities have their say on Western Australia's Native Vegetation Issues Paper.
The workshops will be run if there is significant numbers registered so please book in advance.

It is encouraged for attendees to read the Native Vegetation Issues Paper prior to attending.
For more information, contact A/Senior Manager, Native Vegetation Strategy, Anya Lam on (08) 6364 6871.
Comments Sought on the Future of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
The second 10 year statutory independent review of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) has commenced.
Over the next 12 months, the review will look at how the EPBC Act has been operating, and any changes needed for Australia to support ecologically sustainable development into the future. 

A discussion paper has been released to start the conversation about how the EPBC Act has operated and whether it is fit for the future. The paper outlines the Act, what is does and where it came from. Potential areas of focus for the review are explored, and options for reform floated. 

Public submissions in response to the discussion paper are open until Friday, 14 February 2020 and can be made via the website here

Local Governments are encouraged to consider the Discussion Paper and provide comments directly and to WALGA to inform its submission on behalf of the sector.
For more information, please contact WALGA's Environment Team.
Dr Garry Middle Joins the WALGA Environment Team
The Environment Team are thrilled to welcome Dr Garry Middle on board, stepping into the position of Environment Policy Advisor.
Garry has worked for 30 years in the environmental planning field in State Government, Local Government, as an academic and as a consultant. He has worked for the EPA, was Appeals Convenor for two years, the City of Rockingham as Manager Strategic Planning and Environment, and was Head of Urban and Regional Planning at Curtin University. He was also an independent member of the WA Planning Commission for eight years and has a Ph.D. in environmental policy making.

His expertise includes environmental impact assessment, coastal planning, climate change adaptation and biodiversity planning. Garry is a long-time member of the International Association of Impact Assessment, Planning Institute of Australia and Environment Institute of Australian and New Zealand.

When not at work, Garry is a tragic Dockers member, is a keen photographer, and is Chair of the Great Victoria Desert Biodiversity Trust Fund, which is an environmental initiative that conserves and increases knowledge of biodiversity in the Great Victoria Desert funded through an offset on the Tropicana Gold Mine operating in the desert.

Garry has hit the ground running, working on getting WALGA's draft submission on the State Governments Native Vegetation in Western Australia Issues Paper out to the sector before the Christmas break.
For more information, please contact Environment Policy Advisor, Garry Middle on (08) 9213 2049.
Environmental Protection Authority 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 endorsed 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.
 
Local Governments wishing to provide comments should send to Nicole Matthews, Environment Policy Manager by Friday, 31 January.
For more information, please contact Environment Policy Manager, Nicole Matthews on (08) 9213 2039.
Managing Algal Blooms in Waterbodies
WALGA held a field tour to discuss lake algal bloom management in early December, with over 20 attendees from State and Local Government, tertiary institutions and natural resource management organisations participating.
The City of Rockingham led a tour to four of the City’s lakes to discuss trials of enzyme products and barley straw bales to manage algal blooms. The tour ended with a presentation on the treatment application schedule, as well as the results of photo monitoring.

The aim of the tour was to facilitate the sharing of information between Local Government on effective algal bloom treatments as part of an integrated approach to wetland management. WALGA and New WAter Ways have established an online Interactive Map (filter by ‘Wetland/lake Algae Management’ category) with Local Government case studies on the results of algal bloom treatments.
Further field tours will be organised next year. For more information, contact Biodiversity and Sustainability Project Officer, Melanie Davies, on (08) 9213 2065.
Dial Before You Dig Success at the City of Perth
In a big win for the City’s Urban Forest, City of Perth Parks Environment Officer, Karl Kjaerheim and GIS Specialist, Gary Chin worked together to further improve the protection of the trees within the city.
Thanks to their hard work, all City of Perth trees have now been added to the City’s Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) information package.

The City of Perth Parks Unit can now keep track of every single dig near a tree and can follow up with contractors should they damage trees or their roots. Contractors that request a DBYD will receive the City of Perth’s Tree Protection Sheet.

The information includes how to measure the Tree Protection Zone, how to prune, trench and how to request additional arboricultural advice if required. Any damage done to City trees during a dig may incur a fine equal to the amenity value of the tree.
For more information, please contact City of Perth Parks Environment Officer, Karl Kjaerheim on (08) 9461 1468.
City of Busselton Implements Coastal Rehabilitation Works with Friends of Reserve Groups
The project, partly funded by CoastWest, included the planting of 3000 local native seedlings, weed control and vegetation monitoring with work undertaken by City Friends of Reserves volunteers and school students.
Five interpretive signs have been installed detailing information on coastal processes, the importance and function of foreshore vegetation and a focus on our local plants and animals.

The project included the provision of training for Friends of Reserve coastal group volunteers building environmental skills, sharing of knowledge and volunteer safety training. The Cape’s Birdlife group volunteered time to guide several bird walks developing bird-watching skills to build local environmental knowledge.
For more information, please contact WALGA's Environment Team.
Cockburn Reserves a Honey Pot for Special Possums
Several increasingly scarce Honey Possums were spotted this spring in Cockburn by a consultant zoologist contracted by the City to conduct an annual fauna survey.
Fauna Track’s Ray Lloyd said the tiny marsupial was an important pollinator of Banksia but was increasingly rare on Perth’s Swan Coastal Plain. Mr Lloyd conducted surveys in a handful of the City’s conservation reserves to complement vegetation mapping, and was excited by the discovery of Tarsipes rostratus.

“There are only a handful of Honey Possum records known from City of Cockburn reserves and the broader area,” Mr Lloyd said.

They rely on diverse, long-unburnt Banksia woodlands which provide a food source of nectar and pollen all year round. Key management programs such as protecting long-unburnt habitat from threats such as clearing, fire and dieback is critical to the long-term survival of the species, not just in City of Cockburn reserves but also the remainder of their range.
For more information, please contact the City of Cockburn Environment team on (08) 9411 3444.
City of Subiaco Transitions to a Zero Carbon Fleet
The City of Subiaco is set to reduce carbon emissions by 59 tonnes and save more than $20,000 in fuel costs in 2020, as it transitions to a zero carbon vehicle fleet.
The City received four electric vehicles and one hybrid vehicle recently, with three additional hybrid vehicles due for delivery shortly. The vehicles, which will be used as ranger and pool vehicles, will enable the City to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions dramatically – a key action in two City strategies.
 
The new vehicles will also gives ratepayers better value for money and demonstrates the City’s commitment to reducing its impact on the environment, alongside a draft Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan which is due to go to Council in February to guide the transition to becoming carbon neutral.
 
As part of its move towards more sustainable travel, the City previously purchased three electronic bikes for staff use.
For more information, please contact the City of Subiaco.
Give the Gift of Hidden Treasure this Christmas
Drop off your unwanted items at the City of Swan's Recycling Centre - Bullsbrook (RCB), and pick up a bargain at the tip shop while you're there.
The RCB accepts a range of materials including mattresses, white goods, green waste and furniture plus a wide selection of general household items, books and DVD’s.
 
Materials such as mulch and metals are separated so they can be recycled or reused for another purpose, and many items which are in good condition are sold at the tip shop at bargain prices.
 
City of Swan Mayor, Kevin Bailey said the tip shop keeps reusable recyclable items away from landfill by offering them back to the community at a low cost.
 
Over the last year the RCB and tip shop have recycled over 5000 tonnes of material, saving the carbon equivalent of 6376 tonnes.
For more information, visit the City of Swan website.
Habitat Links Launches in the City of Armadale
The City of Armadale’s new biodiversity enhancement and habitat conservation program begins in 2020.
Residents within the City of Armadale will now have the opportunity to receive free native seedlings and the support of a dedicated Officer to help improve biodiversity and the health of the City’s treasured natural environment through the recently launched Habitat Links program.

By assisting landowners to improve biodiversity conservation and habitat enhancement on their private properties, the Habitat Links program aims to promote the importance of ecological corridors and habitat for wildlife to the wider community.

Habitat Links expands on the previous Streamcare program, which started in 2002 and was aimed at revegetating watercourses on private land, targeting larger properties that contain or are adjacent to significant areas of bushland or wetlands.

Participants of the program receive native seedlings and technical advice to help with revegetation, wildlife habitat creation, weed and feral animal management, erosion control and monitoring.
For more information, please contact the City of Armadale on (08) 9394 5000.
Record Recycling Rates at Subiaco Problem Waste Day!
Subiaco residents keen to recycle right gathered for the Problem Waste Drop Off Day held in late November and hosted by the City of Subiaco and Western Metropolitan Regional Council.
Despite being the hottest November day on record, more than 70 people dropped off recyclables at the City of Subiaco’s Waste Operations Centre which in total weighed in at more than 860 kilograms.

Items collected included batteries, cardboard, e-waste, polystyrene, x-rays, bottle tops, globes, printer cartridges, paints and soft plastics. E-waste was the most common item type received, including computers, printers and TV’s weighing in at more than 470 kilograms. The second most commonly collected item was clothing, which was collected by the Salvos, weighing in at 300 kilograms. 
For more information, please visit the Western Metropolitan Regional Council website
The Cities of Armadale and Gosnells Working with the Community to Improve the Environment
Armadale Gosnells Landcare Group (AGLG) is a not for profit environmental organisation that has been in operation for 21 years, achieving some fantastic milestones over the past year.
Setup as a collaborative partnership between the Cities of Armadale and Gosnells (whom fund the staffing and administrative aspects of the organisation) and a local community of environmental volunteers, AGLG engages schools, corporate groups, religious organisations and the wider community to participate in caring for and learning about our precious natural environment.

AGLG have had some big achievements this year (outlined here). Some of the highlights being planting over 100,000 native seedlings, coordinating the provision of over $250,000 worth of volunteer labor, engaging 2000 students from local schools who helped plant, weed, remove litter and conduct citizen science projects and securing a further five year funding commitment from the Cities of Armadale and Gosnells.
For further information, please contact Armadale Gosnells Landcare Group.
Leschenault Biosecurity Group Rabbit Control Success
The Leschenault Biosecurity Group’s recent RHDV1 K5 virus release program has seen early positive results and attracted over 100 registrations.
This October and November, Leschenault Biosecurity Group (LBG) staff ran several community workshops as part of the group’s K5 Rabbit Control Program. As a common and widespread declared pest, the control of rabbits was identified as a priority by local landholders in the group’s operational area - which includes the Shires of Capel, Dardanup, parts of Donnybrook-Balingup Shire, and the City of Bunbury.

The program involves coordination and collaboration between neighbours for the release of the virus and it is through this coordinated approach that the best results are achieved, with one site recording an 80% reduction in rabbit numbers.

The program will continue to be rolled out throughout the coming months and will include participation by local authorities for the control of rabbits on Shire land.
For more information, please contact the Leschenault Biosecurity Group.
WALGA Christmas and New Year Shut Down
Please note our office will be closed on Wednesday, 25 December and will reopen on Thursday, 2 January.

We would like to thank everyone for their support and contributions to EnviroNews in 2019 and we look forward to highlighting the many achievements and projects of the sector in 2020.
Funding Opportunities
Wild Dog Eradication Program - EOI Registrations close Sunday, 12 January
Upcoming Events
2020 WA Wetland Management Conference
Date: Friday, 31 January 2020 from 9:00am to 4:00pm
Venue: 
Bendat Community and Parent Centre, 36 Dodd Street, Wembley

Canning Change Your World Conference & Fair
Date: Friday-Saturday, 6-7 March 2020
Venue: 
TBC
Resources
WALGA has many environment related resources available to assist you with operational and policy issues:

WALGA Environmental Planning Tool 
A mapping product that has been specifically designed to meet the needs of Local Governments. The EPT has a large range of data relevant to land use, infrastructure and environmental planning. It has the capability to enable the inclusion of local data and unique reporting functions linked to statutory process requirements.

WALGA Environment Platform
The Environment Platform is an online hub for the Local Government Sector to build capacity and knowledge in Environment And Sustainability, as well as provide networking groups for Elected Members, Officers and Environmental Planning Tool (EPT) Users.

Find a Conservation Group
To find out whether there are any community volunteers interested in bushland restoration in your Local Government area, go to the ‘find a conservation group’ application provided by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction’s Urban Nature Program

Approved Vegetation Clearing Statistics for Local Government Area
Clearing statistics by industry group, Local Government or IBRA regions provided by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

To find out more, visit the Environment page of the WALGA website or contact the Environment team at WALGA.

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WALGA Environment Team Contacts
Environment Policy Manager - Nicole Matthews 9213 2039  
Environment Policy Advisor - Garry Middle 9213 2049            
Environment Policy Officer - Jade Mains 9213 2027 
EPT Business Development Officer - Renata Zelinova 9213 2521
Biodiversity and Sustainability Project Officer Melanie Davies 9213 2065
WALGA
ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade,
West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
Email: info@walga.asn.au
www.walga.asn.au
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