Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reinvigorated environmental focus for NSW councils

Reinvigorated environmental focus for NSW councils

29 NSW Councils are set to undergo specialist training to make sure that their local government areas are using the best possible techniques to ensure their community’s ecological future.

The training, presented by the Urban Sustainability Support Alliance (USSA) will take place in nine councils and two Regional Organisations of Councils (ROCs), which represent a further 20 councils.

The list includes Bathurst City Council, Canada Bay Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, Holroyd City Council, Goulburn – Mulwaree Council, Strathfield Municipal Council, Tumut Shire Council, Wakool Shire Council, Yass Shire Council and Namoi ROC and Riverina and Murray Regional ROC. 
Local Government Association President, Cr Genia McCaffrey, congratulates the Councils chosen to take part.

“Training such as this is essential to make sure that local councils are taking the steps needed now to ensure a sustainable future for their communities,” she said.

“The training is aimed at sparking action within councils, and helping staff bring about the organisational change we need for ecologically sustainable development.

“And our peer program will help those councils pass on valuable points to other councils around NSW.”

“It will put them in good stead to make sure that they are doing the best for both their current and future communities.”

President of the Shires Association, Cr Bruce Miller, said that planning for a sustainable future is also essential for councils outside the greater metropolitan area.

“As close as we are to our communities, we are in a unique position to influence environmental measures that will mean a better quality of life for our future society,” he said.

“At the same time we must also make sure that the needs of our current communities are being met.

“Our councils will be in a better place to appreciate the benefits of ecologically sustainable development and understand how to incorporate it into their management plan and policies.

“Our aim is to have NSW councils consider the sustainability impact of every decision that they make.”

Councils across NSW were invited to apply for the training. Each of the successful councils or ROCs will receive a minimum of two full days of customised in-house training.

The Urban Sustainability Support Alliance (USSA), formed in 2007, is a partnership of organisations that helps councils to make sustainability a key part of their planning and practices and to make sure that lessons they learn are shared.

It is assisted by the NSW Environmental Trust, through its Urban Sustainability Program, and is coordinated by the Local Government and Shires Associations. 

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