One stop shop for environmental concerns

Warringah Council, on Sydney's northern beaches, is seeing the benefits of combining all its environmental services - from bushland works to waste education to catchment works to dogs and cats - under the one umbrella.

Council's Environmental Management Service Unit comprises 50 staff and covers a wide range of environmental responses and services for the community. According to Warringah's Manager of Environmental Services, Dennis Corbett, the new structure allows Council to respond to the community with the correct balance of works, education and enforcement.

"With the range of complex environmental issues now being faced by Local Governments, Warringah felt it was important to create an Environmental Service Unit that addressed both short term and long term issues, and that was able to respond to our residents' needs for a 'one stop shop' for environmental concerns," he said.

"Many Councils have their environmental services scattered and uncoordinated, and are therefore unable to get the right balance of works, education or enforcement that many issues require." Working closely with their adjoining coastal Councils of Manly and Pittwater, Warringah Council is well aware of the challenge of preserving the 'beach and bushland' appeal of the Sydney northern beaches area.

Warringah has an Environmental Special Rate which currently raises almost $3 million annually for catchment, coastal, bushland and stormwater projects. This is underpinned by strong links to the community and State Government agencies through Council's environmental committees and advisory groups.

Recent Council initiatives include the following.

  • The appointment of a Silt and Sediment Control Officer to work with the building industry to improve environmental practices on building sites.
  • An increase in Council's Ranger numbers to eight staff to better address a range of issues such as illegal dumping.
  • Construction of additional gross pollutant traps, as well as stormwater education projects with OzGreen.

For further information contact Dennis Corbett at [email protected]