Kogarah takes top honours at Sustainable Cities Awards Night

Kogarah City Council has won the prestigious Overall Sustainable Cities Award at the 2011 Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Awards and it then went on to win the national Australian Sustainable Cities Awards for 2011.

The announcement was made at the national awards ceremony hosted by the 2010 national winner, The City of Stirling in Western Australia.

The award recognises Kogarah for its proactive and innovative approach to sustainability and its success fully engaging individuals, community groups, businesses and schools in a wide range of environmental projects and initiatives.

In addition to winning the overall title, Kogarah also picked up national awards for the Dame Phyllis Frost Litter Prevention and Heritage and Culture categories.

Australian Sustainable Cities Judge Dick Olesinski said underpinning Kogarah's win was their all inclusive approach to creating a more sustainable city.

"They have successfully combined a strong vision, holistic and inclusive planning, and effective on-ground actions to demonstrate real impact and results," he said.

"Kogarah City Council's Community Strategic Plan was developed not only to reduce litter and rubbish across the city, but also to encourage all aspects of the community to take part.

Their implementation of litter management, reduction and education programs earned them the "Dame Phyllis Frost" Litter Prevention Award."

Kogarah also picked up the award for Heritage & Culture, recognising the history of the area and the growing diversity of the city.

Kogarah City Council's implementation of the 'Bright Future Better Lifestyle 2020' program recognises the city's aboriginal heritage, encouraging reconciliation and preservation.

The Australian Sustainable Cities Awards recognise efforts by residents, community groups, businesses and all levels of government to strive for a sustainable and litter free environment.

The Sustainable Cities Award recognises and celebrates Kogarah City Council's outstanding environmental initiatives and commitment to environmental sustainability, in partnership with their community.

The Sustainable Cities program is a Keep Australia Beautiful NSW initiative to recognise outstanding environmental initiatives implemented by Local Government authorities, schools and community groups and businesses, while raising public awareness of a range of environmental issues affecting metropolitan NSW.

Kogarah won for its '125 years of history deserves 125 years of future' project which included the development of an Environmental Sustainability Delivery (ESD) Plan.

The plan draws on the aspirations of Council's Community Strategic Plan 'Bright Future Better Lifestyle: Kogarah 2020' and provides the integrated approach needed in addressing environmental sustainability.

To achieve their community's vision of a 'clean, green and sustainable City', Council has undertaken numerous environmental programs and projects. Amongst these are demonstrable outcomes within the areas of catchment protection, biodiversity, water efficiency, renewable energy, combating climate change and waste minimisation.

In addition, Council delivers a number of educational programs to improve community and staff awareness, such as the Catchment Crusaders Program, Eco Living workshops and Green Champions.

Council's Environmental Sustainability Delivery Plan was also recognised at the awards ceremony for its innovative role in guiding and informing decisions which aim to improve Kogarah's environment.

The ESD Plan presents a picture of Council's ideal future for each environmental issue and its initiatives and projects effectively capture the shared aspirations of the community.

Kogarah Mayor Nickolas Varvaris was delighted with the award and thanked everyone involved with the Council's environmental initiatives.

"This award is testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved. That includes our Councillors, residents, schools, businesses, Council staff and other government authorities.

"I thank them all and encourage everyone to stay focussed on our vision for a sustainable Kogarah," he said.

"Kogarah's community is very proud and passionate about their local environment and Council is committed to achieving our vision of a sustainable future in partnership with our community."

Kogarah City Council's aspiration for the future is to be an exemplar local government in the area of sustainability.

This prestigious award indicates that Council is on track to achieving this ambition.

The Australian Sustainable Cities Awards 2011 are sponsored by the Do the Right Thing Program of the Packaging Stewardship Forum, Australian Food and Grocery Council, Visy Industries, ToysRUs, Replas and Tennant.

Further information about the Australian Sustainable Communities Awards can be found at www.kab.org.au

For further information on Kogarah City Council's Environmental Sustainability Vision, please visit http://www.kogarah.nsw.gov.au/sustainability.