Clover Moore

21 July 2010 – City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore will today report on how the ambitious 2030 plan for Sydney has progressed at a seminar for stakeholders at Sydney Town Hall.

As part of the grand scheme, the council also yesterday called for tenders to develop a master plan to save and recycle about 10 per cent of the City’s water supply.

The “2030 Reporting Back” seminar will outline a long list of achievements and plans to deliver better outcomes on environment, culture and economic prosperity.

Ms Moore said there were more than 60 actions just in the past 12 months to support initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, boost affordable housing stocks, further an integrated transport system, build recreational and cultural facilities, and improve city planning controls,.

“In 2006 we began work on a long-term plan for our environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability. We commissioned extensive research and consulted comprehensively with residents, business, government, retail and all other sectors. Our 2030 strategy (completed in 2008) outlines the major cultural shifts that we must make if we are to remain a global sustainability leader,” Ms Moore said.

“By freeing George Street from the stream of buses and private traffic-by ridding it of the noise, the fumes and the visual intrusion they bring-we can give Sydney a grand boulevard whose vitality would spill over to reanimate all parts of the City.

“To help reanimate the city and provide new opportunities for business along George Street and surrounding areas, we plan to provide more space for people and create three new major public squares. This vision for George Street based on urban expert Jan Gehl’s work would provide a dedicated transport corridor for the 85 per cent of workers and visitors who do not travel to the city by car.

“I welcome the Government’s commitment to extensions of light rail between Central and Circular Quay, which is a vital step toward our vision for George Street. We are continuing work with the State Government on an agreement and I urge it to be courageous and ambitious,” Ms Moore said.

See an animation of the plan here

Ms Moore said the City’s Green Infrastructure Master Plan, which she said was the first of its kind in Australia, provided a blueprint to retrofit the city with green technologies, delivered by the public and private sectors.

“We have identified City-owned properties as a foundation for a tri-generation network, and called for tenders from the private sector for design, delivery, operation and maintenance.

“Unlike centralised coal-fired power, tri-generation captures waste heat for heating or cooling. It is 85 per cent efficient compared to 30 per cent for the coal-fired system. It can significantly reduce emissions and help lower peak demand, a central reason for expensive planned network upgrades and rising energy bills.

“Starting with our sites, we can connect to nearby buildings to create ‘Low Carbon Zones’. A system at Sydney Town Hall could supply adjacent St Andrew’s Cathedral and school, the Queen Victoria Building, other CBD properties and even Energy Australia offices across the road.”

Other 2030 initiatives include:

  • Transport: “In an historic step” the NSW Government budgeted for a light rail link from Central to Circular Quay and Barangaroo.
  • Cycling: Construction of the first phase of our 200 kilometre cycleway network.
  • Green master plans: A Green Infrastructure Master Plan identifies technologies to implement low-carbon and renewable energy generation, waste and water infrastructure.
  • Energy efficiency: A roll-out of 8500 energy-efficient LED lights for potential energy savings of 50 per cent.
  • Renewable energy: An annual $2 million renewable energy fund established and introduction of solar panels and energy efficiency measures to Sydney Town Hall and other council property portfolio.
  • Affordable housing strategy: An Affordable Rental Housing Strategy has outlined how all tiers of government and the private sector can work together to deliver our 2030 targets – 8000 new affordable rental homes for key workers together with social housing comprising 15 per cent of all City dwellings.

Initiatives from the 2030 plan implemented in 2009-2010

  • Reduced emissions by 17 per cent since 2006 through retrofitting our buildings to make them more energy-efficient and increasing our use of renewable energy.
  • A trial of 250 energy-efficient LED street lights extended to all City owned lights in public areas could improve energy efficiency by 50 per cent.
  • Secured the first electric car for the City’s fleet – and supported the installation of Australia’s first on-street electric vehicle charging station.
  • The City brought on board UK energy expert Allan Jones who, in his previous role, reduced greenhouse gas emissions at the city of Woking by 80 per cent and ran similar projects for the City of London.
  • Established an annual $2 million renewable energy fund.
  • By reusing water and improving filtration/treatment processes, installing water tanks and more efficient fixtures, cut the use of drinkable water in our parks and community facilities by 17 per cent.
  • Expanded the national CitySwitch program – dedicated to encouraging building tenants to achieve at least 4 out of 5 star energy ratings. Sydney’s signatories to the program now account for 15 per cent of commercial office space in the Local Government Area.
  • Research into best practice Indigenous interpretation has begun, to help lead the Eora Journey – a project to celebrate Aboriginal culture and tell the stories of Indigenous Sydney.
  • Worked on the first nine of 55 kilometres of separated cycleways in a 200 kilometre cycleway network.
  • Joined with 14 other councils to develop a Regional Cycle Network covering more than 160 suburbs. Begun initial groundwork for a public bicycle rental system.

And also…

  • Worked on improved road conditions for pedestrians and cyclists in Paddington, Centennial Park, Newtown, Darlington, Erskineville, Camperdown and Surry Hills.
  • Broadened the city laneways revival program, with the operators of 28 small bars offered mentoring and support from the City. These bars have created 150 jobs and generated turnover of about $40 million. Galleries, coffee shops and boutiques and other “fine grain” retail in laneways are eligible for City laneways development grants and other support.
  • Chinatown revitalisation will provide spaces for outdoor markets, events and artworks. It will see three new laneways renewed for new activities on these streets and improved walking and cycling links.
  • Working with the State Government to introduce 40kmh zones across the CBD and make conditions safer for pedestrians
  • Hosted about 50 public conversations a year, from City Talks to business forums, community meetings and public rallies.
  • With the help of the Department of Industry and Investment and Austrade, expanded our Chinese New Year festival to foster business exchange and investment with Asia.
  • Our Affordable Rental Housing Strategy maps out how all tiers of government and the private sector can work together to deliver our 2030 targets – 8,000 new affordable rental homes for housing key workers , together with social housing, comprising 15 per cent of all City housing.
  • Six sites from the City’s property portfolio made available for 150 affordable homes. We are also selling land at Zetland to the City West Housing Company to build 120 new affordable housing units.

Water masterplan

Tenders for the water masterplan will be required to find ways to cut more than 50 per cent of pollutants that currently flow into Sydney Harbour and the Cooks River. It will also need to decide on either a private sector or public-private joint-venture model for the work.

Envisaged in the outcome are savings of more than 3.2 gigalitres of rain and other water resources, equivalent to 1200 Olympic size swimming pools.
In announcing the move the council pointed to a new report by the Water Services Association of Australia, which said that by 2026 major cities would face a 39 percent increase in water demand or 600 billion litres annually.

The inner city currently imported 32 gigalitres of drinking-standard water from Warragamba Dam, the council said yesterday in a media statement.
However, “only 20 per cent is used for cooking, drinking and washing. The other 80 per cent could be supplemented by recycled water for toilet flushing (19 per cent), air conditioning cooling towers (15 per cent) and irrigation (3 per cent).” Tenders closes on 7 September.

According to the City the council currently accounted for 1.5 per cent of water use in the local government area. About 80 per cent is used by apartments, commercial and institutional buildings.

“Consumption has fallen by 37 per cent over the past six years to 432 mega litres in 2008-2009. This reduction in water consumption is a result of water restrictions and initiatives such as retrofitting Council buildings, parks and pools with water efficient dual flush toilets and tap aerators.
“Council has installed rainwater tanks at nearly 20 childcare, kindergartens and community centres. There are also 20 stormwater harvesting and reuse projects completed or under construction to irrigate the City’s park and sporting fields.”

Current projects include a $1.3 million project at Sydney Park to capture and treat 51 million litres of stormwater a year with “gross pollutant traps” and a bio-retention basin using soil and plants to remove plastic bags, detergents, nutrients and heavy metals.

Currently these pollutants flow into to the Cooks River. “The filtered water will then be used in the park’s wetlands which lose 40 million litres a year in evaporation.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said: “Drinking water is a precious resource under growing threat from climate change, with more hot and extreme weather predicted for the coming decades. We must use water more efficiently and make better use of rainfall.”

tperinotto@thefifthestate.com.au