Council has a range of plans already. Why do we need a Sustainable Wollongong Strategy?
Council has many and varied strategies, plans and programs and the draft Sustainable Wollongong Strategy will not duplicate these. This draft Strategy consolidates all our environmental priorities, goals and sustainability outcomes into one document , which will improve the integration of environmental considerations into all decision-making and operations.
There are 6 six priority areas for action in the draft Strategy and Councils many strategies, plans and programs support the delivery of the goal and sustainability outcomes in each of the priority areas. Effective and collaborative implementation of the actions identified in this Strategy will ensure that we, as a community, can create a thriving low waste, low emissions City, which is resilient, liveable and has high biodiversity values.
What is sustainability?
Sustainability is commonly defined as meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Sustainability is all encompassing and to create a focused document, this draft Strategy focuses on the environmental aspects of sustainability. To us, environmental sustainability is about improving the sustainability of and enhancing our way of life whilst minimising our impact on our natural systems.
What is the significance of Aboriginal Heritage and its relationship to sustainability?
Our natural environment sustained our local Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers. They lived in harmony with the local environment and they lived seasonally, within the climatic conditions and food availability. This ensured the sustainability of the local environment and of their people through taking only what they needed to survive, not wasting and protecting the environment for future generations. This draft Strategy incorporates these principles of sustainable living.
Council commissioned the cover artwork to represent the traditional Aboriginal perspective of sustainability and our community strategic plan vision:
‘From the mountains to the sea, we value and protect our environment’
What is the role of Council?
Council has many roles with in implementing the actions in this draft Strategy. We will act as a steward, facilitator, advocate, service provider, regulator and partner in helping the community achieve sustainability and climate change outcomes. We will lead by example and implement actions to reduce our environmental impact and emissions from Council operations. We are also committed to providing education, support and advice to our community, business and industry to reduce their emissions and environmental impact.
When will this Strategy be reviewed?
To ensure that this Strategy remains current and reflective of political and community sentiment, it will be reviewed on a four-year cycle, coinciding with Council terms and review of the Community Strategic Plan. The Strategy will also undergo a major review in 2030.
What engagement have we done to date?
In developing this Strategy, we held a series of engagement activities to gain community input. We asked our community what was important to them in terms of sustainability, why it was important and what we as a community could do. There was a high level of participation, with over 500 responses and over 1200 peer votes received.
The community told us that their priorities are Council demonstrating environmental leadership and working in partnership with community, reducing our City’s emissions, increasing renewable energy, improving resilience to climate change, moving towards zero waste, increasing green space, green corridors and trees, increased sustainability requirements for all new developments and improved active and public transport opportunities in the city
We have used these comments and priorities to develop the priority areas, goals and sustainability outcomes for this Strategy. We have incorporated the Aboriginal connection to country in this Strategy, especially encouraging our community to embrace living sustainably and fostering their own connection to country and our environment.
The purpose of this exhibition is to ensure that we listened and interpreted your thoughts and ideas correctly.
What happens next?
All feedback received will used to make amendments to the draft Strategy, which will then be submitted to Council for endorsement later in the year.