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Current location: Home > Issues > Environment


Globally we face enormous environmental challenges. Global warming is having far-reaching impacts and the challenge is to respond in a way that makes environmental, social and economic sense. I am determined to help make Sydney a leader in environmental sustainability.

The City formally endorsed the principles of the Kyoto Protocol, with a commitment to go beyond its targets and achieve real change in its own operations. Council is looking toward being Australia's the first carbon neutral Council, achieving a 100 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

In our own operations, the City is designing sustainability into new projects

  We will drought-proof Hyde Park by accessing non-mains water, including stormwater and water from the Cross City Tunnel and Busby's Bore.

  We are installing underground stormwater tanks into new parks, including Harmony Park Surry Hills and Barcom Avenue Park Darlinghurst.

  Our new $14 million Surry Hills Library and Community Centre on Crown Street will become a benchmark in environmentally sustainable community buildings.

  The City's Water and Energy Savings Action Plans target significant reductions in key City properties.

At a state level, I have pushed for the NSW Government to legislate for 25 per cent renewable energy, beyond its current commitment for 10 per cent by 2010 and 15 per cent by 2020. I opposed the backdown on BASIX, which reduced planned energy efficiency targets of 40 percent for all dwellings down to 35 per cent for low-rise dwellings and 30 per cent for mid-rise dwellings, with the meagre 20 per cent target maintained for high-rise apartments.

Through the Council of Capital Cities Lord Mayors (CCCLM), I met with Commonwealth Ministers, MPs and Parliamentary Committees to put urban environmental issues on their agenda, focussing on the need to make our cities more sustainable and achieve reductions in greenhouse gases.

Also making strong progress is the 3CBDs Greenhouse Initiative, a project that supports commercial properties in Sydney, Parramatta and North Sydney to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These areas account for almost 30 per cent of Australia's total commercial office space, and achieving the targets we have set will save 20,000 tonnes of CO2 and several million dollars in energy costs annually.

Recent related information:

Container Deposit Legislation in NSW: A container deposit levy in NSW would lead to a significant reduction in litter and reduce emissions.— (7/04/2011)

Hands off our Harbour Not this at Barangaroo: I firstly acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present... (15/03/2011)

Go Beyond the Hour for Earth Hour 2011: Earth hour 2011 at 8.30pm on Saturday 26 March is a call to action not only for one night, but permanently, with a call to "Go Beyond the Hour". I urge you to join the global movement... (11/03/2011)

Supporting Cultural Vitality: At Sydney Town Hall this week, Sydney Theatre Company Artistic Directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton pointed to Sydney's world-class venues and performers... (11/03/2011)

City Talk: Greening Sydney's Cultural Ribbon: Sydney Town Hall—Thank you, and good evening, everyone. I would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land... (8/03/2011)

Barangaroo Remediation Checks Removed: The Planning Minister also changed state planning requirements this week to circumvent standard processes for cleaning up contaminated land at Barangaroo... (4/03/2011)

Garage Sale Trail Launch: Lower Town Hall Druitt Street Entrance—Good morning, everyone, and welcome. Id like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land... (1/03/2011)

First City Talks For 2011 with Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton: The Co-Artistic Directors of Sydney Theatre Company, Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton, will share their ideas on fostering a green and vibrant cultural... (25/02/2011)

CBD Veggie Patches Show Us How It's Done: The City's commitment to promoting sustainable fresh food will continue over the next eight weeks with Live Green vegetable gardens appearing in 10 different locations throughout the City centre... (25/02/2011)

Reuse and Recycle: The City's next e-waste recycling day is on Sunday 6 March, but before you recycle think about re-using your unwanted goods. If your electrical equipment is still working... (25/02/2011)