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Community Groups and Local Government Work Together toward Sustainable Practices

Posted 3 December 2010 by (Hurstville News)

The Lower Georges River Sustainability Initiative is a partnership between Hurstville City, Kogarah City, Rockdale City, and Sutherland Shire councils, the Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority and the Georges River Combined Councils’ Committee. The initiative has been assisted by the NSW Government Environmental Trust through its Urban Sustainability Program.

Oatley Flora & Fauna will be promoting indigenous plant propagation through workshops and delivering the Birds in Backyards program, which educates people on the importance of attracting smaller birds into gardens, and how to achieve this. The first two workshops will be Saturday 26 March, and Saturday 16 April at Carss Park Community Gardens.
Jason Cockayne of Oatley Flora & Fauna will be conducting the Birds in Backyards workshops sponsored by Birds Australia. Cockayne said the Getting Greener! program allows groups to properly build and demonstrate their education strategies.

“Our project will help people do practical things like use less pesticides, appreciate and plant indigenous vegetation, and take an active interest in local bushland by taking walks in reserves,” says Cockayne. “People will begin to take a more sustainable outlook in the way they do their gardening, and generally understand that backyards are a valuable part of the environment.”

Food Connect Sydney will be providing local communities with locally-grown agricultural produce, and expanding its network of distribution centers, called City Cousins.

Lena Hammond, Marketing Coordinator at Food Connect, says their group aims to deliver locally-grown produce to 150 households in Southern Sydney. “One of our main goals is for local produce to become a sustainable option for households. To do this, we are involving many community groups so that we have real partnerships that outlive the grant.”

In addition, Carss Park Community Gardens will be promoting food gardening and improving its facilities, Oceanwatch will be assisting Botany Bay oyster growers to develop an Environmental Management System addressing water, energy, waste and removal of derelict materials, and St. George Migrant Resource Centre and St George Community Housing will develop sustainable food gardening skills for migrants and social housing tenants.

Councils in the Lower Georges River catchment are also making changes to in-house practices and operations aimed at enhancing their own sustainability. In particular, the councils have developed Action Plans to incorporate Water Sensitive Urban Design into their development schemes, and are about to embark on on-ground works.

For more information on the LGRSI, contact Col Freeman at 02 9562 1703.
For media enquiries contact David Kuhn, LGRSI/GRCCC at 9330 6010