Public Sector Leadership Award

Public sector organisations that are leading in environmental practices.

This award recognises outstanding public sector organisations in NSW that have successfully integrated environmental management and sustainable practices into their planning, operations, product or service delivery.

2017 Green Globe Award finalists

Albury City Council: Halve Waste

Albury City Council halve waste stand at community eventHalve Waste is a public awareness and education campaign initiated by Albury City Council involving six local government areas spanning the NSW and Victorian border.

Albury Landfill, one of the largest in NSW, takes all the region's residential and commercial waste. But by 2009 it was becoming alarmingly full.

Facing the imminent closure of the landfill, the council began the Halve Waste campaign in partnership with the adjoining councils to reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill by 2020, from 126,000 to 63,000 tonnes a year.

The councils developed a highly-effective cooperative campaign educating schools, residents and businesses about the benefits of reuse and recycling, a new organics bin for residents, and an increase in free and more convenient recycling options.

In the seven years of the program, waste buried at the landfill has been cut by a third and on-site diversion of waste increased by half.

Cowra Shire Council: Cowra Smart MRF Excellence in Sustainability

Cowra Council recycling centre with front end loader and pile of wasteDisposing of household problem waste, such as household chemicals, is a common problem in regional NSW. Cowra has taken the bull by the horns to make waste disposal in the shire as effective and sustainable as possible.

Recent upgrades to its materials recycling facility have included:

  • installation of a community recycling centre to recycle household problem wastes such as acids, aerosols, batteries, fire extinguishers, florescent tubes, gas cylinders, paints, pesticides and smoke detectors
  • an 80-panel solar energy system that generate 95% of the facility’s power
  • a council-built glass crusher that turns all Cowra’s kerbside glass collection, which previously had to be taken to Sydney, into aggregate for use in local roadworks and landfill drainage.

The facility has a 90% recycling recovery rate, a waste diversion rate of 45%, and since August 2016 has diverted nearly 10 tonnes of problem waste from legal and illegal landfill.

Department of Planning and Environment: Renewable Energy Advocate

Amy Kean and daughter running along a gravel road in a wind farmAmy Kean’s new job in 2013 was the first position of its kind in Australia, possibly the world.

The title was renewable energy advocate and her role was running a small, high-impact team within the Department of Planning and Environment to work across government, industry, community groups and academia to increase both awareness and uptake of renewable energy in the state.

Amy has been particularly active in public forums, speaking at more than 100 events to promote renewable energy and its broader benefits to both residents and businesses.

Amy’s team has contributed strongly to mainstreaming and increasing awareness of clean-energy technologies across both government and community groups.

The team has given powerful support to 34 large-scale renewable energy projects worth around 5000MW of new capacity and $7.8 billion in investment to the state, helping to lift the renewables share of energy supply from 13% to more than 20%.

University of New England: Eco-health North Coast Catchment

University of New England field activity to identify water weedsThe development of a standardised process for reporting the health of our waterways has long been seen as a key need for coastal local government areas.

The Northern Rivers region in particular has been in need of such a tool because of its extensive coastal river systems and high biodiversity combined with the development pressures of being the fastest-growing region of the state.

Ecohealth was developed through a collaboration of 13 local councils, numerous state government agencies, and researchers from the University of New England.

It’s a comprehensive estuarine and freshwater monitoring program that brings together the aquatic sampling programs of government and other natural resource management agencies into a standardised, region-wide system for reporting and communicating the ecological condition of waterways.

‘It creates a statistically valid and quality-assured sampling regime through a standardised, region-wide program,’ says Sarah Mika from the university’s School of Environmental and Rural Science.

‘Ecohealth is going to make it easier for managers to monitor, measure and report on the health of their waterways.’