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20 07 -2 00 8

State of the Environment

Baulkham hillS ShirE CounCil

Report 2007-08

Baulkham Hills Shire Council Environmental Management Plan

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Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

B a u l k h a m h i l l s s h i r e c o u n c i l l s t a t e o f t h e e n v i r o n m e n t r e p o r t 0 0 7 - 0 0 8

Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

B a u l k h a m h i l l s s h i r e c o u n c i l l s t a t e o f t h e e n v i r o n m e n t r e p o r t 0 0 7 - 0 0 8

Acknowledgements:

We would like to acknowledge the contribution made by the following who have assisted in preparing this Baulkham hills shire state of the environment report:

Building control (Bhsc) community Buildings (Bhsc)

communications and marketing (Bhsc) community planning (Bhsc)

compliance (Bhsc)

Department of environment and climate change Development control (Bhsc)

expenditure/revenue (Bhsc) forward planning (Bhsc)

Glenorie environment and creative arts centre health and environment (Bhsc)

information technology (Bhsc)

nsW police – the hills local area command operations (Bhsc)

regional illegal Dumping (riD) squad streamwatch

subdivision control (Bhsc)

sydney Water

technical services (Bhsc) Traffic & Transport (BHSC)

copies of this document that are printed and distributed by council’s sustainability team are on 100% recycled paper.

We request that you minimise your consumption of paper by accessing this document electronically (accessible from www.baulkhamhills.nsw.gov.au), or if you do require a hard copy we ask that you minimise the amount of paper consumed by:

n only printing the pages you need n printing on ‘scrap paper’

n printing on recycled paper n printing double sided

n printing multiple pages to a page

Prepared by:

Sustainability unit, health and Environmental Protection Team Baulkham hills Shire Council

administration Building 129 Showground road

Castle hill nSW 2154 Ph: 9843 0555 Fax: 9843 0409

Website: www.baulkhamhills.nsw.gov.au

introduction ...4

Baulkham Hills Shire Profile ... 7

land ...1

Biodiversity ... 0

Water Quality ... 7

air Quality ...5

Waste ... 49

noise ...54

heritage ...58

appendix ... 6

Table of contents

C on te nt s

2007-2008

Contents

Content s

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Biodiversity

B a u l k h a m h i l l s s h i r e c o u n c i l l s t a t e o f t h e e n v i r o n m e n t r e p o r t 0 0 7 - 0 0 8 B a u l k h a m h i l l s s h i r e c o u n c i l l s t a t e o f t h e e n v i r o n m e n t r e p o r t 0 0 7 - 0 0 8

Why have a State of the Environment report (SoE)?

the state of the environment report is an

opportunity to provide details of council’s progress towards sustainability through environmental initiatives and planning controls. it also provides a public record of the activities of government, industry and the community in protecting and restoring the environment.

in new south Wales, part 4 of the local

Government act 199 sets out the requirements for local council’s annual reporting and requires that within five months after the end of each year, a council must prepare a report on its achievements with respect to the objectives and performance targets set out in its management plan for that year.

section 48 (c) requires councils to report as to the state of the environment in relation to the following environmental sectors: land, air, water, biodiversity, waste, noise, aboriginal heritage and non-aboriginal heritage.

for each environmental sector, the state of the environment report must provide, as a basis for comparison in subsequent reports, a statement outlining the condition (as at the date of the report) of the sector and make the relevant comparison with the equivalent statement contained in the last report.

it must include (or refer to) all relevant background

information, specify the relevant environmental indicators, report on all major environmental impacts and related activities and identify any gaps in relevant information.

the local Government (General) regulation sets out the requirements for the structure and frequency of state of the environment reporting.

the regulation requires that the council must consider the guidelines and directions relating to the preparation and content of state of the environment reports that are issued to councils from time to time by the Director-General, consult the community (including environmental groups), involve the community (including environmental groups) in monitoring changes to the environment over time and produce the report in a form that is readily understandable by the general community.

Structure of the report

the structure of this report has been designed to meet the requirements of the local Government act as well as ensure that the document is of interest and use to the general public and to council staff.

at the start of each environmental sector, council has identified a strategic principle and an ecologically sustainable development trend indicator. these allow, at a glance, an indication of council’s vision for the shire and an evaluation of whether the shire

is becoming more or less sustainable in key issue areas. an environmental indicator is an aspect of the natural world or built environment that can be monitored to provide information on environmental conditions and trends. environmental indicators include physical, chemical, biological and socio- economic measures of the environment (such as measurements of contaminants in soil, of the health of fish species and of the number of motor vehicles per household) that can be used to assess natural resources and environmental quality.

a state of the environment must draw on any environmental data held by other councils that is relevant to the sector, identify and apply appropriate environmental indicators for the sector, consider and apply the pressure-state-response model in the analysis and interpretation of data, identify appropriate environmental indicators for the sector, and the presentation of results in the report.

State Pressure response model

the state-pressure-response model has been suggested and is used as the framework for the state of the environment report. a summary of each of the component aspects of this model is given below.

Pressure refers to human primary or secondary activities that impact either positively or negatively on the condition of the environment.

State refers to the condition of the environment at the time of the report.

Response refers to the policies and actions that the community has initiated or will initiate to address environmental change and issues of concern.

following from the regional state of the environment report, a new model for state of the environment reporting was proffered. this added a fourth dimension the state-pressure-response model – potential.

Potential refers to the capacity to change the system towards community priorities and government goals for sustainable development.

StAte

condition of 8 themes

ReSPonSeS

action towards sustainable development

PotentiAl

moving towards sustainable development

PReSSuReS

key issues for the 8 themes

ChAnge ASSeSS

DiAgnoSe CooRDinAte

ecologically Sustainable Development

State Pressure response model “Living Sustainably”

We value our natural environment and heritage.

introduction

in tr od uc ti on

introduction

Cycleway at Crestwood Reserve, Baulkham hills.

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6 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

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7 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

Ecologically Sustainable Development

the ecologically sustainable Development (esD) principles form the basis of council’s sustainability program and underpin this report. While there is no universally accepted definition of ESD, in 1990 the commonwealth Government suggested the following definition for ESD in Australia:

‘using, conserving and enhancing the community’s resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained, and the total quality of life, now and in the future, can be increased’.

the primary tenets of ecologically sustainable development are:

The Precautionary Principle:

measures to prevent environmental degradation should not be postponed due to lack of full scientific certainty.

intragenerational Equity:

current decision making processes should

effectively integrate both long and short-term social, environmental, economic and equity considerations.

intergenerational Equity:

Resources are left in trust for the benefit of future generations.

Conservation of Biological Diversity:

measures should be undertaken to preserve genetic, species and ecosystem diversity and integrity.

Valuation of Environmental goods and services:

environmental factors should be included in the valuation of assets and services; those who generate pollution and waste should bear the full cost of containment, avoidance or abatement and purchasers should pay prices based on the life-cycle cost of the goods and services.

introduction

Pr of il e

Profile

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Figure 2.1 - the Shire of Baulkham hills, located in Sydney’s northwest

Shire location

Baulkham hills shire is located in the north west of sydney, stretching from north parramatta in the south to Wisemans ferry in the north. the local government area covers 80 square kilometres and has a population of 165,91 residents (aBs census 006). By covering such a large area the shire is within two major catchments, the hawkesbury – nepean river catchment and the upper parramatta river catchment. the shire contains large areas of ecologically valuable bushland as well as many rare and endangered flora and fauna.

the factors that cause the greatest threat to

Baulkham hills shire’s natural resources (life support systems and biological diversity) stem from human activities and developments – our footprint on the earth. in seeking to live more sustainably we need to reduce the level of human impacts, future growth and identify opportunities to improve the nature of our relationship with the local environment.

Continuing Growth

the rapid growth in the shire’s population can be seen in table .1. since the last census (001), the population has increased by 14% (in 006).

the 006 census indicates that 0% of the shire’s population was born overseas. the main country of origin for our immigrants was united kingdom and china. cantonese, mandarin and arabic are the two significant other languages spoken in the Shire.

Council’s Policy and Planning Documents

an important aspect of the state of the environment report is its links with council’s management plan and environmental management plan. council’s strategic plan 007-01 sets out the organisation’s aspirations for the future – how it would like the Shire to be in the next five years.

management Plan

our Vision

the Garden shire – a dynamic, diverse and vibrant, family oriented community working together to enjoy life in a high quality, open environment that reflects our heritage.

our Mission

to provide a sustainable approach to urban and rural living by:

n fostering social, cultural and environmental diversity

n sound planning and economic stability n strategic leadership with consultation and

commitment

n Delivering effective services and facilities

n facilitating community access to support services n promoting a family environment and safer

community

the key strategic direction for the environment is

“Our Garden Shire is maintained and improved for the well-being of our community. Preserve, protect, sustain our environment”

Profile Profile

Pr of il e

estimated resident population, Baulkham hills Shire

(preliminary revised estimates based on 006 census data) Annual change

Year (ending June 30) number number Percent (%)

007 168,06 ,095 1.

006 165,91 ,88 1.8

005 16,048 ,4 .1

004 159,66 ,86 .5

00 155,764 4,661 .1

Source: ABS Estimated Resident Population Cat. No. 3218.0.55.001 Regional Population Growth, Australia - companion data

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10 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

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11 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

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SOE SECTOR KEY: = Increasing Sustainability NA = Not Available TREND

= Decreasing Sustainability = No clear trend

LAND

Sustainability Principle Council’s environmental strategy manages land to reduce the environmental impacts of development, industry and farming.

Sustainability Trend Indicator Number of residential lots released as a proportion of the increase in population.

BIODIVERSITY

Sustainability Principle Council’s environmental strategy seeks to conserve natural diversity in the Shire.

Sustainability Trend Indicator Percentage variation in vegetation cover across the Shire.

WATER

Sustainability Principle Council’s environmental strategy aims for healthy aquatic habitats and clean waters.

Sustainability Trend Indicator Percentage of creeks tested that meet Australian Quality standards for primary recreation in at least 75% of samples.

AIR Sustainability Principle Council’s environmental strategy aims for clean air.

Sustainability Trend Indicator Percentage of days that the Regional Air Quality Index (RAQI) was in poor - Hazardous range.

WASTE

Sustainability Principle Council’s environmental strategy undertakes to save resources and to reduce waste.

Sustainability Trend Indicator Total volume of waste sent to landfill as a proportion of the number of services provided.

NOISE

Sustainability Principle Council’s environmental strategy seeks to reduce excessive noise.

Sustainability Trend Indicator Number of noise complaints received by Council.

HERITAGE

Sustainability Principle Council’s environmental strategy recognises and respects indigenous culture and local heritage.

Sustainability Trend Indicator Number of proposals submitted and approved for heritage conservation works.

Sustainability Snapshot

Baulkham Hills Shire Council Sustainability Indicators and Trends

since the 1998-99 state of the environment Report, Council has identified a strategic principle

and a sustainability trend indicator for each environmental sector. these allow at-a-glance, an evaluation of the movement towards or away from sustainability in key issue areas. more information on each environmental sector is provided in this report.

Council’s Key environmental outcomes from the 2007-2012 Strategic Plan

n all community stakeholders are educated and engaged in the protection and enhancement of the natural and the built environment.

n the quality of the shire’s environment and recreation facilities including parks, waterways, and reserves is maintained and improved.

n Waste is reduced and sustainable use and reuse of resources by council, the community and business is encouraged.

n support for health and emergency services is maintained in conjunction with relevant agencies to mitigate risks from natural occurrences.

n our heritage, biodiversity and the environmental health of our shire is preserved and enhanced.

our environmental indicators and Performance Measures are:

n % of complaints/requests for service responded to in 48 hours

n % resource recovery n % targets met in emp

n increase in annual energy use

n % reduction in kg garbage per household over previous year

n % complaints/incidents (air, noise, water etc) responded to within 48 hours

n % complaints/incidents (overgrown properties) responded to within seven days

n % of registered properties inspected within 1 months

Environmental management Plan

the environmental management plan forms council’s sustainability policy and sets out council’s goals and objectives in accordance with the principles of ecologically sustainable development in order to ensure that council

successfully integrates these principles within its planning and

management operations.

an on-going budget has been provided to fund the actions of the sustainability program, with the implementation of identified actions reported annually in council’s management plan and the state of the environment report.

Profile Profile

Pr of il e

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land

STaTuS: no TrEnD

The decreasing number of green field lots released for each increment of population signifies that, for this year, there is an improvement in the amount of land per person that was needed to house the shire’s growing population. as estimates for new residents are directly related to the number and type of housing being built it provides a reflection of urban consolidation and not just number of lots. Whilst there is no clear trend, it is thought that this will decrease as more and more lots are approved and released as part of the various urban release areas.

While many residents are concerned about the growing density of housing in the shire, increasing urban sprawl and the associated use of more and more land for housing and urban infrastructure is damaging to the local environment. Baulkham hills shire council’s housing strategy continues to provide for higher density development in the shire’s town centres to further achieve consolidation of sydney’s growing population.

further studies are needed to determine precisely the impacts that urban development has on the shire’s land resources however it is possible to state that the sustainability of land management in the shire is DeclininG.

housing Demand

Applications for building approvals, both in development applications and construction certificates have continued to decline over this reporting period (figure 3.1). It is likely that this fall in applications is contributed to by increasing interest rates and the general cost of living, and also the previous reductions in new lots being created. it is envisaged that the number of building applications will begin to rise in the following reporting periods as more subdivisions and lots are created (see figure 3.2 and the following section on release areas).

SuSTainaBiliTY SnaPShoT

Sustainability Principle:

council’s environmental strategy manages land to reduce the environmental impacts of development, industry and farming.

trend indicator

number of residential lots released as a proportion of the increase in population.

04/05 05/06 06/07 07/08 sustainability trend

7 0.08 0.6

there is no clear trend.

land

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14 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

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land

15 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

la nd

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land

release areas

Balmoral Road Release Area

the Balmoral road release area consists of approximately 400 hectares and is located within the vicinity of Burns and Balmoral roads, kellyville. the land is generally bounded by old Windsor road to the west, residential and trunk drainage land to the north, Windsor road to the east and the norwest Business park and Bella vista residential area to the south. since the land was rezoned in 006, development applications for subdivision of residential land have been approved by council to provide for around 150 new allotments.

the release area enables the provision of 6,000 dwellings in sustainable residential neighbourhoods through a mix of housing types.

the area will also cater for schools, public open space, local retailing and commercial services, and employment in business and light industrial sectors. as part of the proposed north West metro a rail station will be located at the existing bus transit-way station along old Windsor road within the proposed area of land known as the transit centre Development site.

the project timeline for the north West metro anticipates construction commencing in 010, with the first stage from Epping to the Hills Centre expected to be completed by 015, with the entire line from rouse hill to the cBD to be completed by 017. (source: local strategy pp 56)

“Balmoral Road Release area will provide a range of urban support services.”

Figure 3.1: number of Development applications and Construction Certificates issued between 2004-05 and 2007-08

Figure 3.2: Subdivision lots created and consented to between 2004-05 and 2007-08

During the reporting period, the number of subdivision lots created to (registered title issued) has increased significantly compared to the previous year. These figures are more in line with the number of lots created in 004-05. however, the number of subdivision lots consented to has slightly decreased during the reporting period. it is anticipated that subdivision lots created and consented to will both increase over the coming reporting periods as more development occurs within greenfield sites, such as north kellyville and Box hill.

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la nd

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land

table 3.1: Status Report of extractive industries in the Shire oPeRAtoR

pf formation

DiXon sanDs

kenthurst sanDstone Quarries australian sanDstone merchants positive earthmovinG

nepean Quarries

loCAtion oF Site off crown road access, old northern road maroota, including land surrounding the maroota trigonometrical reserve

off crown road access, old northern road, maroota

pitt town road, kenthurst

halcrows road, Glenorie

smallwood road, Glenorie

Wisemans ferry road, cattai

CoMMent

the operations are progressing satisfactorily.

on-going inspections will be undertaken to monitor compliance with conditions of consent.

the operations are progressing satisfactorily.

on-going inspections will be undertaken to monitor compliance with conditions of consent.

earthworks have been completed and revegetation works have commenced.

the operations are progressing satisfactorily.

on-going inspections will be undertaken to monitor compliance with conditions of consent.

the operations are progressing satisfactorily.

on-going inspections will be undertaken to monitor compliance with conditions of consent.

the operations are progressing satisfactorily.

on-going inspections will be undertaken to monitor compliance with conditions of consent.

Rouse hill Regional Centre

the rouse hill regional centre (rhrc), when completed, will have over 00,000m of retail and commercial floor space, 1,800 dwellings, educational facilities, open space networks and a transport interchange. the development of the rhrc is expected to take 10 to 15 years to complete.

the town centre (retail and commercial area) was officially opened in March 2008. The Town centre includes around 0 shops, cafes and restaurants and a cinema. the town centre also includes council’s library and community centre.

the library is a one-stop-shop providing a full range of council services including payment of rates, animal registration, hall and room bookings, application lodgement and general information about council services.

Works in the southern residential precinct

(adjacent to sanctuary Drive) have commenced with dwellings currently under construction. in addition, works on the refurbishment of mungerie house have also commenced.

north Kellyville Precinct Release Area

the north kellyville precinct release area consists of 707 hectares. it is bounded to the west by smalls creek, to the east by cattai creek and to the south by samantha riley Drive, kellyville.

the precinct is currently characterised by rural residential development and some small scale agricultural uses such as market gardens, commercial flower growing and poultry farming.

the north kellyville precinct is located within the North West Growth Centre and has been identified as a ‘first release precinct’ due to its proximity to existing urban development and infrastructure.

the planning for north kellyville commenced in 007 and has been carried out by the nsW state Government’s Growth centres commission in conjunction with council.

the draft land use plans for the precinct were placed on public exhibition during may, June and July 008. the draft plans provide for around 4,700 dwellings and a population of approximately 14,00 people. the precinct will feature a local town centre as well as two neighbourhood centres, approximately 4 hectares of open space including two sporting fields, a multi purpose community centre and more than 0km of walking and cycle paths, and a primary school. the draft plans will come into effect when the land is rezoned by the minister for planning.

Extractive industries

extractive industries within the shire are regulated by the Environmental Planning &

Assessment (EP&A) Act, 1979, Sydney Regional environmental plan no. 9 – extractive industries, local environmental plan 005 and Development control plan part D section 6. Both council and the minister for planning are consent authorities for extractive industries within the shire, with the Minister for Planning determining State Significant development in the shire. the performance of extractive operations in the shire is detailed twice yearly in a status report to council, a summary of which is outlined on page 16 in relation to consents issued by council.

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18 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

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land

19 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

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land

illegal dumping site investigated by RiD Squad.

type and number of complaints received by council relating to land use over the past four reporting periods. unauthorised land use activites requiring consent, have been the most common land use complaint and rubbish dumped on public land second and on the increase.

riD Squad

the regional illegal Dumping (riD) squad was established in 1999 to combat illegal dumping in Western sydney. the riD squad is a joint project of Blacktown, Liverpool, Fairfield, Penrith, Bankstown, Baulkham hills, hawkesbury and holroyd councils, along with Department of environment and conservation. figure .4 provides details on the investigations undertaken by the riD squad in Baulkham hills shire during this reporting period.

Fig 3.4: Breakdown of the action undertaken by riD squad in BhS.

Salinity

salinity is becoming a major issue not just for rural local government areas but also for urban areas. council is a member of the Western sydney regional organisation of council’s salinity Working Group, which developed the salinity code of practice for Western sydney which was endorsed by the Wsroc Board at its meeting on 0

february 00 and was amended in January 004.

Baulkham hills shire council at its meeting of 15 october 00 adopted a salinity policy committing council to:

1. take a proactive role in increasing community awareness of salinity and its impact through the preparation of appropriate information;

. ensure salinity issues are considered when planning for new release areas and rural areas, and in the assessment of development, building and subdivision matters; and

. carry out assessments on new development in accordance with the Wsroc “Western sydney salinity code of practice.”

Enforcement

land-use

council’s enforcement unit carries out the regulation of a number of land use issues. During the reporting period, council initiated 4, (an increase of 18 from the last reporting period) court actions relating to land use; being for landfill containing construction and demolition waste with some including asbestos. Figure 3.3 identifies the

lack of adequate erosion and sediment controls on a building site resulting in soil moving off-site.

Figure 3.3: Complaints received by Council relating to land use

la nd

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STaTuS: no TrEnD

for the 005/006 report, the indicator had been revised to reflect the change in the area of the Shire which supports endangered ecological communities.

in preparing the 006/07 report discussions between relevant teams including Geographical information systems (Gis) team and sustainability, it was determined that the updated figured had not been obtained at the time of preparing the report. council is currently improving its vegetation mapping system to ensure that it is as accurate as possible. this includes

‘regular’ aerial photography to monitor changes over time, some ‘ground-truthing’ and also many hours in incorporating and adjusting to the Gis. therefore, this indicator is likely to change for future reports once more accurate data is readily available. for this report, we

have continued to report on the percentage variation in vegetation cover across the shire, as reported to council in the management plan. for this reporting period, there was a 0.614% loss of vegetation cover across the Shire. This figure is quite alarming, as it represents approximately 147 hectares of vegetation lost in only one year.

SuSTainaBiliTY SnaPShoT

Sustainability Principle:

council’s environmental strategy seeks to conserve natural diversity in the shire.

trend indicator

percentage variation in vegetation cover across the shire.

06/07 07/08

-.004% -0.614%

there is no clear trend.

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Biodiversity

“Conserve biodiversity in the Shire”

Biodiversity is the term used to describe the variety that exists amongst living organisms.

Biodiversity

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B io di ve rs it y

Some restaraunts in the hills are growing their own produce.

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Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

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Biodiversity

Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

B io di ve rs it y

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Biodiversity

Community land management

Privet out of Cattai Project

stage of the privet out of cattai project has continued through 007-08 with increasing numbers of participants. more than 100 landowners and one school in the cattai creek catchment have been involved, with significant long-term environmental benefits resulting from weed control works. the project has seen a large number of landowners trained in vegetation management, with evidence that participants are passing on their new skills into the wider community. the funding grants for the privet out of cattai conclude in november 008. council will continue to investigate new directions and funding for this key project.

Ecological Communities, Fauna & Flora

Vegetation Cover Mapping

council carried out near infra-red aerial photography in 005, with additional aerial photography being carried out in January 006.

council’s Gis team conducted analysis of this data in an effort to provide a new snapshot of vegetation change activity during this six month period. this was done using a method of sampling to provide an estimated figure on a Shire-wide basis. the information obtained from this sample analysis have been used to report the percentage vegetation change in both council’s management plan and the previous two soe reporting periods.

analysis of the change in vegetation cover enables council to identify areas where there has been vegetation loss, and to conduct further investigation as to whether illegal clearing has taken place.

In Baulkham Hills Shire, there is a significant contribution made by community volunteers in conducting bush regeneration in public reserves.

the following graph indicates the number of

bushcare volunteers and the number of dedicated hours during each month of the reporting period (figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1: number of bushcare volunteers and number of bushcare volunteer hours dedicated during each month of 2007-08

Conserving our Biodiversity

Baulkham hills shire has increasing pressures on its biological diversity due largely to urban development and agricultural activities. recently, the rate of australia’s land clearing has been revised upwards with new research estimating 687,000 hectares of native bushland are cleared each year. Queensland and new south Wales account for more than 80% of native bush clearing.

this is a % increase on previous estimates and is due to new research methodology that counts the loss of vegetation and not just the number of lost trees. it is important to realise that bushland is not defined simply by mature native trees but by the diversity of shrubs, grasses and vines that make up the ecological community.

Baulkham hills Shire Council - local Environment Plan 2005

one of the greatest threats to the shire’s biological diversity is under-scrubbing of native vegetation.

under scrubbing is undertaken for a number of reasons including; development, agriculture or for aesthetic reasons. previously, in the absence of any threatened species or endangered ecological community, no approval was required for under scrubbing of vegetation in Baulkham hills shire.

Due to the damage to the environment that under scrubbing can cause, this matter was addressed in the review of council’s local environment plan and new provisions added.

Baulkham hills shire council local environment plan 005 was gazetted in august 005. the new provisions required the lodging of a Development application prior to undertaking any bushland clearing. the new legal instrument that applies to tree removal and bushland clearing can be found on council’s website.

Bushland management

since the last reporting period, there has been a reduction in bushland management funds by

$79,974, with a total of $549,608 being spent on bushland management. of this, $64,57 was sourced from grant funds.

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Biodiversity

B io di ve rs it y

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Biodiversity

“ Threatened biodiversity”

“We have 38 observed/recorded threatened fauna species within the Shire.”

recovery plans addressing single threatened entities, and threat abatement plans addressing key threats to a range of threatened entities. there were no additional ktps, recovery plans or threat abatement plans relevant to Baulkham hills shire nominated or adopted during the reporting period.

the tsc act also provides for the listing of ktps, recovery plans and threat abatement plans. numerous key threatening processes were adopted during the reporting period, as detailed in appendix 1. no new recovery plans or threat abatement plans were nominated or adopted during the reporting period.

the draft nsW threatened species priorities action statement (pas) was introduced in may 006, with corresponding amendments to the tsc act. this removes the requirement for listing of recovery plans and threat abatement plans, and provides for priority actions to be listed and grouped as recovery strategies and threat abatement strategies. the pas is based on 4 recovery and threat abatement strategies. recovery strategies are broad tools considered necessary to recover threatened entities, and a list of recovery strategies for each threatened entity is provided in the pas. similarly, threat abatement strategies are broad tools considered necessary to abate each ktp, and are listed in the pas. Detailed priority actions are grouped under recovery or threat abatement strategies, and provide

‘fine-scale’ tools for recovery and threat abatement.

a total of 314 Priority Actions have been identified to help recover threatened species and tackle threatening processes in the Baulkham hills shire council.

these priority actions are contained within 15 recovery strategies and one threat abatement strategy.

the relevant recovery strategies and threat abatement strategies are detailed in appendix 1. the 14 priority actions are detailed in the pas available on Decc’s website at www.threatenedspecies.

environment.nsw.gov.au.

Weeds & Pest management

much of council’s bushland management effort is directed at weed control. Baulkham hills shire council has remained active on the sydney West regional Weed Committees. A weed of significance in the shire is ludwigia, a major aquatic weed infesting wetlands and establishing along our creek lines.

in 001, council joined the sydney north regional fox Baiting program. the aim of the program is to protect native wildlife, including threatened species, from fox predation. it is co-ordinated

Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are an introduced pest that kill both native and domestic animals. this one was caught in a residential chicken coup in Kellyville.

Biodiversity Conservation Plan council has begun working towards a

comprehensive Biodiversity conservation plan.

The first stage of the Plan consists of a Biodiversity mapping project, which aims to map biodiversity (including flora, fauna and communities) across the shire, and determine the status of each biodiversity unit. the second stage involves the consideration of threatening processes, and the determination of strategic actions (including zoning considerations) to ensure biodiversity conservation. a key outcome of the project will be the incorporation of recommendations into council’s local environment plan for 010, including potential biodiversity certification for some or all of the plan.

threatened Biodiversity

there are two acts of parliament applicable to Baulkham hills shire which list and conserve threatened Biodiversity. the commonwealth environment protection and Biodiversity conservation act (1999) (epBc act) lists and protects biodiversity which is considered to be threatened at the national level. the nsW threatened species conservation act (1995) (tsc act) lists and protects biodiversity which is considered to be threatened in nsW. Within

both of these acts, ‘biodiversity’ is recognised at the level of species, subspecies and ecological community. the tsc act also recognises biodiversity at the population level.

council is presently sourcing and reviewing biodiversity information under the Biodiversity mapping project. it is expected that extensive changes to the number of threatened entities will result from the biodiversity mapping project, and these will be incorporated into future reporting.

no additional threatened entities were adopted, nominated or removed during the reporting period. threatened entities currently recognised in Baulkham hills shire (detailed in appendix 1) consist of:

threatened fauna – 8 species Threatened flora – 24 species

threatened populations – 4 populations threatened ecological communities – 10 ecological communities

The EPBC Act provides for the identification and listing of key threatening processes (ktps), which are processes that adversely affect threatened biodiversity or are likely to cause other biodiversity to become threatened. the act also details

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6 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

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Biodiversity

7 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008 between 15 different land management agencies including local councils, national parks and Wildlife

service and the rural pastoral Board. two baiting programs within Baulkham hills shire occurred, one in spring and one in autumn. there was one 1080 bait taken during the spring session and 27 1080 baits taken during the autumn session of the fox baiting program.

council plans to continue with the baiting program and hopes it will ensure the survival of populations of bandicoots, possums, sugar gliders and other native fauna in council managed reserves. two rabbit baiting programs were also carried out during the period, with 10 sites baited in each program.

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W at er q ua li ty

Water Quality

source: Baulkham hills shire council 005 ‘Baulkham hills shire council reserves fuel management program:

information for reserve neighbours’.

Fire management

During the reporting period, there was 6.74km of asset protection Zones (apZs) maintained and zero created (due to lack of funding available).

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Water Quality

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W at er q ua li ty

Water Quality

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rural waterways. all of the creeks that we test currently, are either within or downstream of urban areas, many being highly disturbed, and we only have the resources to test each creek several times a year. We anticipate that this review will also enable us to set goals that we can work towards, to improve the quality of our local waterways. it is envisaged that this new reporting structure will be developed and implemented for the next report.

for this report we have continued to compare our results to the anZecc guidelines, for both primary and secondary contact, as we have in previous reports. the results indicate that in 007- 08 none of the creeks tested met the anZecc Guidelines for primary contact in 75 per cent of their results, nor did they meet the anZecc Guidelines for secondary contact in 75 percent of their results.

Community Water monitoring

the streamwatch program is coordinated by sydney Water and encourages schools, community groups and other organisations to protect local

environments by becoming involved in monitoring the health of our waterways. the streamwatch groups test sites within the hawkesbury-nepean catchment and parramatta river catchment during the year tested the following waterways within the hawkesbury-nepean catchment: Glenorie creek, cattai creek, o’hara’s creek, little kelly’s creek, little cattai creek, Broadwater and origma creek.

Water Pollution

Water Pollution Complaints Received by Council

During the reporting period, council received 93 complaints relating to water pollution. this is 0 less than were reported to council last year.

Water Pollution Complaints to DeCC environment line

the Department of environment and climate change (Decc) also receives calls to their

‘environment line’ from customers reporting pollution incidents. During the reporting period,

Freshwater swamp found in little Cattai Catchment.

STaTuS: DECrEaSinG Water Quality monitoring

Council’s Water Quality Monitoring Program council’s water quality monitoring program involves the testing and collection of water samples from 17 sites in the hawkesbury nepean river catchment and the upper parramatta river catchment. the creeks which are monitored include excelsior creek, hunts creek, Darling mills creek, Quarry creek, toongabbie creek, elizabeth macarthur creek, cattai creek, strangers creek, caddies creek, second ponds creek and the drainage basin off rowallan avenue, castle hill.

each site has been carefully chosen to monitor the environmental impacts of residential, commercial and industrial development within the Baulkham hills shire. as the shire continues to develop, the location of the sites may change in order to reflect the nature and extent of urban development.

the following parameters are tested: dissolved oxygen, temperature, ph, conductivity, faecal coliforms, e.coli, total nitrogen, total phosphorous, biological oxygen demand and total suspended solids. caddies creek is also tested for heavy metals as it is located downstream of a former landfill site.

at the present time, we compare our results to the australian new Zealand environment conservation council’s (anZecc) Guidelines for recreational Water Quality (000). these guidelines are the most commonly used for water quality monitoring programs with standards given to the type of waterway and its relevant use (eg:

recreational use and aesthetics, primary industries,

aquatic ecosystems and drinking water). these Guidelines are designed to be used in monitoring ambient water quality, providing ‘trigger values’

or acceptable levels for various water quality parameters (indicators). We are in the process of reviewing council’s water quality monitoring and reporting program, to ensure that we are obtaining the most scientifically accurate and reliable

information on the quality of our local urban and Council Environmental Health Officer’s conducting routine water quality monitoring, Cattai Creek, Castle hill.

SuSTainaBiliTY SnaPShoT

Sustainability Principle:

Council’s environmental strategy aims for healthy aquatic habitats and clean waters.

trend indicator

Number of creeks tested that meet Australian Quality standards for primary recreation in at least 75% of samples.

04/05 05/06 06/07 07/08 Sustainability Trend

1 0 0 0

The trend for Water is away from Sustainability.

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0 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

Water Quality

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1 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

Water Quality

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Figure 5.1: BhS average potable water consumption per property type compared to Sydney averages (2005-06 to 2007-08)

Figure 5.2: BhS total potable water consumption for each property type (2005-06 to 2007-08)

Decc received 12 calls to their environment line for which the Decc were the appropriate regulatory authority (ara). they also received 11 information calls to their environment line for water pollution within Baulkham hills shire, of these, five were referred to council to investigate.

the remainder were broad general requests.

environment Protection notices

the protection of environment operations act (POEO Act) provides Authorised Officers of Council with the power to investigate water pollution incidents and to issue environmental protection notices and penalty infringement notices,

whenever it is deemed appropriate. at the time of preparing this report, we were unable to obtain the data on the number of poeo notices served during the period, in relation to water pollution.

Sydney Water Sewer Overflows

Decc have deleted the licencing requirement for Sydney Water to provide notifications to Councils of overflows or abnormal discharges from sewerage treatment plants, therefore no sewer overflow notifications have been received during the reporting period.

Water Consumption

Potable Water Consumption

Sydney Water figures indicate that potable (drinking) water consumption in Baulkham hills shire has continued to decrease.

for this reporting period, the Baulkham hills shire local Government area (lGa) consumed 13,823,436 kilolitres (Kl) (figure 5.2), which is a decrease of 1,45,17 kl from last reporting period.

The information in the following graph (figure 5.1) is derived from sydney Water data, who have provided more accurate figures for the previous 006-07 and 005-06 periods and have been updated in this report. this information shows that the average consumption per house in the shire has continued to decrease in their water consumption with the average consumption per house in 007- 08 being 224 Kl, however the average shire house consumes 15 kl per year more than the sydney average house. Shire units/flats also continue to decrease in water consumption and also have lower average consumption than the sydney average, with an average of 138 Kl per unit/flat. Interestingly, commercial properties have decreased their average consumption (2,050 Kl), while industrial premises have increased average consumption (3,273 Kl),

but both being higher than the sydney average.

participation rates in sydney Water’s water conservation programs have reduced overall from the previous reporting period. the participation in the DiY kits and Waterfix programs have reduced by about half, the rainwater rebates, and love Your Garden have remained quite steady however minimal, and the Washing machine rebate has gained the greatest participation rates. these programs are heavily promoted by sydney Water, and Baulkham hills shire council also promotes these programs through local avenues. it is envisaged that this will continue as long as sydney Water are offering these programs.

Figure 5.3: number of Sydney Water water conservation programs

undertaken by BhS residents from 2005-06 to 2007-08

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Water Quality

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Water Quality

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Waterways management

council’s Waterways team has responsibilities for the following key areas of business:

n natural waterways assets to the urban bushland interface;

n constructed stormwater system assets;

n floodplain risk management; and

n strategic planning for stormwater management.

During 007-08 the Waterways capital Works program was developed for implementation. the program was funded mainly through income derived from the stormwater management service charge. council levied the charge as a result of changes made to the local Government act by the state Government, which was to pay for the implementation of waterways type projects focused on water quantity, water quality and recycling/

reuse initiatives.

project accomplishments and highlights during the 2007-08 financial year were as follows:

n installation of stormwater harvesting / reuse tanks in the Castle hill Showground

council installed two rainwater tanks at the castle hill showground with a capacity of 90,000 and 10,000 litres. these tanks collect rainwater from the roofs of buildings within the showground which is then reused for toilet flushing and to irrigate the dog arena. a water balance analysis was undertaken and it is estimated that this harvesting/reuse scheme will provide potable water savings of 1.9 million litres per year.

this scheme, coupled with potable water savings being achieved through existing stormwater harvesting systems, equates to a significant reduction on potable water demand achieved by council during 007-08. the Waterways team is currently undertaking water balance analysis to determine the water savings achieved from all of council’s stormwater harvesting systems. these figures are not currently available but hope to be reported in next year’s soe report.

n the commissioning of Aerial laser Survey (AlS) and Aerial Photography

this project will provide council a complete new data set of ground levels within the council area, coupled with the latest aerial view of the

“The Shire’s waterways”

are under constant pressure from various threats associated with human activities and urbanisation.

Water licenses held With

Department of Water and Energy

We were unable to obtain information on the number of water licenses held by Department of Water and energy during the reporting period.

Cleaner Production

Department of environment & Climate Change (DeCC) licences

at the end of this reporting period, there were a total of 20 environmental protection licences held by premises within the shire. these licences are issued by Decc, making the Decc the appropriate regulatory authority for those premises under the poeo act. therefore, council is not responsible for the environmental regulation of these premises.

the issuing of environmental protection licences under the poeo act provides the means to control the localised, cumulative and acute impacts of pollution within new south Wales.

Protecting our Waterways

the state of the shire’s waterways is consistently nominated as a major concern in resident surveys.

the shire’s waterways are under constant pressure from various threats associated with human activities and urbanisation. it is important that appropriate measures are taken to ensure the protection and conservation of our waterways.

Wetlands

a delegation from the Glenorie environment centre attended the 004 inaugural Wetlands forum at the Wetlands centre in shortland, new south Wales. following on from this, the Glenorie environment centre have formed a Working party to have the Broadwater swamp at maroota added to the ramsar list of Wetlands of international importance.

this Working party comprises the Glenorie environment centre, Baulkham hills shire council and the Department of environment and climate change (Decc). council had previously conducted a study, which identified that establishing the site as nationally significant under The Directory of Wetlands of national importance (the Directory) will aid the process. sites which are listed on the Directory are commonly priorities in terms of ramsar selections. the Working party is also hoping that nationally listing the site will further attract funding so that the area, which had only been satisfactorily surveyed in 1991 by Benson, can be further surveyed and a clearer understanding of the flora and fauna present is identified.

at this point in time, the Glenorie environment centre have made several drafts of the application, which will be submitted to the Decc with the aid of the hawkesbury-nepean catchment management authority. the Glenorie environment centre and Council are currently in the final stages of identifying the area that is to be included. it is hoped that the application will be completed by september 007 and submitted shortly after.

Water Pollution event in local stormwater system

“Stormwater harvesting”

allows Council

to reduce its

consumption

of potable water

supplies.

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4 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008

Water Quality

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5 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 007-008 shire. amongst the myriad of uses across council,

the als and aerial photography will provide the Waterways team valuable data to develop and implement Council’s floodplain risk management program with a greater level of accuracy and confidence.

n Mapping Council’s Stormwater Drainage infrastructure

the Waterways team also embarked on a project to map all of council’s constructed stormwater assets, such as pits, pipes and detention basins.

this information will provide the foundation for the development of council’s stormwater asset management plan and once complete is expected to be one of the most comprehensive records of stormwater infrastructure of any council in nsW. it is currently estimated that council manages around 600 kilometres of stormwater infrastructure.

n Minor Flood Mitigation Works

Minor flood mitigation works were undertaken at mud island road, sackville north and meryll avenue reserve, Baulkham hills. these projects involved in-channel maintenance works in order to re-establish flood conveyance during storm events and to reduce flood risks to adjoining property.

maintenance at meryll avenue reserve is on-going, with the Waterways team monitoring the site and scheduling maintenance works when required.

n natural waterway projects

Projects commenced during the 2006-07 financial year which are now moving through design development phases in 007-08 include:

n Cattai Creek Fish Passage Project;

n hunts Creek Rehabilitation Project;

n harry Carr Reserve Stream Rehabilitation Project; and

n Brickfield Creek Stream Rehabilitation Project.

These projects, aimed at allowing fish passage at in-stream structures or rehabilitating urban waterways to improve aquatic and terrestrial habitat diversity and connectivity, together with improving access to allow residents and visitors the enjoyment of the “river experience”, are listed for completion and construction in the coming financial year.

n Rural Stormwater outlet Management

issues related to channel maintenance on rural property in annangrove were addressed during the financial year. The project involved maintaining a stormwater channel within a council easement over private land. careful planning was required to deal with threatened species and ecologically endangered communities while balancing channel flow characteristics and the desires of the

landholders.

council undertook a review of environmental factors, developed a construction plan in line with environmental considerations and sourced a construction contractor experienced with projects of an environmentally sensitive nature. it is expected that the project will be completed during the 2008-09 financial year.

n Stormwater Management

council’s Waterways team was also involved in the waterway and stormwater management planning for land being released under the state Government’s metropolitan strategy, in particular the north kellyville precinct. input and direction were provided by the Waterways team in regard to riparian corridor establishment and stormwater management issues related to the Development control plan under development by the nsW Growth centres commission.

Rainwater tank at Council’s Community environment Centre.

air quality

a ir Q ua li ty

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A ir Q ua li ty

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Air Quality

STATUS

the Department of environment and climate change (Decc) conduct air quality monitoring for new south Wales. in June 2008, Decc launched a new air quality website, which includes alterations to the way in which they measure and report on air quality.

What was once referred to as a regional pollution index (rpi) where results were determined to be high, medium and low and measured only 3 criteria pollutants (ozone, nitrogen dioxide and visibility), is now the regional air Quality index (raQi).

there are 6 raQi’s ranging between very Good and hazardous, and are based on 6 criteria pollutants being ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, visibility and particles (pm10). this is as per national standards, except for visibility

which is a standard set by nsW. raQi results are published on Decc’s website and accessible by the public (www.environment.nsw.gov.au/air).

Baulkham hills shire falls within the sydney north-West region, with monitoring stations at richmond, vineyard, st marys and prospect. all previous rpi data that has been reported in soe Reports has been reviewed and updated to reflect this new raQi system of monitoring and reporting.

During this reporting period, air quality appears to have improved, with a reduction in the percentage of days where the raQi was within the poor-hazardous range. for this reporting period, there were only 1.4% of days (being 5 days) where the raQi was within this poor-hazardous range, and of these the main causes were hazard reduction burns.

SUSTAINABILITY SNAPSHOT

Sustainability Principle:

council’s environmental strategy aims for clean, healthy air.

Trend Indicator

percentage of days that the regional air Quality index (raQi) was in the poor-hazardous range

04/05 05/06 06/07 07/08 sustainability trend

3.0% 2.7% 3.8% 1.4%

trend for air indicator is towards sustainability.

Air Quality

Figure 6.1: Breakdown in the percentage of sessions for various RAQI

ranges and daily count for RAQI ranges for Sydney north-west region from 2004-05 to 2007-08

The following figure (figure 6.2) illustrates the current air quality monitoring sites across the Sydney Basin.

Baulkham hills shire falls within the sydney north-west region, where there are 4 monitoring sites however none are located within the local Government area. of these 4 sites, all test for ozone (o3), nitrogen oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), suspended fine particles as measured by a nephelometer (neph), and particulate matter less than 10 micrometres in diameter measured using a tapered element oscillating microbalance (teom pm-10). prospect is the only site which currently tests for carbon monoxide, richmond and vineyard are the only sites testing for sulfur dioxide, and richmond is the only site testing for particulate matter than 2.5 micrometres in diameter measured using a tapered element oscillating microbalance (teom pm-2.5)

Percentage os session

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38 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 2007-2008

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Air Quality

39 Baulkham hills shire council state of the environment report 2007-2008

A ir Q ua li ty

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Air Quality

Air Pollution Complaints Received by Council

council received 137 customer requests relating to air pollution matters in the reporting period. these included inquiries and complaints relating to odours (68), smoke (36) and general (27).

Air Pollution Complaints Received by DECC

During the reporting period, Department of environment and climate change (Decc) received 9 complaints to their ‘environment line’ relating to air pollution within Baulkham hills local Government area where Decc was the appropriate regulatory authority (ara), and there were 8 complaints which

were referred to council being the ara. Solar panels on the roof of Council’s Administration Building.

Climate change Issues

one of the inadequacies of the current air quality trend indicator is that it records the state of the visible air quality and does not provide an indication of how human activities are impacting on the atmosphere. air pollution does not have simply local, regional or even national ramifications, it has become a worldwide issue due to increasing concerns about the impact of global warming on our planet.

Australia is the highest producer of greenhouse gas per capita in the world. As a Shire it is important to measure whether

we are increasing or decreasing our greenhouse gas emissions.

Figure 6.3: The Greenhouse Effect and the ENHANCED Greenhouse Effect

(Source: http://www.greenhouse.gov.au/science/faq/question1.html)

Figure 6.2: Current DECC air quality monitoring sites across the Sydney Basin

Source: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/AQMS/sitesyd.htm

Figure

Figure 2.1 - the Shire of Baulkham hills, located in Sydney’s northwest
Figure 3.1: number of Development applications and Construction   Certificates issued between 2004-05 and 2007-08
Figure 3.2: Subdivision lots created and consented to between 2004-05  and 2007-08
table 3.1:  Status Report of extractive industries in the Shire oPeRAtoR
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References

Related documents

ORDINARY MEETING OF COUNCIL 28 SEPTEMBER, 2021 LOCAL PLANNING PANEL MEETING 18 AUGUST, 2021 THE HILLS SHIRE PAGE 399 Figure 3 Proposed development concept, 21-23 Lexington