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Environmental Activities Report 2014/2015

Contents
Introduction.............................................................................5
Greenhouse gas emissions............................................. 6-12
Water and waste water..................................................13-19
Waste and resource recovery....................................... 20-25
Nature conservation and land management............26-30
Building conservation.................................................... 31-32
Community development, engagement and events..33-40
Strategies and Plans.......................................................41-44
The Citys workplace initiatives....................................45-48
Regional initiatives ........................................................49-50

Acknowledgement of Country
The ancestors and descendants of the Dja Dja Wurrung and
Taungurung are the traditional owners of this Country.
The City of Greater Bendigo acknowledges that they have
been custodians for many centuries and continue to perform
age old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal.
We all acknowledge their living culture and their unique role
in the life of this region.
Cover image: One of more than 15,000 new LED street lights
being installed as part of the Lighting the Regions project
- read more on page 49.

Message from the CEO

Introduction

I am pleased to present this


Environmental Activities Report to
the community, the second for the
City of Greater Bendigo (the City).
This collection of stories, data and
pictures highlights the Citys key
environmental sustainability actions
and achievements during 2014-2015.

I hope these stories inspire you to take


action in your home and workplace, as
even the smallest action contributes to
a better environment.

The Citys key environmental


undertakings for 2014-2015 are
highlighted within this Environmental
Activities Report.

Regards,

A diverse range of activities, programs,


projects, events and initiatives are
featured within this report. Some
fields of work are ongoing such as
activities to reduce our greenhouse gas
emissions, manage our water more
wisely and increase the diversion of
resources from the waste stream and
data is collected annually to track
progress, identify trends and report
results.

I feel it is important to share this


information with the community as
many of you have contributed to or
participated in programs and activities
that will be of benefit or interest to the
wider community.
This report covers an amazing
range of actions across a breadth
of environmental fields, delivered
collaboratively by all sections of the
organisation. This collective action
supports the Citys commitment
to continuous improvement in
environmental sustainability within
both the organisation and the broader
community.
4

Craig Niemann

Strategic Objectives:
Distinctive natural settings
and buildings that are
celebrated and conserved,
Resources being used wisely
for the long term,
Lowering greenhouse
emissions and waste,
Managing and increasing
community resilience to the
impacts of climate change
Council Plan 2013-2017
(2014-2015 update)

Three new sections have been added


this year, they are Nature conservation
and land management, Building
conservation and Strategies and Plans.

Council Vision: Greater Bendigo Working together to


be Australias most liveable regional city.
5

Greenhouse gas emissions


Table 1: The Citys Greenhouse Gas Emissions profile 2014-2015

Overview

The NGERS also defines the emissions that are outside of the Citys direct
control electricity used for street lighting, and other activities. Other
activities include emissions that come from activities of another organisation
or entity but are used by the City such as train, taxi or plane travel, or energy
used in the production of paper or other materials purchased by the City.
While the City can make choices that will reduce these emissions, the City
does not directly control them.

Activities considered within the Citys


control, except for landfill emissions,
generated 9,051 t/CO2-e in 2014-2015,
down 4% on the previous year.
Waste to landfill continues to be
the largest contributor to the Citys
emissions profile; with a net emission
total of 24,057 t/CO2-e. The gas
extraction infrastructure in place at
Eaglehawk Landfill extracted enough
methane to generate 3,826 MWh of
electricity (equivalent to powering

approximately 624 average households)


and in doing so, reduced the landfills
gross emissions by 22,406 t/CO2-e; a
nearly 50% reduction.
The emissions from those activities
considered to be outside of the Citys
control generated approximately 11,466
t/CO2-e.
In 2014/2015 the operations of the City
generated a total of 44,575 t/CO2-e. The
emissions profile of the City is shown
below in Table 1, with the quantity and
source of emissions also defined.

Percentage
contribution

Electricity (lighting and building)

5,280

12%

Fuel consumption

3,140

7%

632

1%

24,057

54%

Electricity (Street lighting)

6,373

14%

Other activities

5,093

12%

44,575

100%

Natural Gas (building)


Waste (to Eaglehawk landfill)

Total emissions (tonnes CO2-e)

Within Citys
control (NGERS)

Outside Citys
control (NGERS)

Table 2: The Citys total greenhouse gas emissions by year


2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

34,905

35,352

38,994

43,549

44,575

18%

17%

15%

13%

12%

Fuel

7%

9%

7%

7%

7%

Natural Gas (building)

2%

2%

2%

2%

1%

Waste (to Eaglehawk landfill)

48%

44%

52%

54%

54%

Electricity (street lighting)

18%

18%

16%

14%

14%

7%

10%

8%

10%

12%

Total emissions (tonnes CO2-e)

The NGERS measures greenhouse gas emissions as tonnes of Carbon Dioxide


Equivalents (t/CO2-e). Overall, the greenhouse gas emissions generated from
the activities of the City have remained relatively stable for the past five years.
This is a good outcome given the increase in service delivery over that time.

The Citys emissions

Tonnes CO2-e

Emissions source

The City measures and monitors its greenhouse gas emissions and energy
consumption performance in accordance with the National Greenhouse
and Energy Reporting System (NGERS). The NGER framework defines the
emissions that are deemed to be within the Citys control - fuel used in heavy
and light fleet vehicles, natural gas, refrigerant gases and electricity used in
buildings, metered lighting (not street lighting) and the City operated landfill.
The City in managing emissions also distinguishes between the energy use
activities and the landfill, as the energy use activities can be more directly
influenced by the City.

Electricity
(lighting and building)

Other activities*

Figures have been revised from 2013-14 activities report as more complete and accurate data for
emissions became available.
^

Trends and target


The City has collected greenhouse gas
emissions data every year since 20102011. This data is presented in Table 2
along with the percentage contribution
of each of the emissions sources
identified in the Citys profile.

The figures show that overall emissions


have increased with time but the
proportion from energy use, including
electricity, fuel and natural gas, has
decreased while the portion from the
landfill has increased. Much of the
reduction in emissions from energy use
can be attributed to:
7

Greenhouse gas emissions (continued)

figure of 4,942 t/CO2-e by the year 2020.


The City measures and monitors its
progress against Target 2020 on an
annual basis to understand trends,
evaluate progress and investigate areas
of opportunity within each energy
source, including electricity (lighting
and building), fuel and natural gas
(building). As demonstrated in Table 2,
these items combined have gradually
reduced their emissions contribution
from 26-27% to 20% this year, because
of energy efficiency improvements in
this area and increasing contributions
from the land fill.

Further commentary on trends of


emissions from energy use activities
within the Citys control, is provided
below.

Target 2020
In November 2011, the City set a target
to reduce its emissions from the use
of energy by 50% by 2020 against the
established 2010-2011 baseline. To
achieve this target, the energy related
emissions need to fall to an annual

The Citys performance in decreasing


its overall emissions from energy use
against projected Business as Usual
and the 2020 target is demonstrated in
Figure 1.

Fuel used in the Citys fleet


and plant equipment

Natural gas used in the


Citys buildings

Emissions from fuel used in the Citys


fleet continue to remain relatively
stable despite growth in service
demand and the number of vehicles
purchased.

Emissions from natural gas used within


the Citys buildings have reduced by
15% in the last year as shown in Figure
3. The reduction is attributed to works
improving heating systems in large
energy consuming buildings.

Figure 2: Fuel use in fleet and plant


3500
CO2-e tonnes

Investment in energy efficiency works


for facilities owned and operated by
the City over the past two years
Behaviour change projects
encouraging staff to turn off computer,
lights and other energy consuming
equipment when not in use

3000

3,131

3,033

2,917
2500

Figure 1: The Citys energy use emissions trend in comparison to Business as Usual and
2020 target

3,140

2,585
2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Financial year
Emissions from fuel use in fleet and plant

10,000
9,796

9,472

9,471

Figure 3: Natural gas use

8,000

800
6,000

4,000

Target = 4,942

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

Financial year
Emissions from energy use (actual)
Projected Business as Usual Carbon Emissions from energy use
2020 Target line with respect to Business as Usual

9,884
9,051

2014/15

2019/20

CO2-e tonnes

CO2-e tonnes

9,450

748

744
698

700

632
600

2010/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Financial year
Emissions from use of natural gas in the Citys buildings

Greenhouse gas emissions (continued)

Bendigo Art Gallery


Project summary
Retrofit administration
areas with LED lights
Retrofit of Heating
Ventilation and Air
conditioning (HVAC)
system components

Figure 4: Electricity use (buildings and metered lighting)

CO2-e tonnes

8000
7000

6,341

5,921

6000
5000

2010/11

2011/12

5,857

2012/13

5,691

2013/14

5,280
2014/15

Financial year
Emissions from purchased electricity (buildings and metered lighting)

Electricity used in buildings


and metered lighting
Emissions resulting from electricity
used in buildings and metered lighting
have reduced on average 4 % per
year since 2010/11 as demonstrated
in Figure 4. This decrease can be
attributed to a range of energy
reduction works that have been
undertaken to improve efficiency, as
well as efforts from staff to reduce
energy use in day to day activities.

How we are achieving results


Over the past two years the City has
successfully delivered energy efficiency
upgrades across seven of its high
energy consuming buildings as part
of a project co-funded by the Federal
Government. In 2014-2015 stage two
of the works were undertaken with
three buildings receiving a variety
of energy efficiency retrofits. These
10

included lighting upgrades and heating,


ventilation and air conditioning
upgrades at the Art Gallery and Capital
Theatre, and commissioning of a
Building Automation System at the
Main Office.
In addition, energy and cost data
from the stage one works completed
in 2013-2014 were analysed and
verified by independent consultants
to evaluate the outcomes of the works
which included:
Collectively, an annual saving of
$24,500 in energy bills across five
buildings
Approximately 200 tonnes of
carbon emissions avoided, which is
equivalent of removing 43 petrol cars
off the road
Energy saving targets for lighting
upgrades was achieved in all the
buildings in the program, including a
37% savings at the Hargreaves Street
Multi Storey Car Park

Completion Date
February 2015
Activity details
Over 180 LED lights
installed
5 Variable speed drive
installed to reduce motor
speed at Air Handling
Units
1 CO2 sensor installed to
increase use of fresh air
and save energy
2 pre-coolers installed at
Chillers to save energy by
pre-cooling the incoming
air
Expected savings
16% reduction in energy use

11

Bendigo Capital
Theatre

Water

Project summary
Retrofit of building with
LED lights
Retrofit of HVAC system
components
Completion Date
June 2015
Activity details
Over 120 LED lights
installed
2 pre-coolers installed at
Chillers to save energy by
pre-cooling incoming air
Expected savings
4% reduction in energy use

Lyttleton Terrace
Office
Project summary
Commissioning of
Building Automation
System
Completion Date
August 2014
Activity details
Computer based control
system to efficiently
operate HVAC system and
minimise waste
Expected savings
12% reduction in energy use

12

Overview
The conservation and long term sustainability of the Citys water resources
is integral to the future development of the region. Currently the City draws
water from three main sources: potable, recycled and rural licence. Potable
water is used in buildings, pools and the irrigation of parks and open space
operated or maintained by the City. Recycled water is used to irrigate sports
fields and on occasions top up Lake Weeroona. Rural licence is used to
support sites serviced by recycled water if needed.

The Citys Water Use


2014-2015

Figure 5: The Citys Water Use 2014-2015

The City uses 3 types of water supply;


potable, recycled and rural water
licence. A breakdown of water type
used by the City for the year 2014-2015
is shown in Figure 5.
Potable water is used in parks and
reserves where recycled water is not
considered suitable to use for certain
applications and in turn, recycled water
is prioritised over rural water when it
is available due to it being of higher
quality.

49% Potable
36% Recycled
15% Rural Water Licence

13

Water (continued)

41% Sporting facilities


21% Property
16% Swimming Pools
10% Parks & Reserves
4% Livestock Exchange
2% Landfill
6% Other small sources

Water supplies used by the


City
Potable Water
(Urban drinking water supply)
The potable water supply for the City
is managed by Coliban Water. It is
primarily sourced from the Upper
Coliban, Coliban and Malmsbury
Reservoirs, with a supplementary
supply from Lake Eppalock. It is
considered a reliable water source and
is available for use in buildings and for
irrigation of parks and open spaces.
In 2014-2015, 355ML of potable water
was used within the Citys properties.
A detailed breakdown of water use
within different property categories is
illustrated in Figure 6.
14

Rural Licence
The City currently holds 365.2ML in
rural licences. Rural water is of a
seasonal nature and the amount and
flow rate cannot be guaranteed as it is
dependent on supply condition. As a
result, full allocation of water may not
be available for use every year.
Rural water is accessed via the
Coliban Rural System from Malmsbury
Reservoir and Lake Eppalock. It is
untreated water and not intended or
suitable for human consumption. No
quality standards apply to this water,
unlike water from the treated urban
drinking water supply.
Seven sites managed by the City
have access to rural water; Crusoe
Heights Reserve, Lake Weeroona,
Strathfieldsaye Recreation Reserve,
Epsom-Huntly Recreation Reserve,
Kennington Reservoir, Mandurang
Recreation Reserve, and the Happy
Jack Recreation Reserve. In 2014-2015
110ML was used across these sites.
Recycled Water
Although recycled water is considered
a less reliable source, when available
it is used to water sports fields and
on occasions top up Lake Weeroona.
Recycled water is sourced from
Coliban Water, and is recovered via
the Epsom Water Reclamation Plant.
Last year, eleven parks, gardens and
sports reserves (shown in Table 3)
received 260 ML of recycled water via
a third pipeline system. Both rural and
recycled water are used for maintaining

open space assets, with recycled water


preferred when it is available. In 201415 more recycled water was available
and hence was used more than the
previous year.
Table 3: Recycled water use at connected
sites in 2014-2015
Name of Site

Recycled
water used
(Megalitres)

Rosalind Park

60.06

Lake Weerona

50.35

White Hills Botanical


Gardens

35.87

Canterbury Park/Lake
Neanger Precinct

32.62

Tom Flood Sports Centre

19.53

Spring Gully Soccer Fields

13.35

White Hills Football Ground

12.04

Harry Trott Oval

11.12

Weeroona Avenue Oval

8.85

Ewing Park Sportsground

8.63

Spring Gully Oval

The Citys annual water use


trend
The Citys annual water consumption
increased by 23% in 2014-2015
compared to the previous year, due
to significant rises in the use of both
potable and recycled water. The
overall trend in water use is illustrated
in Figure 7. This increase can be
attributed to a combination of the
continuation of below average rainfall
in spring and the addition of 375,000
square metres of new open space and
irrigation infrastructure within the City.
The City is responding to this growth in
water demand by using a combination
of the three water supplies and by
using water efficient technical and
landscaping solutions in the day to day
maintenance of its buildings, parks and
gardens.

7.99

Total

260.41

Figure 7: Citys total water use by financial year

Megalitres

Figure 6: Potable water use 2014/2015

800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0

Potable
Recycled
Rural
Water
Licence
Total
2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Financial year

15

Water (continued)

Water quality
The City is both directly and indirectly
responsible for managing and
improving water quality.
This section highlights some of the
activities undertaken to monitor and
improve water quality during 20142015.
Blue Green Algae Monitoring
Blue Green Algae (BGA) can undergo
prolific growth given favourable
conditions in a water body. When
present in large volumes, BGA can be
toxic to humans and the local animal
and plant life in the water environment.

Routine monitoring of BGA is


undertaken in six urban lakes in Greater
Bendigo to protect the community
from potentially toxic hazards and
inform management action to prevent
its spread to other water bodies in the
catchment. The sites monitored are:
Kennington Reservoir, Crusoe Reservoir,
Gateway Park, Lake Neangar, Lake
Tom Thumb and Lake Weeroona. BGA
volumes are measured by the City on
a monthly basis and public alerts are
issued when safe levels are exceeded.
This happened three times in 20142015, at Kennington Reservoir, Lake
Weeroona and Gateway Park, refer to
Figure 8 for monitoring results.

Domestic On-Site Wastewater


Management
The City is a regulatory authority for the
installation, alteration and operation
of domestic onsite wastewater
management systems, commonly
known as septic tanks. Part of this
regulatory role involves the issue of
permits to install and alter wastewater
management systems. If poorly treated
and disposed, domestic wastewater
can present a risk to human health, the
amenity of the urban environment, and
the ecology of natural environments.
In 2014-15, the City issued 158 permits
to install and use onsite wastewater
management systems.
The State Government also requires
that local governments develop plans

to manage domestic wastewater


to protect public health and the
environment. In 2014-2015 Council
adopted a new Domestic Wastewater
Management Plan after extensive
review and consultation with the
community.

Urban Living Environments


The City is an authority responsible for
the investigation and management of
matters with potential to harm public
health in urban living environments.
These matters can include noise
pollution, air emissions and odours,
water quality and pest harbourage. In
2014-2015, the City investigated 210
matters pertaining to environmental
disturbances in living environments.

Figure 8: Blue Green Algae monitoring results 2014-2015

Bio volume mm3/L

12

Lake Tom Thumb

10

Lake Neangar

Lake Weeroona

6
4
2

Gateway Park
Kennington
Reservoir
Crusoe Reservoir

Ju
ly
Au
g
Se
u
pt st
em
b
Oc er
to
No be
ve r
m
De be
ce r
m
b
Ja er
nu
a
Fe ry
br
ua
ry
Ma
rc
h
Ap
ril
Ma
y
Ju
ne

16

Constructed wetland at Imagine Estate, Strathfieldsaye.

17

Water (continued)

Floating Wetland trialled at


Gateway Park
A floating wetland has been installed
in the lake at Gateway Park, Kangaroo
Flat to help improve water quality and
reduce blue-green algal blooms.
As part of the continued
implementation of the Citys Urban
Stormwater Management Plan, a trial
of the floating wetland commenced in
2014-2015 and includes water quality
monitoring to determine how effective
the new wetland has been.
Wetlands are natures way of filtering
and cleaning water and increasingly,
constructed wetlands are becoming
the preferred way of addressing
polluted urban stormwater.

The floating wetland at Gateway


Park uses a biological treatment
process to improve water quality by
removing, suspended solids, Nitrogen,
Phosphorous, E Coli, heavy metals
and organic matter. The system is also
low maintenance and can operate in
fluctuating water levels.

w
Water flo

The City works closely with developers


to design and implement solutions that
help improve urban stormwater quality.
The constructed wetlands at Imagine
Estate are an example of an effective
stormwater treatment system which
benefits both the natural environment
and our community.

Rainwater-runoff from the road irrigates the street trees.

Bendigo Botanic
Gardens Development
Water Sensitive Road
Design
A new street has been built
at the Bendigo Botanic
Gardens in White Hills that
includes water sensitive road
design (WSRD). Stormwater
is captured from the road
and directed to tree
pits where it passively
irrigates the street trees.

Installation of a new floating wetland, Gateway Park, Kangaroo Flat.

18

19

Waste and Resource Recovery


Kerbside Garbage Collection
Overview
The City currently provides a number of waste and resource management
services, including: kerbside garbage and recycling collection for domestic
and commercial properties, management of transfer stations and the
Eaglehawk and Heathcote landfills, street litter collection, public place litter
and recycling bins, street cleaning, stormwater drain and pit cleaning, and
a number of domestic waste education initiatives. The City measures the
amount of material collected through these services and disposed of to
landfill or recycled, as shown in Table 4.

Table 4: Municipal Solid Waste and litter collection services by tonne 2014-2015
Domestic Waste and Recycling Collection
Services
Kerbside Residual Waste (Garbage) collected
Self-haul Residual (Garbage)
Other Council Waste (e.g. Street-cleaning)

2013/2014
(Tonnes)

2014/2015
(Tonnes)

27,150

27,340

28,760

5,716

5,018

4,882

5,105

4,270

4,314

Total MSW Disposed to Landfill

37,971

36,628

37,956

Kerbside Recycling collected

10,571

10,429

10,119

7,943

8,273

8,749

Self-haul Recycling
Self-haul Greenwaste

4,043

4,351

4,571

Total MSW Recovered/Recycled

22,557

23,053

23,439

Total MSW Generation

60,528

59,681

61,395

Trends
The figures show that Municipal Solid
Waste to landfill has not increased
over the last three years despite steady
population growth with approximately
1,000 new garbage/recycling services
coming into the kerbside collection
system each year. The amount of

20

2012/2013

waste being recycled has remained


relatively stable. The City is now
trialling a new organics collection
system. The downward trend in
kerbside recycling collection could be
due to a reduction in the purchase of
printed media (common right across
Victoria), and the change to more light
weight plastic packaging.

Street Litter Bins and Street


Cleaning

The Waste Services Garbage collection


team service 48,000 residential/
commercial bins per week, which
includes 45 collection runs an average
of 1,000 bins per truck per day
including public holidays, 52 weeks of
the year.

Three rear-loaders, working seven days


per week, service 346 public place litter
bins and 1,413 commercial bins in CBDs
throughout the City. Many of these bins
are picked up multiple times per week
depending on location and need.

The service is operated by a team


of dedicated staff who take pride in
their job and work closely together to
ensure bins are serviced in all weather
conditions every week of the year.

The street cleaning crew starts at


5am, seven days a week to clean the
Bendigo CBD and the outer CBD areas.
The crew also provide street sweeping
in residential areas.

360 litre Recycling Bin


Introduced

New Eaglehawk Landfill Cell

Households were given the option


of a larger 360 litre recycling bin
in 2014-2015, to give them greater
opportunities to recycle. To date,
320 residents have taken up this
opportunity to increase the size of their
recycling bin.

2014-2015 saw approval granted from


the Victorian Environment Protection
Authority (EPA) to start filling Cell 5 at
the Eaglehawk Landfill. The cell has
the capacity to landfill approximately
310,000 tonnes of waste. The cell has
been constructed to the highest quality
standards as required by EPA guidelines
and cost Council $4.8mill to construct.

Installing aggregate to form the drainage


layer on the liner of the new Eaglehawk
landfill cell.

21

Waste and Resource Recovery (continued)

A program launch was conducted


at the Bendigo Community Farmers
Market in July 2014 featuring the
Broccoli Brothers to entertain the
children. The workshops provided
tips about buying, cooking, storing
and disposing of food to help young
families prevent food wastage and save
money.

Annual Detox your Home


Mobile collection

Food Smart Program launch, Bendigo Community Farmers Market.

Waste & Resource


Management Strategy
Implementation - 2014-2015
The following initiatives from the Waste
& Resource Management Strategy 20142019 were commenced or completed
during 2014-2015:
Lets Get Food Smart workshops
conducted
Sustainable Homes Program
workshops on recycling, composting
and worm farms
45 new public place recycling bins
installed
Optional 360 litre kerbside recycling
bins introduced into domestic waste
services
Waste & Resource Management
Education Plan commenced
22

Planning for a trial of a kerbside


organics collection (commence
September 2015)
Residual waste disposal down to
584kg/household/year, in line with
Strategy target of reducing from
642kg/household/year to 320kg/
household/year by 2019

The City conducted its annual mobile


Detox your Home collection in October
2014 at the Eaglehawk Recycle
Centre. A State Government initiative
coordinated by Sustainability Victoria,
the service benefits all Victorian

residents and helps protect the


environment from potential chemical
pollution by collecting hazardous
chemicals.
Qualified chemists sorted and
separated the chemicals which were
then transported to the appropriate
facilities for recycling.
The collection was successful in
removing 495kg of hazardous
chemicals from residents houses and
sheds. The highest volume chemical
categories collected this year were
145.5kg of pesticides and 107kg of
flammable liquids.
Below: Toxfree staff sorting chemicals at the
Annual Detox your Home Mobile Collection.

Lets Get Food Smart


Workshops
The City engaged the Calder Regional
Waste Management Group (now
Loddon Mallee Waste and Resource
Recovery Group) to facilitate a series of
eight Lets Get Food Smart workshops
throughout Bendigo during July and
August 2014.

23

Waste and Resource Recovery (continued)

Permanent Detox your Home


drop-off site
Sustainability Victoria also coordinates
a Permanent Detox your Home drop-off
site at the Eaglehawk Recycle Centre.
This site is not licenced to collect
and store hazardous materials but
accepts household paint, batteries and
compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
For the 2014-2015 financial year
2,845kg of single use and rechargeable
batteries, 1,336kg of CFLs, 10,193.1kg
of solvent based paint and 18,931.9kg

of water based paint was dropped off


and then recycled or disposed of in
an environmentally sound manner.
Eaglehawk Recycle Centre also accepts
gas cylinders and automotive batteries
under a separate arrangement.

An audit of the waste and recycled


bins combined found a reduction
of recycled material from 79% in
February 2015 to 43% in May 2015.
This was most likely due to more
recyclables generated in summer, eg
drink bottles.

Public Place Recycling bins

The audit also showed that recyclables


being placed in the general waste
bin improved from 57.5% in February
down to 37.6% in May. The May audit
also indicated that the main recyclable
materials present in the waste bin

The City installed 45 new public place


recycling bins next to general waste
bins in areas of high visitation and/or
heavy pedestrian traffic.

consisted of disposable coffee cups


(12.4%), cardboard (8.6%) and plastic
bottles (7.3%).
Highlights of the project included a
higher than expected uptake in the use
of the recycling bins, the creation of a
catchy TV commercial that generated
great feedback and discussion, and
the Chucking for the 21st Century
education event conducted in the
Hargreaves Mall. This event saw
approximately 250 school students and
numbers of passing shoppers engaged
in the fun and revelry of the day and,
most importantly, learning about
recycling in public places.

Student group and shoppers being entertained at Chucking for the 21st Century event, Hargreaves Mall.

24

This project was made possible by a


grant from Sustainability Victoria.

25

Nature conservation and land


management
hide, located at Crusoe Reservoir was
completed in 2014-2015. The hand
woven structure made from local
natural materials creates a functional
and visually appealing bird hide for the
growing number of bird enthusiasts.

Overview
The City of Greater Bendigo is located in the distinctive and unique
Goldfields bioregion which is characterised by Box Ironbark forest. Its
environmental qualities have been recognised through the establishment
of National and Regional Parks, State Forests and various conservation
reserves, all of which are highly valued by the community.

The Parks nest box program provides


valuable habitat for hollow dependant
box and ironbark fauna and has
recorded several threatened species,
such as the Brushtailed Phascogale. An
additional eight specially constructed
large owl nest boxes have been
installed across the municipality for the
threatened Powerful Owl, also recorded
as resident in the park.

While the majority of this vegetation is located on public land, large areas
are in private ownership, and with only 23% of native vegetation remaining
within the Greater Bendigo area, the City is working to strategically protect
and improve these natural values that contribute to Bendigos character.

Bushcare Incentive Program


The Bushcare Incentive Program is an
on-going program that acknowledges
and rewards the conservation efforts
of private landholders.
Properties that have a Trust for Nature
conservation covenant are eligible and
receive a once off payment of $25 per
hectare of land protected and a 100
per cent rate rebate on the site value of
the protected area thereafter.

In 2014-2015 the 46th property entered


the program.
Mr Christopher Kirwan placed a Trust
for Nature conservation covenant on
his 40 hectare Myrtle Creek property in
late 2014. The property has significant
Box Ironbark and Heathy Dry Forest
types and adjoins the Pilchers Bridge
Nature Conservation Reserve.
Mayor Cr Peter Cox was pleased to
present Mr Kirwan with his rebate
cheque.
Mr Kirwan said I was not aware of the
Bushcare Incentive Program, so it came
as a very pleasant surprise to find out
that the City of Greater Bendigo would
give me a one off payment of $25 a
hectare for putting a Trust for Nature
covenant on my property.
Left: Christopher Kirwan receives his Bushcare
Incentive Program cheque from Mayor,
Cr Peter Cox.

26

Crusoe Reservoir and


No.7 Park
Located in Kangaroo flat, Crusoe
Reservoir and No.7 Park is a very
popular natural reserve. The City
and Friends of Crusoe Reservoir and
Number 7 Park have achieved several
impressive outcomes, including
the development of a very popular
and usable bird list collated by the
Friends Group and City staff. The rich
habitat values of the park seasonally
accommodate 157 species and the bird
list has captured the interest of BirdLife
Australia members for its uniqueness
and quality. A volunteer built bird-

Roadside Weeds and Pests


Management Program
Over the last three years the City has
participated in a State Government
funded Roadside Weeds and Pests
Management Program designed to
support councils to plan and put
in place controls for the long term
management of regionally prohibited
and regionally controlled weeds and
pest animals on rural roadsides.
27

Nature conservation and land management (continued)

The weeds targeted through this


program include:
African Boxthorn
African Love-grass
Bathurst Burr
Blackberry
Gorse
Horehound
Patersons Curse
Prickly Pear
Spiny Rush
St Johns Wort
Sweet Briar
Wheel Cactus
Through the program 272,000ha of the
Citys roadsides have been mapped for
weed infestations (approximately 90
percent of the total area of roadsides),
and a total of 6,717 weed points
treated. Since year one the set-up year,
the program has quickly evolved to an
annual program of 3,083 weed points
treated including new infestations as
well as follow-up on sites treated in the
previous year.
Works undertaken in 2014-2015
include:
1,863 new weed locations treated
1,220 weed locations treated as
follow up to previous years work
261 roads mapped for weed
infestations - approximately 134,000
hectares in total

Figure 9: Roadside Weed and Rabbit Action


Plan Program: Number of weed points
treated 2012/2015

2012/13 688 weed points


2013/14 2,946 weed points
2014/15 3083 weed points

Native Vegetation Offset


Management
When the City has to remove native
vegetation for capital works and other
community projects, native vegetation
offsets usually have to be provided.

The credit values of offset sites


are expressed in terms of General
Biodiversity Equivalence Units (GBEUs).
The Citys two offset sites contain
almost 9.5 GBEUs. In 2014-2015 the
Citys road and other community
construction projects required offsets
worth 0.445 GBEUs, of which 0.41 came
from our own sites and 0.035 were
purchased externally.
The two City owned sites, one in
Maiden Gully and the other in Huntly
are secured permanently on title
via a formal agreement with the
Department of Environment, Land,
Water and Planning (DELWP). Each
agreement includes a ten year
management plan that details how the
sites will be managed over the ten year
period and is reported on to DELWP
annually over this time.

Native Vegetation Credits can be


used to meet this native vegetation
offset requirement. The City owns
and manages two native vegetation
offset sites of its own that have been
assessed for native vegetation credit
values, and those credits are now
banked to be used as projects require
them. In cases where the Citys banked
credits are not the required type or the
quantity required would exhaust the
bank, the City purchases Credits on the
open market.
Native Vegetation Offset Site in Maiden Gully.

28

Assessing Native Vegetation


on Roadsides
Rural road reserves are an important
feature of the Greater Bendigo region;
often they contain intact remnant
native vegetation now rarely seen
across the wider landscape and
support necessary habitat and linkages
for rare and threatened species. The
City considers the native vegetation
contained within these road reserves a
natural asset and aims to manage and
protect them to the highest standards.
The City strives to avoid and minimise
the amount of native vegetation
removal required for City works and
projects and carries out detailed
vegetation assessments in the planning
phase to reduce the impacts.
In 2014-2015, the City conducted
biodiversity inspections for the
following projects:
Gravel road re-sheet project
(re-surfacing of 35 roads) totalling
71.6km
Symonds Street, Maiden Gully
- intersection tree removal
Lockington Road, Hunter - 2.6km
sealed road re-surface
McCormicks and Fosterville North
Road, Fosterville - 2.6km shoulder
widening
Lillis Lane, Wellsford - 330m shoulder
and table drain maintenance
In addition to biodiversity assessments
the following road and bridge works
required permission under the Greater
29

Nature conservation and land management (continued)

Bendigo Planning Scheme for native


vegetation removal:
Road construction works:
-E
 ast Bendigo Link Road Stage 3 &
4 - 810m
-H
 eathcote North Costerfield road
sealing and shoulder widening 3.2km
Bridge replacement works:
- Faraday Street, Neilborough.
-H
 eathcote East Baynton Road,
Mia Mia
- OConnell Drive, Axe Creek

support the detailed planning required


to avoid and minimise impacts to road
reserve assets.

The City collects data, such as the


location of heritage sites, rare and
threatened species, weed species
and large significant habitat trees to

In 2014-15, the City planted 1,390 new


trees including 755 exotic trees and 635
native trees.

Urban trees
Having trees in our towns and cities
is important for a number of reasons,
including biodiversity, amenity and
cooling effects. The City has an annual
program of maintenance, replacement
and new plantings for street and park
trees.

Building conservation and


sustainable design
Overview
The City of Greater Bendigo
supports environmental
sustainability for buildings by
maintaining and upgrading its
own buildings and by providing
loans and advice to private
building owners.

City owned buildings


maintenance program
The City owns approximately 800
buildings, of which more than 50
are considered to be of heritage
significance. In 2014-2015 the City
spent almost $900,000 on renewal and
upgrade projects to extend the life and
use of these historic buildings.

Heritage Restoration advice


and loan scheme
The City provides advice to heritage
building owners on how to maintain
and manage their historic buildings.
This results in a more efficient use
of resources by increasing the life
of a building and making it more
sustainable by using less resources
for heating and cooling. It also gives
a community wide social benefit by
keeping connections to our history.
The City also has a no interest loan
scheme to assist owners of heritage
buildings to undertake restoration
projects to extend the life of their
building. In 2014-2015 $42,700 was
loaned in total, including a loan to the
Goldmines Hotel to fix and repaint its
verandah.

An example project is the restumping


and repainting of the former Longlea
School building.

Before

The City manages 6180km of roadsides.

30

After

Former Longlea School building before and after upgrade.

31

Building conservation and sustainable design (continued)

Community development,
engagement and events
Overview
Residents have a keen interest in environmental issues and many are
actively involved in seeking solutions. Many community groups manage
City assets or are involved in environmental sustainability initiatives which
improve the health and wellbeing of our community. This section provides
a summary of some of the areas the City has supported during 2014-2015.

Sustainability and
Environment Advisory
Committee
In 2014-2015 Council undertook a
review of the Natural Environment
Advisory Committee (NEAC).
The restored Goldmine Hotel verandah with the owner, the supervising contractor and the Mayor,
Cr Peter Cox.

In 2014-2015 the City planning


Department also prepared a series of
heritage design guidelines to assist
property owners with restoration and
changes such as new additions. It
also ran a workshop as part of the
Sustainable Homes Program on how to
retrofit your heritage house to make it
more sustainable, giving tips on things
such as solar orientation, shading and
insulation.

The purpose of NEAC was to provide


the best possible advice to Council
on how to conserve, enhance and
promote places of environmental
significance and to support Council
in the development of strategy, policy
and advocacy regarding the natural
environment.
The review identified a unique
opportunity to develop a new group
that had a broader environment and
sustainability charter that included
an internal and external focus, greater
community engagement opportunities
and targeted membership ensuring an
appropriate mix of representation.

Greater Bendigo Farming


Advisory Committee
The Greater Bendigo Farming Advisory
Committee (FAC) was formed in 2013
to replace the long standing Farming
Consultative Committee. With a focus
on sustainable agriculture, members
of the FAC are drawn from a diverse
range of agricultural businesses and
have a vast range of experience in
this field. As the agriculture sector
is experiencing rapid change, there
is strong impetus for agriculture to
be economically, environmentally
and socially sustainable. In 20142015 FAC made a submission to
the Federal Governments paper on
agricultural competitiveness, and it
has contributed to the Citys Rural
Community Strategy.

An expression of interest process for


committee positions was conducted in
early 2015 and the new Committee met
for the first time in April, 2015.

32

33

Community development, engagement and events (continued)

Community Grants
Environmental
Sustainability Category
The following grants were allocated in
2014-2015:
Mandurang Strathfieldsaye
Landcare Network - $2850
Natureview Trail Camera and Local
Wildlife Movie Sessions
Bendigo Sustainability Group - $2400
Bendigo Sustainability Group Action
Group Support and Docos for
Difference
Bendigo Sustainability Group - $2600
Bendigo Sustainability Fair Day and
Bendigo Sustainability Awards
Bendigo Violet Street Primary
School - $1530
Bendigo Violet St Primary School
Urban Native Grassland

Sustainable Homes Program


2014-2015
This series of short presentations and
events run by the City continues to be
popular with residents and was again
supported by the Bendigo Library.
The program included some popular
topics as well as three new sessions on
sustainable house design. The eight
free sessions were well attended with
330 people participating.
Workshops included:
Wonderful worm farms
Compost made easy
What happens to your household
recycling?
Retro-fitting for sustainability
Sustainable building design
Heritage houses and sustainability

Spring Gully Recreation Reserve


Advisory Committee Inc. - $1200
Nesting boxes for wildlife in the
Spring Gully Recreation Reserve

Conservation Volunteers Australia


- $3580
Supporting Community
Environmental Participation in
Greater Bendigo

34

Summer in the Parks 20142015


Summer in the Parks is an annual
program of events conducted by the
City. The popular evening spotlight
walks were again fully booked, with
eighty lucky people being guided by
the Citys Park Rangers spotting native
animals in the Box Ironbark Forests
surrounding Bendigo.

Spring Gully Primary School - $5000


Spring Gully Primary School
Community Garden

Mid-Loddon Sub-Catchment
Management Group - $ 2546
Researching Tuans and Sugar Gliders
populations at Shelbourne

National Tree Day, Heathcote 2014.

The Sustainable Homes Program, What


happens to your household recycling session
included tours of a local recycling facility.

National Tree Day 2014


Over 50 Heathcote residents turnedout to plant 3,000 native trees and
shrubs along the OKeefe Rail Trail
in Heathcote on Sunday July 27.
Supported by the Friends of the
Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail, this fun
family event included childrens art
activities and a free barbecue lunch.

Clean Up Australia Day 2015

North Central Waterwatch


Program

Clean up Australia Day is always well


supported by schools, businesses and
the community. In 2015 approximately
500 volunteers collected 3140kg of
rubbish from 25 clean-up sites.

Supported by the City, the North


Central Waterwatch Program aims to
increase the knowledge and skills of
the community and supporting them to
become custodians of local waterways.
35

Community development, engagement and events (continued)

The program is hosted by the North


Central Catchment Management
Authority and provides opportunities
for people in our community to
participate in workshops, events
and monitoring programs that focus
on river and wetland health and
sustainable water management topics.
The program encourages participation
and knowledge sharing throughout
our region via a range of projects
including community volunteer
monitoring programs, environmental
education programs and community
engagement.

Botanical Illustrators
Exhibition

National Water Week garden


party

The Friends of Bendigo Botanic


Gardens, Botanical Illustrators Group
held a very successful exhibition of
their work at Dudley House in May
2015. Supported by the City, over 700
people attended the exhibition, which
drew attention to the Bendigo Botanic
Gardens, its various plant collections
and the redevelopment works
currently underway.

Each year, National Water Week


is celebrated across Australia as
organisations come together to
build community awareness and
understanding around water issues
and opportunities for innovation.

Some of the amazing art work displayed at the


Bendigo Botanical Illustrators exhibition.

Students from Drummartin and East Loddon primary schools participating in National Water Week
activities at the Bendigo Botanic Gardens.

In 2014-2015 the program delivered


the following projects in the Greater
Bendigo region:
River Detectives program to four
schools engaging over 230 primary
school students
Support for 12 community water
quality monitors who monitor 17
sites. Assistance for equipment
maintenance, onsite training
and Quality Assurance
Engaged over 500 individuals in
a range of events and activities
Supported the development of the
River Detectives online website
Coordinated the annual
National Water Week event at
the Bendigo Botanic Gardens

36

In October, North Central Waterwatch


in partnership with Coliban Water and
the City hosted an event at the Bendigo
Botanic Gardens to celebrate National
Water Week with students from
Drummartin and East Loddon primary
schools. The day was a wonderful
opportunity for the students to mark
this important week.

Waterwatch works with schools


across our region to raise awareness
of the importance of creeks, rivers
and wetlands. Students learnt about
habitat values along our waterways,
Indigenous perspectives about water
resources and the land. They tested
different water samples for salinity and
investigated the different waterbugs
that call our waterways home.
Greater Bendigo City Councillor
Rod Fyffe officially launched the
event, saying: Our city is known for
its liveability and commitment to
sustainability and thinking smart
about water is at the heart of that
commitment.

37

Community development, engagement and events (continued)

On-line Sustainable Living


Guide
www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/Services/
Environment/Sustainable_Living_
Guide
The Citys on-line Sustainable Living
Guide was updated and improved
during 2014-2015.
It is an important resource for residents,
homeowners and businesses within the
wider region that will assist in making
manageable, positive changes towards
living and working more sustainably.
The Sustainable Living Guide has a
local focus and it is hoped that by using
the guide residents can learn more
about sustainable living and connect
directly with the many local community
groups and organisations involved in
sustainability initiatives and activities.
The guide covers a wide range of topics
and includes videos, web links, an
event calendar and information on
sustainable gardening, sustainable
transport, utility use and outdoor
activities. The guide will also provide
residents with information to help
reduce costs in the home and workplace.

Food Hub Feasibility Study


The City of Greater Bendigo is
investigating the feasibility of
developing a regional food hub.
Food hubs represent an exciting and
powerful opportunity for communities

38

grappling with the challenges of


designing sustainable and fair food
systems.
The feasibility study follows on from
the recent Thought for Food 2013
discussion paper, Greater Bendigo Food
Security Report 2014 and Active Living
Census 2015 where it was established
that access to fresh and healthy
food continues to be difficult for a
substantial part of the community.
Increasing the supply and consumption
of local produce can lead to a number
of environmental benefits including:
reduction of transportation needs,
less packaging, composting of green
waste, and minimising energy costs
associated with storage.
The feasibility study will be released
to the community for review and
feedback in the coming months.

Installation of a 20kw solar system on the roof of the Bendigo Library.

Solar on the Library

Project RENEW

In a unique joint venture between


Bendigo Sustainability Group (BSG),
Goldfields Library Corporation and the
City, a 20kW solar system was installed
on the library roof to supply 10% of the
librarys electricity needs from a locally
generated renewable source.

Project RENEW is a unique consortium


between the City, North Central
Catchment Management Authority,
La Trobe University and the Northern
United Forestry Group. The project was
developed following the devastation
caused by the 2010-2011 floods. It
aims to achieve landscape restoration
in ways that help secure the health,
resilience and general wellbeing of
rural communities. As an important
part of the project, La Trobe University
will evaluate the impact that landscape
restoration programs have on the
health and wellbeing of project
participants.

The BSG installed the community


funded solar system and will
be responsible for its ongoing
maintenance. In addition, BSG
entered into a 20 year power purchase
agreement with the City for the
supply of electricity at a commercially
comparable rate. This project provides
a sustainable income stream for the
BSG that can be used to reinvest in
other local sustainability initiatives.

39

Community development, engagement and events (continued)

Strategies and Plans


Overview
The City develops a range of strategies and plans that support
environmental sustainability. In 2014-2015 several important planning
processes commenced or concluded.

Environment Strategy
Renewal
Direct seedling in progress as part of Projet RENEW.

Three year funding for Project RENEW


was granted by the Helen Macpherson
Smith Trust in 2012. Two project
initiatives have commenced:
Timor West, Dunluce. On ground
works have commenced and
will continue in 2015 including,
community engagement and
education, site preparation,
installation of 2km of fencing, 3,000
seedlings will be planted, guarded

and watered, 20 linear kilometres of


direct seeding undertaken and rabbit
warren eradication completed.
Ironbark Gully, Bendigo. An
increased level of community
engagement will be undertaken
as part of the development of a
Draft Concept Plan for the Ironbark
Gully Walking Trail and associated
environmental works.

Useful Resources
The City produces a range of
free useful environmental and
sustainability related resources.
They are available in hard copy from
City offices or via the Citys website.
Indigenous Plants of Bendigo a
gardeners guide to growing and
protecting local plants
Home Grown a practical guide
to growing your own fresh food
Smart Gardens for a Dry Climate

40

In 2014-2015 the City commenced a


renewal process of its Environment
Strategy which will be concluded
in 2015-2016. The new strategy will
guide the organisations activities
from now to 2021. The renewal
process will explore the environmental
and sustainability challenges and
opportunities facing our region and
will involve extensive community and
stakeholder consultation. It will talk
about what we value most about our
environment and look for actions
that will help our community and
organisation live well, with minimal
impact on our environment.

The Councils Sustainability and


Environment Advisory Committee is
performing the role of project reference
group and is proactively involved in
engaging with the community.
The ideas from the community will be
collated and reviewed and will inform
the draft strategy which will then be
released for further public comment
and feedback.
We encourage everyone to get involved
in the development of this important
strategy.
Recordings of the forums and more
information is available by visiting
www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/envirostrategy

Caring for Country a sustainable


land management guide for
rural living in north central
Victoria, produced by the North
Central Catchment Management
Authority
Your Guide to Residential
Recycling and Waste Management
Sustainable Living Guide (on-line
resource)

41

Strategies and Plans (continued)

Connecting Greater Bendigo:


Integrated Transport & Land
Use Strategy (ITLUS)
The Connecting Greater Bendigo
Strategy is the Citys plan for how the
city will grow and how people and
goods will move around in a more
sustainable way in the future. 20142015 saw the final stages in the Strategy
development, including the release of
the Stage 4 Consultants Report, which
was on public display for nine weeks
in late 2014. The community response
was overwhelmingly positive. More
than 700 people provided comments,
the majority choosing to meet faceto-face by attending listening posts,
one-on-one meetings and group
discussions. Project staff continued
to work closely with VicRoads, Public
Transport Victoria (PTV) and other key
stakeholders to establish consensus on

responses to community comments


and the Stage 4 Consultants Report
recommendations.
Work has also continued to partner
with major employers and other key
organisations to define common goals
and initiatives that can be shared, co
funded and pursued to implement
ITLUS. More than 20 organisations,
including the Bendigo & Adelaide Bank,
La Trobe University, Bendigo Business
Council, Bendigo Sustainability Group
and the Northern Chapter of Urban
Development Institute of Australia
(UDIA) have agreed to partner with the
City to deliver better health, economic
and environmental outcomes through
ITLUS. These include getting more
people to walk and cycle more often;
building 10-minute neighbourhoods;
and creating more housing and travel
options.

Public transport is an important part of Bendigos transport future.

42

The Big Hill Mandurang Valley Landscape Assessment recognises the significant values of these
distinctive areas of the municipality.

Big Hill Mandurang


Landscape Assessment
The Landscape Assessment of Big
Hill and Mandurang Valley in 2012
revealed not only the environmental,
scientific, cultural, economic and
visual values of these landscapes, but
also the range of measures that are
needed to manage, and to some extent,
control, change in them, particularly
given their popularity and growing
development pressures. Some aspects
of this management are already
happening, such as managing roadside
vegetation, providing community
information and offering financial

incentives for good land management.


Most recently, proposed changes to
the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme
which recognise the significance of
the landscapes and require prior
planning approval for certain types of
development, have been prepared and
released for community consideration.

Hospital Precinct Structure


Plan
The major redevelopment of the
Bendigo Hospital prompted the
City to think about the future of the
surrounding precinct and to create

43

The Citys workplace initiatives


Road construction and
maintenance initiatives

Artists impression of future development in Bridge Street (viewed from Arnold Street).

a plan for it. The Hospital Precinct


Structure Plan (September 2014)
addresses a wide range of issues
ranging from land use and transport,
to heritage and public spaces, and
includes a number of strategies
which will help to create important
environmental benefits. Perhaps
the most significant of these is the
effective extension of Bendigos city
centre to Bridge Street. New mixed
developments of shops, offices and
housing, coupled with a transformed
street setting, will translate into more
people living and working centrally
and increased take-up of walking
or cycling. Also significant is the
major objective of the Structure

Plan to green the hospital precinct.


Inspired by the design thinking to
create an environment of harmony
and wellbeing in the hospital itself,
strategies to increase the presence
of green in the surrounding precinct
primarily through new parkland and
the extensive planting of street and
park trees will assist good community
health, as well as provide urban
microclimate and ecology benefits.

The City maintains 3,090km of roads


and has a responsibility to ensure that
road maintenance and reconstruction
projects are implemented in the most
environmentally responsible manner
possible. Road pavement designs
that help conserve non-renewable
quarry resources saves money and
contributes to a sustainable future.
Two examples of where the City is
implementing smarter road designs
are featured below.

Recycling roads a smart


way to save money and
resources
The City undertakes asphalt profiling
which is the process of removing
worn asphalt from sealed roads and
recycling and reusing in the Citys road
maintenance works.

The recycled asphalt is particularly


useful in difficult situations including
roads that might be prone to erosion or
that create unacceptable levels of dust
in urban environments.
The material binds extremely well,
reducing the level of maintenance,
extending the life of the road surface
and reducing the degree of dust
generated. Traditionally this material
would have gone to landfill and
taken up valuable space, so there are
environmental as well as financial
benefits to this process.

Road stabilisation
In the past, most roads in the City
would have been conventionally
constructed using high grade quarry
products; a valuable non-renewable
resource. Over the past couple of years,
the City has shifted to using insitu
stabilisation for pavement design in a
number of road construction projects.

New road base stabilisation treatment is saving the City significant time, money and resources.

44

45

The Citys workplace initiatives (continued)

Insitu stabilisation is a process whereby


materials on location which would
have previously been unsuitable for
road building, are upgraded so that
they can be used in road construction.
The process involves adding a small
amount of binder to existing material
to improve its construction properties.
Typically, binders will improve the
volume stability, strength, permeability
and durability of the existing material.
Through using this process the City of
Greater Bendigo has managed to:
Reduce the use of a non-renewable
resource
Protect biodiversity in the road
corridor and adjacent land by
reduced truck movements
Improve local air quality through
reduction in quarrying and truck
movements
Reduction in road transport noise.
Protect cultural heritage through
the reduction in the requirement for
quarrying
Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
and wear and tear on our road
networks
A recent review of City projects
revealed that by utilising a stabilised
treatment rather than using a
conventional gravel treatment,
over a 2km length, resulted in the
conservation of approximately 10,000
tonne of high grade crushed rock,
13,500km of truck movements, and a
saving of over 6,500 litres of fuel.
46

EnviroReps
EnviroReps is a group of City staff that
volunteer to promote and improve the
sustainability of the Citys everyday
work practices.
The team has made a significant
contribution to improving work
practices with projects across many
areas including reducing waste
to landfill, increasing sustainable
transport, providing sustainable food
and reducing emissions.
2014-2015 EnviroReps projects
included:
Energy Wise Campaign
EnviroReps helped staff improve their
energy practices through an innovative
campaign encouraging staff to take
action to save energy.
Staff participated in weekly contests to
increase awareness and understanding
of energy saving opportunities and
designed their own promotional
material to encourage others to act.
40 staff were awarded for taking
action
500+ reminder cards and posters
promoting energy conservation
distributed to staff
Corporate Bike Fleet
The corporate bike fleet has become
a regular and important mode of
transport for staff travel over the last 12
months demonstrating that bicycles
are an effective and timely form of

City of Greater Bendigo EnviroReps Team.

travel for corporate activities. More


than 250 journeys, 860 hours and 1000
kilometres of trips were made during
a 12 month trial, reducing greenhouse
gas emissions by 300kg and helping to
improve the health and wellbeing of
staff. Shifting short trips from cars to
bicycles frees up fleet cars for longer
journeys and is a cost effective method
for travelling short distances within
Bendigo.
The bike fleet will expand in the coming
year with new bikes that increase
the fleets capability, flexibility and
availability.
Ride2Work
Ride2Work is a national event that
supports and encourages more

people to ride to work. EnviroReps


supported this event in Bendigo with
a free breakfast provided by Rotary as
well as entertainment for the 100 plus
participants.
Compost bin expansion
Collecting kitchen waste and turning it
into compost reduces waste to landfill,
reduces greenhouse gas emissions
and creates nutrient rich soil to grow
plants. EnviroReps have expanded
their compost bin trial to include a
third collection point and additional
composting facilities. The nutrient rich
soil is now being used in the Living
Lunchbox project to create a closed
loop, utilising all food waste from
participating kitchens.

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The Citys workplace initiatives (continued)

Living Lunchbox project


The Living Lunchbox project aims to
provide the City with sustainable, fresh
food and to foster a greater connection
and participation with our food system.
In June 2015, six portable, water
efficient wicking above ground garden
boxes were placed around City offices,
launched with a growing your own
learning session. Staff planted out the
boxes with herbs and vegetables that
could be used in staff lunches.

Regional initiatives

Tuckerbox program provides healthy


alternative snacks for staff, and the local
veggie bags encourages staff to buy
locally grown fruit and vegetables. This
year over 1000kg worth of vegetables
and fruit were bought by staff from
local suppliers via Peppergreen Farm,
supporting local business and helping
reduce staff emissions.

The boxes are made from recycled


materials and constructed by a local
organisation who is also addressing the
issues of youth unemployment.
Tucker Box and veggie bags
Providing staff with healthier food that
is also sourced locally is good for staff
wellbeing and decreases food miles,
thus helping reduce our emissions. The

Staff from the Eaglehawk Recycling Centre dismantle and recycle redundant street lights as part of
Lighting the Regions Project.

City staff planting seedlings in the planter boxes.

The Citys corporate bike fleet is proving to be popular with City staff.

48

Lighting the Regions


The City of Greater Bendigo is
managing a street light upgrade project
that will benefit regional communities
in an area that covers almost 50%
of Victoria and incorporates16 local
government partners. The project
will upgrade 23,000 streetlights with
energy efficient technology and save
the region more than $57 million in
electricity and maintenance costs over
the next 20 years.
The Lighting the Regions project was
officially launched in October 2014 and
during the 2014-2015 year replaced
more than 16,000 new LED street lights
in 10 of the 16 local government areas.

The City commenced its street light


replacement program in April 2015. By
the end of June approximately 7,000
street lights had been changed over,
which will save the City more than
$20 million and over 62,000 tonnes of
carbon over the next 20 years.
This project will generate 23,000
waste Mercury Vapour street lights
that will require disposal. Almost all
of the components of a typical 80
Watt Mercury Vapour street light will
be able to be reused or recycled after
dismantling. The Eaglehawk Recycle
Yard is playing an important role in the
processing more than 11,500 of the
waste lights across the project area.

49

Regional initiatives (continued)

Adapting to Change
The City led a climate adaptation
project to help ensure the Citys
community and economy remains
strong and resilient into the future and
is better equipped to deal with the
impacts of climate change.
Funded by the Victorian Government
the project was a collaboration across
six councils over three years with
the final phase completed in 20142015. Components of the project will
continue to be rolled out in 2015-2016.
The project undertook research and
planning activities culminating in the
Regional Adaptation Plan.
The Plan identifies and prioritises areas
of action for local governments to work
together to deal with climate change
impacts.

in particular the recommendation


to provide assistance to vulnerable
groups to help them cope during the
heat.
Heatwaves already kill more
Australians than any other natural
disaster and this is likely to increase
with the impacts of climate change.
The implementation project is called
Heatwave Help and will directly help
Home and Community Care (HACC)
clients, as well as the wider community,
better cope with heatwaves. Project
components include:
Retrofitting homes to stay cooler in
summer
Training homecare workers to help
educate their clients
Development of a heatwave kit
An education campaign around
actions to beat the heat

The Implementation Phase of this


project acts on one of these areas,

Heatwave kits help


HACC clients cope during
heatwaves by providing
specifically developed tools
and information.

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Contact
Ph: 5434 6000 | E: requests@bendigo.vic.gov.au
PO Box 733, Bendigo 3552 | 195-229 Lyttleton Terrace, Bendigo
www.bendigo.vic.gov.au