State of the Environment Report 2004

Kempsey Shire Council 2004

Cover of State of the Environment Report 2004

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About the report

Introduction

The following State of the Environment (SoE) Report has been prepared for the Kempsey Shire LGA for the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act (1993).

Kempsey Shires’ newly elected Council has formally adopted an Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) Policy. Through this policy Council has made a commitment to adopting ESD principles in decision-making and to undertake a Local Agenda 21 program to assist Council embrace ESD practices and for developing Action Plans and ESD Performance Indicators.

Kempsey Shire Council, through the ESD Policy and Agenda 21 process, aims to demonstrate leadership and initiative in working toward a sustainable future for the Shire. This is to be achieved through consideration for the environmental, social and economic costs and/or benefits in decision-making and in strategy development.

Kempsey Shire Council has undertaken significant works in the area of environmental assessment, protection and improvement during 2003/2004. Council also introduced an Environmental Levy in the 2003/04 financial year to enable it to undertake a range of priority environmental works. Council has continued its highly acclaimed work in the areas of Flood Plain Management and Acid Sulphate Soil Management and has made significant advances in the areas of Estuary Management, Stormwater Management and Integrated Water Cycle Management. Council has also centralised its waste disposal services in preparation for achieving the goals of its Waste Management Strategy of waste minimisation and the beneficial reuse of material resources.

The aim of this SoE Report is to compare a “snapshot” of the present day environment in Kempsey Shire with that of previous years as a measure of Council and the communities’ progress in moving towards ecological sustainability. In doing so it will serve as a management tool for achieving sustainable outcomes for Kempsey Shire.

Objectives

The objectives of the 2004 State of the Environment Report are summarised as follows:

  • To provide a snapshot of the state of the environment Kempsey Shire Council LGA in the year 2003/2004 to enable monitoring of Council and the communities performance in moving towards sustainability.
  • To provide usable information and data to enable more effective environmental decision-making across all departments of Council.
  • To identify future reporting requirements with regard to data and information collection to establish appropriate environmental indicators.
  • To identify priority environmental issues within the Shire that will enable environmental management and spending to be focused toward where it is most needed.
  • To reflect community views as presented through a community consultation process.
  • To observe and quantify changes in the state of the environment to allow Council to put in place appropriate responses, or to gauge the success of those responses already enacted.
  • To provide open and transparent accountability of Council’s operations and environmental performance.