Environmental Plans and Policies

Blacktown Shale Quarry Pollution

Pollution Incident Response Management Plan

Our Shale Quarry is located in Schofields Road, Rouse Hill.  The quarry is not operated on a permanent basis. Our staff, with appropriate mobile plant and equipment, visit the quarry from time to time to undertake the extraction of quarry material, and site maintenance activities. 

The Pollution Incident Response Management Plan(PDF, 529KB) provides details of the processes which are in place in the event of a pollution incident at our Shale Quarry. 

Annual Return

The Annual Return(PDF, 2MB) is a statement of compliance with the licence conditions and reports the pollutant loads generated by the Shale Quarry.

Responding to climate change

Our Responding to climate change policy(PDF, 100KB) commits us to:

  • zero-net emissions from our operational electricity, fuel and gas use by 2030

  • working with the community to achieve zero-net emissions by 2050

  • becoming more resilient to a changing climate, especially to increases in urban heat.

The policy has a strategy(PDF, 325KB) for tackling the climate change challenge in two ways: reducing emissions and adapting to the changes.

To reduce emissions that contribute to climate change, we focus on the areas where we have most control. These are Council’s day-to-day operations. We will progressively reduce the emissions from our direct use of electricity, fuel and gas.

We are not committing to full carbon neutrality at this stage. This would include emissions from the production and delivery of all the goods and services we purchase. Realistically, we can’t control that. For now, we are starting with the areas we directly control, and we are considering future options for indirect emissions.

At the same time, increasing summer temperatures and heatwaves take a heavy toll on people’s health, and extreme heat is a major challenge for our City.

We are adapting to deal with these aspects of the changing climate. We are working to plant more trees, reduce our water use and create refuges for our most vulnerable residents during heatwaves.

Responding to climate change policy(PDF, 100KB)

Responding to climate change strategy(PDF, 325KB)

Ecological sustainable development

In 1997, a requirement was introduced to the Local Government Act requiring that Councils implement the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) into their operations. ESD, as defined in the Local Government Act, requires the effective integration of economic and environmental considerations in decision-making processes. It can be achieved through the implementation of the following principles:

  • the precautionary principle, namely that if there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation

  • intergenerational equity, namely that the present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations;

  • conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity should be a fundamental consideration; and

  • improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms, namely that environmental factors should be included in the valuation of assets and services.

Blacktown City is experiencing sustained growth and the challenge this presents for us has been how to effectively manage the development of the local environment whilst maintaining its ecological integrity. We are addressing this challenge with a shift in management planning to align itself with ESD principles, underpinned by an expanding range of targeted policy and intervention programs identified through the State of the Environment reporting process.

Planning for an environmental future

We work with the community to promote sustainable occupancy of Blacktown City. The key emphasis of our efforts has been through consultation with established environmental groups and by the promotion of ESD through the education of residents, commercial enterprises and industry.

Our environmental education programs have the objective of educating the general community to increase their awareness of environmental issues in relation to an urban environment. This can lead to increased community ownership of the natural environment and development of skills for improved environmental practices.

To ensure sustainable future development in the City our planning instruments comply with the principles of ESD. With our Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plans promoting sustainable development in the City, developers are guided to develop their land with consideration of the long-term impact upon the natural environment. Opportunities for comment on the application of our planning controls are provided at the Developers Forum we host.

Environmental Sustainability Framework

Our Environmental Sustainability Framework(PDF, 2MB) encompasses the many of the established environmental policies of Council, identifies future emerging environmental issues, and includes partnerships and collaborative approaches.  As a key component in the development of an effective framework, an Environmental Sustainability Policy to provide guidance and support was also developed by Council. 

We were recently awarded the Local Sustainability Award for the Environmental Sustainability Framework (ESF) in recognition for our commitment to embedding environmental sustainability within the core business of Council. 

State of the Environment Reports

What is a State of the Environment Report?

A State of the Environment Report (SoE) provides a summary of the environment within the local government area and the human impacts on that environment. It provides an annual and comparable record of the local activities or responses of local government, industry and community groups in the protection, restoration and enhancement of the local environment. The SoE is therefore is a useful tool in measuring, and a mechanism for reporting on, Council and community progress towards Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD).

Comparing SoE reports from year to year enables Council to gauge improvements in different sectors of the environment and also identify those areas that will need attention in the future.

Council commenced the environmental reporting process in 1993, preparing the first Blacktown State of the Environment Report. The reports prepared are either comprehensive or supplementary, based on a four-year cycle between comprehensive reports. Subsequent reports have built upon the data presented in that initial report, permitting a greater understanding of the local environment and the complex issues that influence its condition.

The report has been prepared based on the themes of land, water, air, biodiversity, noise, waste, Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Heritage and other programs.

2010 to 2011 State of the Environment Report(PDF, 4MB) 

2011 to 2012 State of the Environment Report(PDF, 7MB)

2012 to 2013 State of the Environment Report(PDF, 2MB)

2013 to 2014 State of the Environment Report(PDF, 571KB)

2014 to 2015 State of the Environment Report(PDF, 1MB)

2015 to 2016 State of the Environment Report(PDF, 527KB)

Six streams - Blacktown City Council’s Integrated water strategy 2020

 The way we manage water in cities influences almost every aspect of the urban environment and how we live in it.

There are many challenges in addressing water management into the future, including: a growing population; stressed waterways; a changing climate and increasing housing pressure.

This strategy reviews all elements of the urban water cycle, and sets out a strategic approach to managing water, in partnership with other agencies, to create a more liveable city, with specific targets to be achieved by 2036.

The strategy sets out a vision for Blacktown City to become ‘water sensitive’, a city that;

• uses water in an efficient and smart way

• recognises water can improve the local amenity and combat urban heat

• has highly valued waterways

• recognises the role of water in creating high quality open spaces and that water can be used to create vibrant precincts.

The strategy will help Council with protecting communities from flooding, improving and protecting waterway health, reducing water consumption, reducing urban heat impacts, adapting our city to climate change, improving biodiversity, and improving liveability.

This strategy positions Blacktown City at the forefront of sustainable urban development and liveable communities. It enables our city to become an attractive place to live and work, and for us to continue to be recognised as a leader in urban water management.

Six streams Blacktown City Council’s Integrated water strategy 2020(PDF, 19MB)