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Local Councils

Town of Cambridge

Home page: http://www.cambridge.wa.gov.au/
Population: 27,442
Annual Revenue: $45,800,000
No of households: 11,026

Community questionnaire

Access to Information

How easily council displays information about what it is doing for environmental sustainability.

Q1.   Does this Council display eco-sustainability information in its foyer or in other Council-owned buildings?
A.   A range of brochures are displayed in the Administration Building, Cambridge Library, Boulevard Centre and Bold Park Aquatic Centre. Brochures cover topics such as sustainable travel broadly and within the Town, water conservation, planting natives to enhance local biodiversity, recycling and the Rewards for Residents Scheme. Local TravelSmart guides and bus timetables are available at the Administration Centre, library, The Boulevard Centre, Bold Park Aquatic Centre, Wembley Community Centre and youth centre. Various displays are also set up at the library throughout the year to promote current eco-sustainability events such as Conservation Week, Bikeweek, Walk week and Sustainable September.

Q2.   Does this Council visibly advertise events that support eco-sustainability in the community? (ie hazardous waste collections, living smart courses, etc) Details?
A.   All events of this nature are advertised through the local paper and on our website. Household hazardous and e-waste collection days are advertised with full page press adverts before the event, it is promoted on the Town of Cambridge's main page and local ratepayers associations are notified to inform their members.

Q3.   Does this Council website display eco-sustainability information in 1 or 2 clicks from its home page? Please include the link for eco-sustainability information.
A.   Yes. Residents can access a host of eco-sustainability and TravelSmart information under the Neighbourhood tab on the home page. The following links can be used to access this information http://www.cambridge.wa.gov.au/Neighbourhood/Your_Natural_Surrounds , http://www.cambridge.wa.gov.au/Neighbourhood/TravelSmart . The Town also provides a Sustainable Living Guide that residents can use to guide them in making more sustainable choices across a range of areas. The guide can be found at http://www.sustainable.cambridge.wa.gov.au/

Q4.   Does this Council train frontline staff to deal with some public requests for eco-info? (vs always switching through to someone else’s messagebank). Details of issues covered by frontline staff?
A.   Front reception staff are briefed on current eco-sustainability initiatives particularly where they are required to take payment or registration information for an event or course. Other general queries are directed to sustainability officers.

Q5.   Does this Council have other policies/practices in this category?
A.  Unknown


General Support for Environmental Sustainability

General ways that this council promotes environmental sustainability.

Q1.   Does this Council employ 2+ environmental / sustainability officers (or similar role by a different name)? Please provide job titles, areas of responsibility, and which department they are in.
A.   The Town employs two sustainability officers (1.5 FTE's) and a full time waste minimisation officer, equivalent to a total of 2.5 FTE's. One sustainability officer is full-time while the other is part-time. The full-time officer is principally responsible for biodiversity conservation, the TravelSmart program, sustainable procurement, LivingSmart and the Towards Carbon Neutral program which aims to reduce the Town's carbon footprint. The part-time officer is primarily responsible for water conservation and monitoring including the ICLEI water campaign, Garden Week, sustainable schools grants, the native plant subsidy scheme and Bush to Beach/Regional Walk Trails. Both officers are involved with the organisation of community workshops, the community garden, community groups, major events/campaigns such as Sustainable September and the Switch Your Thinking program. The officers operate under the Development and Sustainability Directorate. The waste minimisation officer is responsible for working with the community to reduce waste to landfill. This involves managing waste education campaigns and managing waste data including waste monitoring and evaluation. The waste minimisation officer operates under the Infrastructure Directorate.

Q2.   Does this Council offer eco-sustainability awards to business or industry?
A.  No

Q3.   Does this Council offer eco-sustainability awards to residents or schools?
A.   Yes. The Town runs annual Garden Competition Awards. One of the criteria for determining the awards is how waterwise the garden is. There is also an award category for best waterwise front garden.

Q4.   Does this Council offer eco-sustainability grants to residents/ schools/ community groups/ businesses? Details?
A.   Annual sustainability grants are offered to schools to complete environmental/sustainability projects. Submissions are called for at the beginning of each year with applications closing in April. Previous grant funding has been used by schools to set up worm farms, construct vegetable gardens and establish nature gardens and frog ponds. Grants have also been provided to community groups such as the West Leederville Residents Association for the development of the Community Garden in West Leederville.

Q5.   Does Council provide funding/assistance for school gardens?
A.   Yes, through the School Sustainability Grants described above in section 2.4.

Q6.   Does this Council support any community gardening projects?
A.   The Town has partnered with the West Leederville Residents Association to provide significant support for a community garden in West Leederville. The Town has provided land for the garden, a shed for the storage of gardening materials and equipment, funds and labour for the establishment of the garden plots and various supplies such as mulch.

Q7.   Has this Council hosted a Living Smart course, or similar in 2011/2012? Details?
A.   A Living Smart course was held in 2010/11 but not in 2011/12.

Q8.   Does this Council have any Living Smart courses planned for 2012/2013? Dates, times, venues, booking contact?
A.   A course is planned for February/March 2013.

Q9.   Does this Council work with schools to provide education on eco-sustainability issues?
A.   The Town provides resources and one-on-one assistance to schools, coordinates composting and worm farming workshops as well as running a TravelSmart program with all schools.

Q10.   Does this Council support Bushcare Friends and/or other environmentally focused community groups? Details?
A.   The Town has worked closely with Friends groups to accomplish conservation and revegetation works at several local reserves. Two groups the Town is currently working with include the Friends of Roscommon and Cambridge Coastcare. The Town has provided support to Cambridge Coastcare to undertake weeding and restorative works within the Town's coastal dunes. Similarly the Town has worked with Friends of Roscommon to undertake weeding and restorative works at Roscommon Reserve. The Friends of Bold Park Bushland group is supported through the promotion of their activities on the Cambridge website and promotional materials. Assistance with supporting environmentally focussed community groups has also come from the Council's involvement with the Perth Biodiversity Project (PBP).

Q11.   Does this Council support WA/national/international events to promote sustainability? (eg World Environment Day, Earth Hour, Sustainable September)
A.   The Town promotes events such as these internally within the workplace and through community events. The Town has promoted Earth Hour, and hosted events for Sustainable September, Garden Week, Conservation Week, various walk and cycle to school/work national initiatives, World Car Free Day, Arbor Day and World Environment Day.

Q12.   Does this Council report periodically to the community on the state of the local environment? How often? (include weblink)
A.   The Town produces an Annual report with a section on Social and Environmental Sustainability - this is not an official SOE Report. The report can be found at http://www.cambridge.wa.gov.au/Council/Publications/Annual_Reports

Q13.   Has this Council declared itself a nuclear-free zone? Symbolic and/or embedded into Town Planning Scheme?
A.  No

Q14.   Has this Council declared itself a GMO/GE free zone? Details?
A.  No

Q15.   Does this Council have other policies/practices in this category?


Protecting and Restoring Nature in Residential Areas.

How this council manages the air, water, land, plants, animals and micro-organisms - and their ecosystems - in its care.

Q1.   Does this Council have any demonstration native gardens? If so, where?
A.   The north end City Beach Park adjacent to the boardwalk with information signs. Outside the Administration Building at 1 Bold Park Drive.

Q2.   Does this Council use native plants (vs exotics) for verges, traffic islands, around Council buildings, etc? What % of Council plantings?
A.   Approximately 90%

Q3.   Does this Council involve the community in native planting days?
A.   The Town invites local schools and the Friends of Roscommon community group to participate in Arbor Day plantings at a local reserve and invites the community to participate in a National Tree Day planting. It also provides support to local friends groups and Coastcare groups actively involved in revegetation efforts.

Q4.   Does this Council offer residents free or subsidised native seedlings or plants? Details of when, where & prices?
A.   The Town offers residents subsidised native seedlings through a regional (WESROC) Native Plant Subsidy Scheme. The scheme runs annually during May and enables residents to purchase up to 80 local native seedlings from Apace Revegetation Nursery (1 Johannah St North Fremantle) for the subsidized price of $1.50.

Q5.   Does this Council provide lists of appropriate local native plants? How are they publicised and distributed?
A.   In conjunction with the Western Suburbs Region of Councils (WESROC) the Town provides plant guides for the coastal and western coastal regions together with a guide for planting local natives.

Q6.   Does this Council warn residents against planting exotic species that may escape into bushland? How?
A.   Through educational leaflets and through Great Gardens workshops.

Q7.   Does this Council encourage residents to convert some of their lawns and/or verges to native gardens? How?
A.   Yes, through garden workshops, the provision of online information regarding native verges/creating a native garden (http://www.sustainable.cambridge.wa.gov.au/garden/grow-an-indigenous-garden) and through the Native Plants Subsidy Scheme which offers residents discounted native plants each year. The Town has also recently revised its Street Verge Landscape and Maintenance Guidelines, which encourages residents to plant local natives on their verges. The policy is available on the Towns website http://www.cambridge.wa.gov.au/Neighbourhood/Useful_Property_Tips/Your_Verge To complement the update of these guidelines the Town recently offered residents free verge make-overs in conjunction with Beyond Gardens.

Q8.   Does this Council award outstanding native gardens?
A.  No The Town offers an award for the most waterwise garden as part of the annual garden awards.

Q9.   Does this Council offer incentives for owners of big backyards in high density areas to retain these blocks for biodiversity? Details?
A.  No The Town encourages residents to care for and value trees and is considering the establishment of a valued tree register to further encourage this.

Q10.   Does this Council have other means of protecting mature trees in residential areas? Details?
A.   As part of a planning approval, under our Town Planning Scheme No 1, we have a clause for conservation of trees where Council considers them worthy of protection.

Q11.   Does this Council act on residents' complaints of cats preying on native fauna? What action is taken? On what % of complaints?
A.   Cat legislation limitations make this issue a difficult issue, however, Council refers residents to the Cat Haven who offer ranger services, possum trap hire and advice on preventing neighbors cats from entering properties. 100% of complaints.

Q12.   Does this Council have other policies/practices in this category?
A.   The Town has adopted a five year Biodiversity Action Plan to preserve the biodiversity value of its natural areas. The plan incorporates a range of actions to address threats to biodiversity, to enhance biodiversity through re-vegetation and to educate the public about the biodiversity value of the Town's natural areas. A Feral Animal control plan was developed in conjunction with the WESROC Councils where feral animals are reported to a central point and coordinated actions are taken.


Sustainable Building and Design

How this council supports the community to build sustainably

Q1.   Does this Council have a model Sustainable building or subdivision? Details?
A.  No However sustainable objectives and key priorities have been incorporated into the Perry Lakes development by taking into account the Perry Lakes Redevelopment Act 2005, the State Sustainability Strategy and Landcorp sustainability initiatives.

Q2.   Does this Council have an interpretive display of sustainable features on any of its buildings?
A.   The Town has installed a photovoltaic system on the library and LED lighting at the administration building. These installations have been accompanied by a touch screen monitor that displays real time monitoring of energy and water consumption at each location.

Q3.   Does this Council provide support for residents wanting to build sustainable homes?

Q4.   Does this Council have measures in place to support businesses and residents to design above the minimum star ratings? Eg Hosting green building design courses etc.
A.   The Town participates in the Switch Your Thinking Rewards for Residents Scheme which offers residents discounts on sustainable services and products. The current offer includes discounted solar PV systems, Insulpaint, rain water tanks and home energy audits to assist residents to be energy and water efficient. The Town also provides online information on Sustainable Home Design in the Sustainable Living Guide accessed from the Towns website http://www.sustainable.cambridge.wa.gov.au/house/make-your-renovations-green

Q5.   Does this Council discourage the use of rainforest or old growth timbers and recommend alternatives, when issuing building permits?
A.  No If a building application meets BCA requirements then it can proceed. As rainforest or old growth timber is becoming rarer the cost associated with its use is prohibitive.

Q6.   Does this Council require an independent vegetation survey before issuing a building permit and inspection after development to ensure no unauthorised removal?
A.  No If zoning and development controls do not prohibit vegetation removal then there is no obligation to retain vegetation. As part of the local housing strategy the Town is looking at reducing the amount of hard surfaces in developments which will increase the area vegetated. It does not protect existing vegetation however.

Q7.   Does this Council promote the use of renewable energy sources (eg Photovoltaic cells, wind turbines) to residents and businesses through funding, incentives or otherwise? Details?
A.   The Town offers residents the Switch Your Thinking Rewards for Residents program which provides discounts on solar PV systems.

Q8.   Does this Council have other policies/practices in this category?
A.   Town Planning policies such as the Landscaping and Water Sensitive Urban Design Policy 5.3 encourage sustainable building and design.


Sustainable Transport / Climate Change

Action being taken by this council to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Q1.   Is this Council offering any energy efficiency programs for residents in 2012/2013 (e.g workshops, home energy audits? Details?
A.   The Town is offering residents the Switch Your Thinking Rewards for Residents scheme in 2012/2013. This includes discounts on energy efficient products such as Insulpaint and home energy audits. Energy efficiency workshops are also held in Spring and Autumn which provide residents with a suite of energy efficiency measures they can implement to reduce energy consumption.

Q2.   Does this Council support businesses to improve their energy efficiency? Details?
A.   Yes through an annual Sustainable Business Expo. The Expo brings together sustainable businesses/organisations and local businesses to assist them to be water and energy efficient

Q3.   Does this Council have measures in place to decrease private car use throughout the municipality? Details?
A.   The Town has implemented a bike plan which provides a program for the installation of shared paths around prioritised areas in the Town. The Town also implements the TravelSmart program which engages workplaces, schools and the community to reduce car use and increase the use of sustainable transport alternatives such as walking, cycling, public transport use and car pooling. These programs aim to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions while improving health, air quality and community safety. The sustainability officer responsible for implementing the program holds cycling workshops/courses, community rides/walks and promotes walk and cycle to work/school event days.

Q4.   Does this Council promote the use of electric and/or hybrid vehicles? How? (eg providing ev recharge points)
A.   Through our Sustainable Living Guide http://www.sustainable.cambridge.wa.gov.au/transport/buy-an-efficient-car

Q5.   Does this Council provide free cycling/public transport maps to residents? Details?
A.   The Town has produced a local TravelSmart guide which is available from the Administration Centre reception, library, Boulevard Centre, Wembley Community Centre, youth centre and Bold Park Aquatic Centre. Bus timetable are also available from these centres. The TravelSmart guide shows walking, cycling and public transport routes throughout the Town. Free cycling maps are also available from Town Sustainability Officers.

Q6.   Does this Council contribute to security for bicycles at train & bus stations? Details?
A.   The Town has installed 8 lockable bike cabinets at Pat Goodrich Reserve which is on the major circle bus route in the area. A number of U rails have also been installed around the Town.

Q7.   Does this Council have a Travel Smart /Sustainable Transport officer? If so, what fraction of a f/t position?
A.   0.5 FTE. One of the town's full-time Sustainability Officer's roles is split between 50% TravelSmart and 50% Sustainability.

Q8.   Does this Council provide support for Walking School buses? How? Where?
A.   Support for Walking School buses is provided to local schools through the Town's TravelSmart Program. The TravelSmart Officer liaises with schools in starting Walking School Buses and provides ongoing support for the program.

Q9.   Does this Council provide any local public transport additional to Transperth Services? Details
A.   A commuter bus operates from the Wembley Community Centre and transports senior citizens from the centre to the local shopping centre. The Community Centre also operates a large bus that transports senior citizens from their homes to the Day Centre and home again.

Q10.   Does this Council show a comparison of its expenditure on infrastructure for road transport incl. carparks /public transport/cycling/walking?
A.  No

Q11.   Does this Council continue to monitor its community greenhouse gas emissions/ manage climate change?
A.  No

Q12.   Does this Council publish the annual energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with its operations (units of electricity, gas, transport fuel)?
A.  No

Q13.   Has this Council consulted with the community on ways it is planning to reduce greenhouse emissions? When? How many members of the community attended?
A.  No No formal consultation has been undertaken, although informal consultation happens regularly through community events such as Garden Week, garden workshops and the Sustainability Expo.

Q14.   Has this Council consulted with the community on ways it may adapt to climate change? When? How many members of the community attended?
A.   The Town has consulted the community broadly as part of the Let's Talk Cambridge community engagement program which aims to determine community views and aspirations for the Towns future.

Q15.   Does this Council support community led initiatives for climate change adaptation? (eg Transition Town)
A.   In collaboration with the WeLcome (West Leederville Community and Environment) Group the Town formed Transition Town Cambridge in 2010 to assist in a community led effort to address issues of climate change and fossil fuel depletion. It aims to involve, support and facilitate the community in adapting to climate change and build community resilience. This group has been quiet in the last 12 months however the Town plans to boost interest in the initiative by running a Living Smart course in early 2013.

Q16.   Does this Council have other policies/practices in this category?
A.  No


Waste Management

How this council works towards the goal of zero waste.

Q1.   Does this Council have measures in place to prevent plastic bags from entering the environment? eg removal of bags from pollutant traps, plastic bag bylaws, etc
A.   The next waste and recycling contract has now made plastic bags an allowable product in the recycling bin. This is designed to increase the quality of the feedstock for the Resource Recovery Facility at Neerabup. No legislation is planned.

Q2.   Does this Council provide receptacles just for cigarette butts in public places? Details?
A.   Cambridge is part of the WESROC 'Bin your Butt' initiative aimed at reducing cigarette butt litter. Cigarette butt receptacles can be found at local shops such as Floreat Forum.

Q3.   Does this Council provide its own local drop-off facilities for recycling of spent fluoro globes & tubes, batteries and mobile phones?
A.   Cambridge provides collection points for household batteries and compact fluorescent globes at Floreat Forum, in the corridor leading to the public toilets next to Coles. Household battery bins are also located at the library, Floreat Forum Centre Management and Town's Administration Centre. Mobile phones can be deposited at Allphones in Floreat Forum and at the Administration Centre. Residents can also drop off traditional fluorescent globes and other batteries at the Brockway Transfer Station, the Recycle Centre Balcatta and Tamala Park Recycling Centre.

Q4.   Does this council provide local drop off points for recycling of e-waste? Details?
A.   A large range of E-waste can be disposed of free of charge at Brockway Transfer Station, the Recycle Centre Balcatta and Tamala Park Recycling Centre.

Q5.   Does this Council offer residents financial incentive for reducing their general rubbish? Details?
A.   Council offers residents a financial incentive to reduce bin size from 240L to 120L. This is promoted as a part of the Win Bin/Sin Bin Waste Education Campaign. Recycling bins are provided free of charge. 2011/2012 figures: 240L at $250.00 and $50.00 for a 120L. Plus a reduced rate for the green waste bin when accompanied by a 120L general waste bin..

Q6.   Does this Council offer businesses incentives to reduce general rubbish? Details?
A.  No

Q7.   Does this Council promote recycling within its industrial zone? Details?
A.  No

Q8.   Does this Council collect and compost kitchen waste?
A.  No Under consideration.

Q9.   Does this Council offer practical support for household composting and/or worm farming? Details?
A.   Cambridge provides information to residents on setting up a worm farm or compost bin. During Garden Week and general Town of Cambridge events Mindarie Regional Council provided advice on worm farms and composting and demonstrated how to establish these.

Q10.   Does this Council participate in Resource Recovery Park or tip shop for residents?
A.   Residents of Cambridge are encouraged to use three Resource Recovery locations, these locations are Brockway Transfer Station, Recycle Centre Balcatta and Tamala Park Recycling Centre. Balcatta and Tamala Park both offer a tip shop.

Q11.   Does this Council provide local drop-off points or collection days for HHW (Household Hazardous Waste)?
A.   Cambridge currently holds two HHW collection days a year. If a resident is unable to attend the event and is on the GOPHA (bin collection inside boundaries) list then an Officer of the Town will collect material from their home the week before the event.

Q12.   Does this Council have other policies/practices in this category?
A.   Residents may apply for a second 240L recycling bin or an upgrade to a 360L recycling free of charge. Sporting clubs and community groups are also encouraged to participate in kerbside recycling.


Water Management

How this council assists and educates local businesses and community to conserve water resources.

Q1.   Does this Council support residents to improve their water efficiency? (eg waterwise verges, workshops on waterwise gardening/ food production, rebates). Details?
A.   The Town has a range of strategies to encourage residents to be waterwise including the following: rainwater tank rebates through the Rewards for Residents Scheme, encouragement to establish water wise verges with information and local native guides on the website, workshops on waterwise gardening, community education events and a garden awards scheme that recognises waterwise gardens.

Q2.   Does this Council support businesses to improve their water efficiency? Details?
A.   Council hosts an annual Sustainability Expo for businesses during Sustainable September which showcases water efficiency information, services and products.

Q3.   Does Council support residents to harvest rainwater (e.g. through provision of rebates)? Details?
A.   The Town offers a rebate for rain water tanks as part of the Rebate for Residents Scheme.

Q4.   Does this Council promote and provide support for residents to reuse greywater? How? How many applications from residents have been received?
A.   We don't charge fees for greywater systems and we prioritise the processing of these applications. Around 6 applications annually

Q5.   Does this Council take any other action for water conservation? Details?
A.   The Town has adopted a best practice irrigation strategy which includes improving irrigation systems, improving irrigation scheduling, the introduction of hydrozones (where areas are irrigated differently according to need), improving water penetration and retention with water saving granules, soil conditioners and mulching, the introduction of ecozones (where turf has been replaced with mulched native garden beds in reserves and median strips) and the management of ground water allocation. The 2011/2012 year saw the Town use 24% less ground water than its annual allocation, as determined by the Department of Water. This equates to a saving of 307,400 kilolitres of ground water and compares extremely well against the 2010/2011 result when ground water usage was 8% less than the allocated supply. These results can be attributed to the use of a weather station and hydro-zoning on our parks. The Town has been awarded Waterwise Council Status in recognition of these efforts to use water efficiently. In addition to the irrigation strategy the Town also monitors water use in all of its buildings and has fitted water saving devices/hardware such as water saving shower heads, toilets and taps and waterless urinals.