Blacktown City Council
Represented by Tony Bleasdale OAM, Mayor
How does your organisation address climate change?
Blacktown City Council's climate actions are guided by our Responding to Climate change policy and accompanying strategy with its annually updated action plan. Council has committed to achieving operational carbon neutrality from the 2020/21 financial year and we are preparing to seek accreditation through Climate Active, the Australian Government standard for carbon neutrality.
Additionally Council has a target of zero net emissions for our community by 2040. As members of Cities Power Partnership, we report on our actions, and as members of the Global Covenant of Mayors, we report via the international CDP platform. In 2020/2021 we achieved the following toward our policy commitments:
- Doubled our rooftop solar with another 709kW solar generation capacity added via an onsite power purchase agreement. Each year, this is expected to reduce our electricity use by 795,000 kWh and 563 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
- Retrofitted the Civic Centre car park lighting with high lux LED lamps.
- Replaced Blacktown Leisure Centre Stanhope gas boilers with electric heat pumps, providing an initial reduction in our annual gas consumption from 16.5TJ to 12TJ
- Continued our partnerships with; UNSW on site-specific interventions for urban cooling to inform the upgrade of Dawson Mall, Mount Druitt; Sydney Water to employ a Water Efficiency Officer to assist Council and Blacktown City businesses to reduce potable water consumption.
- Won the ‘Communication, education and empowerment’ category award in the LGNSW Excellence in the environment awards for our climate change communication strategy
- Completed several tree planting projects, including; 1,937 under our ‘Five Million Trees for Greater Sydney Grant’ NSW Government grant project; Tree-rific Playgrounds, a partnership with NRMA Insurance to plant 100 trees adjacent to 10 playgrounds; Two Community Environment Program grant projects, which provided community urban cooling tree and vegetation planting on selected Council sites
- Supported an electrical easement that will facilitate Endeavour Energy to conduct a community battery trial that will improve the resilience of the electricity grid.
- Collaborated regionally in Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils’; Urban Heat Planning toolkit, which addresses urban heat through the land use planning system, with recommendations for establishing planning provisions; ‘Heat Smart’, which aims to provide a coordinated approach to heatwave preparedness and management through cross-sector collaboration, upskilling frontline staff, and community education.
What is your organisation doing to create a better future?
In 2021/2022, we have committed to taking the following main climate actions:
- Retrospectively achieving Climate Active accreditation as a carbon-neutral organisation for 2020/21
- Retrofitting with LEDs our remaining streetlights that use older less efficient lamps
- Finalise our Environmentally Sustainable Building Policy for Council buildings, to include; environmental performance standards; a rating guidance tool; a system for compliance o technical and product specifications for products and services.
- Finalising our draft Zero Emissions Blacktown strategy to guide urban planning approaches and provisions that minimise emissions and provide strong mitigation of the impacts of urban heat
- Trialling our heat refuge network to provide safe, cool places for residents who are most at risk from the ill-health impacts of heatwaves, especially the elderly, young children and those with chronic illness or disabilities who do not have access to air conditioning
- Finalising the Blacktown City climate risk and adaptation plan
Read more about Blacktown City Council’s climate commitments here.