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Environment

Sustainability

Windmill and solar panels

The City aspires to ensure a healthy and sustainable natural and built environment and this is a reflection of the City of Wanneroo Strategic Community Plan 2017/18 – 2026/27. This community vision has been reflected in the City’s Corporate Business Plan and have resulted in development of  the following documents:

Multiple definitions of sustainability exist and can be interpreted differently by different people. What is important to note, is that sustainability affects and should become a part of every aspect of the professional and personal life of everyone.

Climate change

In May 2021, Council adopted a revised Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy (CCAMS) The strategy helps guide the City in implementing adaptation actions in response to climate change. These actions will minimise the risk to the community from increasing temperature, reduced rainfall, extreme weather events, coastal storm surges and other climate related risks.

Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation Strategy

For more information on the City of Wanneroo's CCAMS and continuing actions in relation to climate change, view our list of Frequently Asked Questions below.

Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy (CCAMS) - Frequently Asked Questions

What does Climate Change mean to the City of Wanneroo?

The main risks associated with climate change include:

  • Increase in temperature
    We have already experienced various effects of changing climate. Wanneroo's average temperature has increased since 1910 and is predicted to continue rising. The frequency of bushfires has increased, and the risk to human life, property, biodiversity, and impacts to human health have all increased.
  • Reduced water availability
    The rise in surface temperatures and decrease in rainfall and water availability will continue to negatively affect agriculture, and this will drive up prices and subsequent impacts on land use, economy and employment.
  • Extreme weather events
    Extreme weather events are expected to increase in frequency and intensity, such as more intense storms, which could also affect agriculture, biodiversity, human life and property. Increase in storm surges would cause beach erosion and damage to coastal facilities.
  • A rise in sea levels
    Sea level rise impacts are likely to be amplified when combined with intensified storm events.

 

What is the City of Wanneroo doing about climate change?

The City, besides implementing the actions outlined in the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy (CCAMS) is addressing climate change through the implementation of various other policies, strategies and plans, including the following:

  • Environment Policy
  • Purchasing Policy
  • Local Environment Strategy
  • Local Biodiversity Plan
  • Waterwise Council Action Plan
  • Coastal Hazard Risk Management Adaptation Plan
  • Waste Plan
  • Bushfire Risk Management Plan

Through its operations, the City also has the ability to influence multiple aspects of climate change, such as improving liveability through ‘place making’, reducing water use through implementation of smart irrigation, reducing waste through waste education, etc. All actions and activities influencing the City’s environmental performance, including its response to climate change risk, will also be reinforced through the provisions of the City’s internal Environmental Management System (currently in preparation).

 

What level of consultation was conducted and what were the main outcomes?

A Youth Forum on Climate Change was held in December 2020, during which local young people engaged in discussions and determined their priorities in relation to the environment and climate change, and to inform the City’s consideration of the revised CCAMS.

A draft Strategy was also advertised for public comment. Young people highlighted the importance of community education in particular, followed by waste and renewable energy/energy efficiency. The City has already been addressing these issues to a degree, and will increase its efforts going forward. The City has for the first time set carbon emissions reduction targets relating to energy, fuel and waste, with various actions planned to address these. Action 6.1 in the strategy will address the improvement of community education and engagement in order to enhance their capacity and ability to deal with the climate change.

 

What are carbon emissions?

Carbon emissions refer to the release of carbon into the atmosphere as well as other greenhouse gases, resulting from human activity.

Since the Industrial Revolution, the burning of fossil fuels (for electricity and transportation) has increased, which directly correlates to the increase of carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere and thus the rapid increase of global warming. While fossil-fuel emissions are the major issue, another major creator of emissions is the destruction of forests, particularly in the tropics. Billions of tons of carbon are stored in trees, and when forests are cleared, much of the vegetation is burned, sending that carbon into the air as carbon dioxide.

 

What is an Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect?

Urban Heat Island effect refers to the situation where built-up areas such as cities, towns or suburbs experience much warmer temperatures than surrounding vegetated or non-built-up areas. This is a result of heat being absorbed and then radiated out by buildings, roads and other hardstand surfaces usually made of dark and heat retaining materials.

The City is preparing an Urban Forest Strategy, which will assess where to prioritise tree planting to increase canopy cover, and is also investigating different road materials that would reduce UHI effect. The City's annual tree planting program consists of planting approximately 3500 new trees in parks, streetscapes and residential verges. Residents can request a free tree to be planted on the verge adjacent to their own property by completing the online Verge tree planting request form.

 

Does the CCAMS set out any targets and what are they?

Yes, the City has for the first time set the following carbon emission reduction targets:

  • Reducing emissions resulting from energy use by City assets. This refers to average 'per asset' emissions from electricty and gas use.
    • 10% reduction by 2024/25 (from 2019/20 levels)
    • 25% reduction by 2029/30 (from 2019/20 levels)
  • Emissions from fuel use by City fleet (diesel and unleaded petrol)
    • Petrol (total emissions for fleet): 25% reduction by 2024/25 (from 2017/18 levels)
    • Diesel (average emission per bin services per year): 25% reduction by 2024/25 (from 2017/18 levels)
  • Waste generation reduction (reducing emissions associated with decomposition of waste - reduce waste generation per capita per year)
    • 10% reduction by 2024/25 (from 2016/17 levels)
    • 20% reduction by 2029/30 (from 2016/17 levels)

 

Why have multiple carbon emission reduction targets, and not one overall target?

Targets need to be challenging but achievable, therefore the need for multiple targets for different categories, as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ would not be effective or practical.

  • In a growing and developing City, it was deemed appropriate to apply an ‘average-per-asset’ target for emissions resulting from energy (electricity and gas) use to be able to account for the future assets with expanding emissions (gross), while at the same time account for existing assets and their progressive emission reductions (through efficiencies, upgrades etc.).
  • With targets for emissions from fuel use by the City’s fleet, it was decided to have a total reduction target for petrol as the Administration has high confidence in the data and control over the use of petrol. Diesel on the other hand is used almost entirely by heavy fleet and is very closely linked to the number of bins picked up by waste trucks, therefore the average emission per bin serviced per year target. This again will account for the increasing number of bins as the population grows within the City.
  • Emissions resulting from waste need to accommodate a range of variables including landfill practices, decomposition rates, legacy emissions etc. Hence a ‘waste reduction per capita per year target was selected.

 

Does the strategy address community actions or only corporate?

The strategy places emphasis on corporate actions of the City with a view to leading by example, as well as undertaking initiatives on matters and activities that local government has control over (e.g. reducing the City’s energy and water use through installation of efficient appliances, solar panels, smart irrigation etc.).

The strategy does have initiatives that will engage with the community and help enhance and strengthen their capacity to respond to climate change challenges (e.g. continue and enhance organising various sustainability and waste education workshops, continue participating in the Switch Your Thinking program, and provide information on what people can do to strengthen their capacity via the City website and other formats).

 

What can people at home do about climate change?

  • Reduce their energy use by choosing more efficient appliances, replacing light bulbs with efficient LED, turning off lights and appliances when not in use.
  • Reduce water use by reducing turfed areas and replacing with waterwise native plants.
  • Reduce amount of waste generated.
  • Support local businesses by purchasing local and sustainably sourced/produced products, or growing their own food if practicable.
  • Retain and plant trees to increase green canopy providing habitat for wildlife and cooling effect.
  • Consider solar passive and sustainability design principles when building a house.
  • Install solar panels and divest from fossil fuels.
  • Fly less, drive less, walk and cycle more and use public transport.

 

How to reduce the impacts of climate change

  • Reduce energy use
  • Reduce water use
  • Reduce amount of waste generated
  • Purchase local and sustainably sourced/produced products 
  • Purchase ‘green’ energy and water efficient products and appliances
  • Grow your own food
  • Support local businesses
  • Retain and plant trees to increase green canopy providing habitat for wildlife and cooling effect
  • Divest from fossil fuels
  • Install solar panels
  • Consider solar passive and sustainability design principles when building a house 

Building a sustainable house in Wanneroo

Local resident Rob Phillips and his wife Rita have poured their hearts into establishing a passive solar house in rural Wanneroo.

The property includes a wide range of sustainable features, from energy efficienct heating and cooling to waste minimisation, rainwater storage, drip irrigation and an edible garden.

Find out more by viewing their home profile on sustainablehouseday.com

Energy

The City has developed an Energy Reduction Plan (ERP) which is currently being implemented. The ERP is a product of the Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation Strategy that has been driven by previous strategic community plans.

Energy Reduction Plan (ERP)

How to reduce energy use (electricity/gas) use and associated emissions

  • Reduce the need for auxiliary heating or cooling through passive design when designing and building your new house.
  • Use ceiling fans, cross ventilation, plant a deciduous tree/s or install a removable shade sail to increase shading.
  • Paint surfaces such as roofs, building facades and pavements with light and highly solar reflective paints and treatments.
  • Set air conditioner at 24-26°C in summer and your heater at 18°C in winter.
  • Adjust fridge thermostat to 4°C and freezer to -18 °C.
  • Set/reduce thermostat value on hot water units, reduce shower time, consider installing a solar hot water system or a heat pump hot water system.
  • Ensure you have a full load when using dish and clothes washers.
  • Consider if you do need to purchase/use a dryer. The sun can dry your clothes and is considered a 'natural sanitizer'. 
  • Turn off lights when not needed.
  • Replace inefficient light globes with efficient ones, such as LED type.
  • Look at the energy rating when purchasing electrical equipment and appliances (the more stars the better).

How to reduce energy and emissions from transport

  • Drive less  - Walk, cycle, use public transport, car-pool.
  • Drive smoother - Plan your route and timing to avoid start-stop and congested traffic, select right gear, don’t accelerate too fast.
  • Avoid idling - Turn your car off while waiting in pick-up/ drop-off zones.
  • Keep tyres inflated to a correct level - Deflated tyres increase drag and reduce fuel efficiency, also make sure alignment is correct.
  • Maintain vehicle in good working order - Ensure vehicle is serviced regularly and is in good condition.
  • Upgrade to a more fuel-efficient vehicle - Go electric, hybrid or a vehicle with good fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.

Other helpful resources

Water

Rainfall in WA has been declining since the 1970s, which means we have to work together to reduce water use and reuse water.

Waterwise logo

The City of Wanneroo is participating in the Waterwise Council Program and has developed a Waterwise Council Action Plan endorsed by council in September 2019. The City submitted its application in October 2019 and worked on getting the Aquamotion accredited as a Waterwise Aquatic Centre as one of the criteria for the Gold status. In January 2020 the Aquamotion was accredited as a Waterwise Aquatic Centre, which in February 2020 allowed the City to be endorsed and recognised as a Gold Waterwise Council for 2020. 

Urban Water Management Local Planning Policy

The City has also produced the Draft Revised Local Planning Policy 4.4: Urban Water Management which ensures structure plans, subdivisions and development applications within the City of Wanneroo optimise the use and management of water resources including rainwater, stormwater, groundwater, drinking water and wastewater. 

How to reduce water use at home

  • A greywater system can help you save water by irrigating your garden with water from the bath, shower, washing machine, and laundry trough. Some systems are also approved to use water from kitchen sink. Installation of a greywater system in your home requires approval by the City and there are legislative requirements you need to be aware of.
    Follow the simple steps to installing a domestic greywater system:
  • Limit your shower time to 4 minutes.
  • Install water efficient showerheads.
  • Install flow restrictors/ efficient taps.
  • Install dual flush toilets.
  • Look out for and fix water leaks.
  • Install rainwater tanks for watering the garden.
  • Install rainwater tanks to offset scheme water use in the house (toilet flushing or laundry).
  • Plant native and waterwise plants (https://www.watercorporation.com.au/save-water/waterwise-plants-search).
  • Reduce lawn areas/ replace with native/waterwise ground covers.
  • Apply mulch to reduce evaporation (can assist with suppressing weeds).
  • Follow your watering day roster and do not water during sprinkler bans (https://www.watercorporation.com.au/save-water/watering-days).
  • Ensure your watering system is efficient and free from leaks.
  • Look at the water efficiency rating when purchasing toilet and bathroom fixtures (the more stars the better).

Other helpful resources

Waste and Recycling

The City of Wanneroo is focussed on facilitating an approach to effective and efficient waste management solutions. The City strives to minimise waste to landfill by providing opportunities for the community to reduce their personal waste generation and keep recyclable material out of landfill. 

How to reduce waste at home

  • Limit your use of single-use items and choose those which can be used again.
  • Choose products that come with minimal packaging
  • Put a No Junk Mail sticker on your letterbox
  • Choose to reuse by buying second-hand
  • When building or renovating, consider your design and opt for recycled materials.
  • Check wanneroo.wa.gov.au/wasteatoz for a comprehensive list of how to dispose of your unwanted items responsibly
  • Compost your organic waste

Other helpful resources