Working for sustainability
In 2015/16 we made solid progress towards all of our Sydney 2030 sustainability targets. With a healthy budget we provided high quality services and successfully carried out numerous innovative green, cultural, business and community projects. We also built and upgraded facilities such as parks, childcare centres and cycleways.
Here are some of the highlights, or read our annual report.
We launched a network of tactile street signs with more than 2,100 braille and raised letter signs to cover every pedestrian crossing at traffic lights across the city. The network makes it safer and easier for people of all abilities to navigate our streets and when complete, it will be the most comprehensive in Australia. This is a key action in our inclusion (disability) action plan.
Our water reuse project at Sydney Park won top prize at the NSW landscape industry awards and picked up a prestigious design excellence award. We used scenic cascades to create one of the largest stormwater harvesting systems in Australia, while creating a haven for native frogs and birds as well as encouraging bush regeneration.
We completed a $40 million restoration of Sydney Town Hall revitalising the sandstone façade, conserving the clock tower and cleaning and tuning the grand organ. We also seized the opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of this much loved heritage building.
We opened 3 new childcare centres in Alexandria, Annandale and Darlinghurst to meet the needs of an increasing number of children under 5 who live in the local area and workers in the city who need local childcare services.
Our resource recovery team took out a top Green Globe award for its inventive Zero Waste programs that have successfully diverted 69% – about 45,000 tonnes – of household waste from landfill each year, exceeding state-wide targets.
For Sydney New Year's Eve 2015 celebrations, a specially choreographed Welcome to Country was projected onto the Harbour Bridge pylons. The Chinese New Year Festival 2016 was our biggest ever, with more than 1 million visitors going to more than 70 events over 16 days – a 67% increase on the 2015 festival.
Ebsworth Street, inner Sydney's first new main street in more than a century, was completed in the Green Square town centre. Construction is well underway on facilities for the new Green Square community including a new library and plaza, an aquatic centre, many parks and playgrounds, a childcare centre and a creative hub.
We set ourselves ambitious targets for 50% of electricity used in the local area to come from renewable energy by 2030 and for net zero emissions by 2050 in our new Environmental Action 2016–2021 strategy and action plan.
We released our vision of new planning controls for Central Sydney, the most comprehensive urban planning strategy for the city centre in 45 years that will unlock 2.9 million square metres of floor space.
For the first time, 2 new separated cycleways provide a safe 2.5km link through the city centre from Central station to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Around 7,000 people ride to work in the city centre each day – equivalent to 116 buses or 7 trains at capacity.
Signs in our parks now welcome everyone with the words bujari gamarruwa, which mean 'good day' in the language of the Gadigal. The comprehensive project is part of our commitment to continue raising community awareness and understanding of the world's oldest living culture, outlined in our first reconciliation plan.
Last updated: Thursday, 1 December 2016