growing a GreenER bayside
We will work with Bayside Council to implement policies designed to optimise the wellbeing of the people and the environment in Bayside. Our policies embrace climate action and improvements to our green spaces.
Our goals include:
Empowering electric change, including through solar farming;
Improving biodiversity, including in high rise areas, and community supported bee hives and animal habitat;
Implementing urban food farms, greater bushcare, a significant tree register and Renew Co-ops to aid sustainability;
Addressing problems with synthetic fields preferencing the adoption of new generation natural turf fields.
we need to act now
The pandemic has seen a marked increase in appreciation and demand for well-maintained and accessible public spaces. As Bayside increases in density and population, urban green spaces become increasingly important for community, sustainability and wellbeing. The current urbanisation processes and policies of Council are being compounded by climate change. For instance, the heat island effect is increasing pressure on the need for tree canopy preservation and urban vegetation. Well-maintained green spaces are an essential element for human wellbeing and creating sustainable cities.
Bayside has the lowest tree canopy coverage of urban NSW, and one of the lowest ratios of open spaces available to its residents. Litter in our public spaces and waterways causes a plethora of environmental problems and degrades outdoor places. We have a large number of synthetic fields that need close monitoring to minimise their environmental impacts and potential harm to our children.
We urgently need to unite to address these problems and others in the face of continuing climate change. Where there are problems there are also opportunities for positive change.
Empowering Electric Change
Drafting a climate change mitigation plan is the first step to empowering Bayside to do what it can to reduce the effects of climate change. This plan will facilitate investigations by Council into options for procuring all of its electricity needs from affordable and reliable renewable sources.
We would like to see Council implement strategies for:
Ensuring that all new public buildings and facilities are energy positive;
Incorporating access to electric vehicle charging facilities into its planning;
Prioritising the use of rechargeable vehicles, tools and equipment;
Implementing a solar farming or solar co-op electricity offset scheme that allows locals to get involved in and benefit from centralised solar power generation even when they can’t install solar generation in their own home. Such as the Haystacks solar garden project about.
Keeping our residents and environment healthy and safe is a Peaceful Bayside core value. The design, structure and construction of synthetic fields have numerous environmental impacts including exposure to chemicals and microplastics. We advocate for properly maintained, next generation natural turf fields, whilst ensuring existing synthetic fields are safely maintained.
We want to ensure that Bayside Council:
Finds ways to ensure the hundreds of square metres of current synthetic material does not prematurely end up in landfill;
Develops and implements an intelligent maintenance program for current fields that prioritises the use of environmentally sustainable practices, such as the use of organic infill;
Ensured any elements of the fields that prove to be toxic are adequately addressed;
Prioritises the use of new generation natural turf fields that are maintained to a standard acceptable to our sportspeople;
Optimises access to the playing fields for a broad range of sporting clubs and for residents and passive users.
Improving Our Biodiversity
Peaceful Bayside endorses the preservation and improvement of our natural habitat through ongoing maintenance of our green spaces and wetlands. Our community consultation indicates that Bayside Council has not given enough attention to the maintenance of natural spaces in our LGA, especially following the construction of large infrastructure projects (such as the airport) and private developments that negatively impact our environment.
We therefore support the implementation of a Council-employed bush regeneration team that will take pride in undertaking works to improve our green spaces. Bush regeneration is the rehabilitation of bushland from a weed degraded area to a healthier community of native plants and animals that strengthens the system’s natural regeneration processes. This is usually done by reducing the effect of weeds and other problem issues like erosion and soil disturbance.
We have so much natural beauty in Bayside. Why not help protect and restore Bayside's beautiful wetlands, bushland and foreshore reserves for future generations by becoming a Bushcare volunteer today? Peaceful Bayside has initiated a Bushcare Team that we are keen to expand! We’d love to see more active volunteers get involved in regeneration projects in all Bayside wards. Bayside Council’s current bushcare projects only span a small area of five local reserves: Lambert Road Reserve, Bardwell Park; Hawthorne Street Natural Area, Ramsgate; Binnamittalong Gardens, Bexley; Sir Joseph Banks Park, Botany; and Stotts Reserve, Bexley North.
Is there another local area you think could use the help of a Bushcare group? If you would like to start a Bushcare group in your area, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, as we would like to see more active Bushcare groups across the entire Bayside LGA.
Urban Food Forest
Peaceful Bayside will further investigate and work towards helping Council create our own urban farm, in the footsteps of the City of Sydney Council. Gardening and being outside in green spaces have been invaluable to the Bayside community during recent lockdowns. Bayside community members have worked together in the past to create impressive community gardens. All over Sydney, we are witnessing a growing trend of urban small-scale farming. Utilising the methods of urban agriculture and sustainable food production, Sydney City Farm has become a place to learn about sustainable food production, growing fresh seasonal produce and minimising waste using organic growing principles.
Rooftop Gardens and Green Walls
Peaceful Bayside wants Bayside Council to research opportunities for rooftop gardens and green walls in public buildings and spaces. Rooftop gardens increase biodiversity, absorb sound pollution and carbon dioxide, and diffuse the heat island effect in our cities. Roof gardens can be up to four degrees lower in temperature than roofs without a garden. Not only do these green spaces look great, studies also find these spaces improve mental health and general wellbeing.
We are also interested to see a greater emphasis on requiring new developments to implement solutions such as these and other greening solutions, including a priority on the maintenance of significant trees and improvements to available tree canopies.
Community Supported Beehives and Animal Habitats
If your property or rooftop can support a garden, it may also support some of our precious pollinators with the use of urban bee hives.
Peaceful Bayside encourages the thoughtful installation and utilisation of hives and animal habitats in our community through measures such as installing hollow logs for nesting boxes inside existing trees across our nature reserves. and habitat chainsaw carvings that Council staff can be trained to install.
Did you know the average tree canopy cover in Bayside is only 13.7% of land area. This is the lowest level of tree canopy shading in urban NSW. We pledge to support continued expansion of the Greening Bayside program.
In the suburbs of Banksmeadow, Eastgardens, Hillsdale, Mascot, Kyeemagh and Sans Souci, less than 10% of land is currently shaded by trees.
In 2019, Bayside Council began participating in the NSW Government's 5 million Trees for Greater Sydney program to co-fund $200,000 for tree planting. Peaceful Bayside is keen to implement a thoughtful expansion of this program with hundreds of trees planted across our LGA.
Send us an email if you know of areas where you would like to see more trees planted.
Benchmarking Australia’s Urban Tree Canopy: An i-Tree Assessment, Final Report
Significant Tree Register
Peaceful Bayside is engaging with Bayside Council to establish a Significant Tree Register. The goal of the register is to identify and recognise the importance of significant trees in our LGA, to guide the management of these trees and to ensure their protection for future generations. The register would also serve as a public record of all significant trees removed and the reason for their removal.
Renew Bayside Co-ops
Peaceful Bayside supports community co-ops that are aligned with council and community values, such as co-op stores for trading locally produced food, arts, craft and clothing. We intend to support people in the community to establish such co-ops.
We support the return and expansion of more Council endorsed workshops and training for sustainable skills, such as the current award-winning compost workshops, permaculture gardening, bee keeping, native wildlife care and bush foods awareness.
Imagine having our very own local film festival that deals with important topics such as human rights, health, environment, education and technology, or our very own regular garage sale trail!
Keep an eye out for our waste and waterways policies to be released soon!
These policies will complement this
Greener Bayside Policy, exploring new technologies such as Seabins