Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC has announced the 2018–21 Council Regional Capacity Building Program to fund contaminated land experts in regional areas to help with contaminated site management and provide a local source of advice, is now open for applications.
Central Coast Council and all Hunter Councils are eligible to apply.
“The program will provide added expertise to help councils manage contamination and safeguard community wellbeing,” Mr MacDonald said.
“The program is flexible to meet the needs of regional councils, providing funding for the placement of council officers with contaminated land expertise or for NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) contaminated land officers based in regional EPA offices.”
The EPA regulates contaminated sites where the contamination is significant enough to warrant regulation. Contaminated sites that are not regulated by the EPA are managed by local councils through land-use planning processes.
Activities that will be funded include the development of contaminated land policies, procedures and registers, and workshops for council staff to help with identifying and managing contaminated sites.
The officers can also help with planning the handover of responsibilities for Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS) to councils.
The EPA will continue as the appropriate regulatory authority for UPSS matters up to 31st August 2019, after which councils will take over this role. The EPA will continue to work with councils to ensure integrated management and regulatory oversight of fuel handling and storage systems.
The program is only available to regional organisations of councils or groups of three or more regional councils. The NSW EPA is funding up to 10 hours of assistance for each eligible applicant, to help them develop their application.
The Council Regional Capacity Building grants provide funding of up to $140,000 to all regional organisations of councils or groups of three or more regional councils. A maximum of ten officers will be appointed, with a maximum funding of $1.4 million available.
Applications close on 17th July. To learn more about the program and application process visit https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/working-together/grants/council-regional-capacity-building-program.