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Builders and keen DIY residents urged to get their site right as home renovations increase during COVID-19


As a member council of Georges Riverkeeper, Georges River Council is actively supporting the Get the Site Right campaign.

An increase in home renovation and DIY projects during the COVID-19 isolation period as well as several large construction projects that are expected to commence in coming months kicked off the campaign.

The Get the Site Right campaign in June will increase awareness of the dangers of runoff from building sites impacting the environment and encourage developers, builders and home renovators to implement appropriate erosion and sediment controls.

Developments of all sizes will be monitored by councils and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) as part of the month-long campaign.

Get the Site Right is a joint program between Georges Riverkeeper, the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG), Cooks River Alliance, Sydney Coastal Councils Group, Lake Macquarie Council, NSW EPA, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and local councils. It is in its fifth year.

Environment Minister Matt Kean said that regardless of the project size, implementing proper erosion and sediment controls is key to protecting our waterways.

“Whether you’re a home renovator who’s laying new paving or a developer building a 20-storey apartment block, it’s important that you prevent runoff from leaving your site,” Mr Kean said.

“When sediments such as sand or soil and other building materials are washed down stormwater drains and into our waterways, it not only degrades water quality it can destroy aquatic habitats by smothering native plants and animals that live there.

“It also can block stormwater drains leading to flooding and overflows.”

Peter Ryan, Georges Riverkeeper Program Manager said, “Developers, builders and home renovators have the opportunity to contribute to the health of local waterways by managing sediment on site to prevent run-off entering drains and waterways.”

“Every building site, regardless of size, must ensure they have controls in place to help improve river health for the entire community and to the benefit of the environment.”

Georges River Council Mayor Kevin Greene said that last year the campaign found over one-third of sites were non-compliant, however he is hopeful that improvements will continue to be made with increased awareness.

“Last year’s Get the Site Right initiative saw a 13% improvement in compliance compared with the previous year, so the message is definitely getting out there, and residents and builders are increasingly aware of their responsibilities,” Mayor Greene said.

Sediment discharges affect our environment and waterways by:
  • Destroying aquatic habitats and smothering native plants and animals that live in our waterways.
  • Directly polluting creeks and rivers by filling them with dirt, soil, sand and mud. This leads to poor water quality, affecting swimming or leisure activities in waterways.
  • Blocking stormwater drains leading to flooding and overflows.
  • Eroding creek and riverbanks.
Members of the public can report poor sediment control on building sites to their local council, and other pollution incidents to the EPA's 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555.

More information about the campaign and the importance of erosion and sediment control is available at:

Georges Riverkeeper media enquiries Peter Ryan Program Manager Email: Phone: 0439 629 698

EPA media enquiries: Lisa Power
Senior Public Affairs Officer, Public Affairs and Communications
Phone: (02) 8275 1567 / 0408 028 756
24-hour Media Line: 9995 6415
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