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Soil and Erosion
 

'Get the Site Right’ Blitz

As part of a group of local councils across Sydney and the Hunter Coast, Georges River will be inspecting development sites of all sizes and taking regulatory action where appropriate sediment and erosion control measures are not being implemented. The blitz aims to educate builders and developers on the important role they play in protecting our waterways, foreshore recreational areas and marine life.

A protected environment is one of the six pillars of the Georges River Community Strategic plan.

Sand, soil and cement from building sites is a major cause threat to our aquatic environment. When these materials enter our waterways, it affects aquatic flora and fauna and can block stormwater pipes, leading to increased flooding.

It's very important for developers, builders and home renovators to know their responsibilities when it comes to proper erosion and sediment control measures. There are many benefits to implementing measures to prevent pollution from building sites, these include:

  • Reduced impact on aquatic and marine ecosystems and improved waterway health
  • Improved water quality and visual amenity of our waterways
  • Less sedimentation/pollution in our waterways, improving the environment for  fishing, boating, swimming, surfing and other recreational activities
  • Improved on-site drainage and improved working conditions, especially in wet weather
  • Better site presentation to the public
  • Reduction in complaints, clean-up costs and Council fines,

 

Developers, builders and home renovators

Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO), allowing materials, including sediment or sediment laden water to enter a waterway including street gutters, stormwater drains, swales or creek lines (flowing or not) is considered to be water pollution.

Development Consents also contain conditions requiring sediment and erosion controls to be implemented during development works. If consent conditions are not complied with, this is a breach of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Due to the serious consequences of pollution offences, both pieces of legislation outlined above, provide for Council to take enforcement action. Enforcement action includes, but is not limited to, the issuing of notices, orders, on the spot fines or undertaking court prosecutions. 

It is the responsibility of owner, developer and/or sub-contractors to ensure that the development is being carried out in accordance with development consent and/or applicable legislation.

If you are conducting a development and have questions about your controls please contact the appointed certifier for the development for advice. Alternatively refer to or the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s ‘Blue Book’ for detailed rules and guidelines or download a quick summary of the facts. The Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils website also contains other relevant information which may assist.
 

Members of the Public

We all play a part in protecting our waterways. You can report pollution incidents, including poor sediment control call us on 02 9330 6400.

Due to the nature of pollution, it is sometimes difficult for our officers to respond in time to witness the incident occurring. It is helpful for our officers to have as much information as possible and any assistance from the public is appreciated. Assistance can be in the form of taking notes (including time and date) detailing observations including persons responsible (company names on vehicles or number plates) and/or providing photos/video of the incident.

Council treats all reports seriously as pollution affects our environment and penalties for those responsible for pollution are severe. Reports will be investigated in accordance with Enforcement Policy and appropriate action taken.
 

Get the Site Right

Council participates in the annual ‘Get the Site Right’ program, which enforces best practice soil erosion and sediment controls on building sites. The program aims to protect our environment, particularly our waterways.
 
‘Get the Site Right’ is a joint program between the Cooks River Alliance, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), Georges Riverkeeper, NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Parramatta River Catchment Group, Sydney Coastal Councils Group, local Sydney councils and Lake Macquarie Council.


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