Industry and Commercial Environmental Management
The Hills Shire contains a wide variety of industry types ranging from industries such as mechanical workshops/smash repairs and warehousing to agricultural based industries such as nurseries and market gardens. Each industry type has specific environmental issues that need to be addressed.
In NSW the environmental impacts for most activities are regulated by either the Environmental Protection Authority or Councils through the provisions of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act, 1997.
Councils have a responsibility as a regulatory authority in regards to the environment and, as such, are working with industry to improve work practices and facilities to prevent environmental harm.
Council is currently delivering a program to local businesses, to work in partnership with them to improve their sustainability performance called Enviro-Smart Business Program.
Agricultural Based Industry
Agricultural industry is scattered throughout much of the Shire's rural land, however with urban expansion, it is gradually shrinking to the northern areas of the Shire.
Council completed a project with the EPA and Warringah Council which involved reviewing the environmental practices of wholesale and production nurseries. It involved site inspections throughout the Shire and, for most sites, works were required to improve the environmental performance of the business. The process is undertaken in an educational, rather than regulatory manner, working with the operators to reduce any environmental impacts. Following the success of this project Council will be examining other agricultural industries such as market gardens, retail nurseries and landscape suppliers.
There are five main industrial areas within the Shire located at Castle Hill, Northmead, North Rocks, Rouse Hill and Winston Hills. They range in size, the largest at Castle Hill contains approximately 850 premises to Winston Hills which contains 10 premises. In addition, the industrial zone at Rouse Hill is relatively undeveloped at this time but is likely to provide for industry growth in the future. All of these areas are zoned for light industry and there are no areas within the Shire zoned for heavy industry.
Council's current programs are conducted in an educational, rather than regulatory manner and are aimed at improving work practices and the facilities of industry in order to protect the environment.
Council's Own Activities
Council is making efforts to improve its environmental practices and performance.
Environmental audits of Council's facilities are carried out by trained internal staff and the Department of Environment and Climate Change on a regular basis.
Council also is working hard to reduce its water and energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, so that our ecological footprint is minimised.
For further information about Council's inspection program contact Council's Health & Environment Protection section on 9843 0555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information and publications about specific industries can be obtained on the Department of Environment and Climate Change's website www.environment.nsw.gov.au
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