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How do the new Mulch Order and Exemption 2016 Impact on Councils’ tree maintenance operations?

Many local councils have long established practices to process tree clippings from its tree maintenance operations through its wood chipping machine into leaf and woodchip. As part of the pasteurisation process, the leaf and woodchip is then stockpiled in concrete bays for months and turned over and hosed on a regular basis. The finished mulch product will then be used as surface mulch to suppress weeds on councils’ gardens in parks, reserves and street scape plantings. Some councils also regularly supply this mulch to local schools and residents, sometimes free of charge.

  • New Resource Recovery Orders and Exemptions
  • On 25 July 2016 the Environment Protection Authority issued the revised Resource Recovery Orders and Resource Recovery Exemptions under clause 93 of the Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Regulation 2014 to replace Raw Mulch Order 2014 and Raw Mulch Exemption The new orders impose the requirements that must be met by suppliers of mulch to which ‘the mulch exemption 2016’ applies. The new orders also make distinction between non-pasteurised mulch and pasteurised mulch.
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Amalgamated Local Councils – Stronger Communities Fund

The NSW Government created the ‘Stronger Communities Fund’ to assist amalgamated local councils begin the delivery of projects to improve community infrastructure and services.

Stronger Communities Fund Grants

Grants available are $10 Million for councils formed as a result of two Councils merging.  $15 Million is available where three or more Councils merged.

Up to $1 Million of the grant to is available to be allocated to incorporated not-for-profit Community Groups, while the rest of the money is to be spent on infrastructure and services.

Criteria & Assessment

The Stronger Communities Guidelines assist Councils to allocate grants by providing criteria to select community grants, criteria to assess projects and a list of ineligible projects.

Major Projects that are prioritised for funding must:

  • have been through a community consultation process;
  • demonstrate social and/or economic benefits to the community;
  • consider issues of sustainability and equity across the broader community;
  • demonstrate project feasibility and value for money, including full lifecycle costs;
  • did not have funds allocated by the former councils; and
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