From aquatic centres and children’s playgrounds to parks and roads, councils in NSW are overseeing billions in infrastructure projects across our communities in 2024.
For those overseeing these projects, it’s crucial to ensure that each phase of construction is conducted safely and responsibly to protect our communities and environment. Here are three ways local councils can proactively manage environmental needs in 2024.
Pre-plan with environmental investigations
Before a new development proposal triggers an environmental investigation of a land site, councils have the opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of potential soil, groundwater, and structural contamination risks.
Developing a current and detailed understanding of your land profile can help councils to make decisions on new Development Applications (DAs), especially large commercial and industrial projects.
Engaging a local environmental services provider for a Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) will identify potential areas of concern, such as contamination from historical activities, asbestos presence and other hazards. A PSI provides a professional assessment that details the types, extent and and scope of contamination.
Understanding the location and extent of contamination on council land helps you determine the acceptable contamination levels for intended use. This approach enables councils to identify suitable projects for the current land profile, areas that need remediation and further testing, and sections of land that are not viable for development.
Put a stop to timeline creep on environmental investigations
You should also expect your environmental provider to be immediately transparent about contamination found on site. Our consultants have been able to identify areas of environmental concern on site that were not included in the original scope of work. We believe that addressing and remediating contamination before conducting any report is the fastest way to validate a site, and we will always inform our clients of this. We inform clients that addressing and remediating contamination before we conducted our report would be the fastest way to validate their site. This level of transparency is helpful to plan for construction, conduct necessary remediation and keep projects on track.
Environmental service providers win tenders for extended timelines, locking in Council partnerships. Councils must keep a gauge on what was scoped, what’s been delivered and any additional requests. We understand that there will always be unforeseen environmental issues that arise, but a comprehensive investigation from the start should identify any major issues of environmental concern. Environmental providers should work within allocated budgets and timelines as agreed without constant requests for unscoped issues and funding.
Raise the expectations for your environmental partner
The environmental needs for NSW councils can become complicated with the wrong partner. Your environmental services provider should:
- Have the ability to meet local Council requirements.
- Invest in long-term relationships with all Council members.
- Have existing environmental knowledge of the local area.
- Bring expert insight on environmental solutions that have worked for other Councils.
- Hold the latest qualifications.
- Expertise on hand to meet any environmental issue.
NEO Consulting has served clients across Greater Sydney and NSW for the last 10 years. Our local team holds a deep knowledge of NSW councils, submitting hundreds of PSI and DSI reports that successfully met Council requirements. Every environmental report we submit is reviewed by a certified Environmental Practitioner (CEnvP) and our samples are only tested in NATA accredited laboratories.
NEO Consulting is ISO certified for our environmental sustainability, safety and procedures, showing our commitment to environmental excellence. We are friendly, local and ready to support your council needs in 2024.