Sunday the 11th saw the heavens open with a storm that would make Thor himself feel right at home. But we Sydneysiders are made of sterner stuff than that so the storm failed to dampen the excitement which built as we once again entered the historic Sydney Town Hall, through the vestibule (noted as one of the most significant Victorian interiors in the country) and into the utterly beguiling Centennial Hall.
Each guest was greeted personally by the Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore MP, given a glass of fizz and a some nibbles and ushered deep into the capacious room dominated by the largest Pipe Organ in Australia. Indeed when it was installed in 1890, it was the largest organ in the world.
The City of Sydney organist bashed out a few tunes with a distinctly Christmassy flavour washed down with yet more champers and nibbles. Many of you are surprised that we support Clover and the work done by the City of Sydney because she is thought to be anti-car but nothing could be further from the truth. In her “Welcome Speech” she repeated once again that she wants Sydney’s roads free for all it’s citizens and visitors and that they not be dominated by cars, buses, bikes or trams, but rather be shared equally for all.
The city is also installing charging points for electric cars, and bike racks as well as cycle and walking tracks. The charging points may well be powered by Tri-Generation or solar directly so your Holden Volt would charge for $2.50 and run for 80k’s on the sun alone. Perhaps this is something we could use for apartment buildings on the city fringe.
We’ve included the full speech below as well as the video presentation (thanks Nick), for those who like a bit more detail visit the City of Sydney website on any of the links above.
Some of you might know Clover as our Lord Mayor and some as the MP for Sydney and both jobs come with a car. Indeed most Lord Mayors enjoy a V8 limo sucking down vast swathes of Saudi Arabia just to nip out for a sliced loaf, so what does Clover drive, a humble Toyota Prius of course!
COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS RECEPTION
11 December 2011, 2pm — Town Hall
Hello, everyone, and welcome. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nationalities who make up this great city of ours.
I’d also acknowledge City Councillors here this afternoon (list by name) and Monica Barone, CEO of City of Sydney.
This afternoon is an opportunity to thank you for your support and contribution and to give you an update on our work this year. I’m pleased you could be here to celebrate with us the end to a very busy and productive year.
We are on track to achieve our ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets—70 per cent less than 2006 levels by 2030. This year, our organisation was officially endorsed as Australia’s first carbon-neutral council.
The City strongly supported a price on carbon, which will give greater certainty in the shift to renewable energy sources. The passage of the legislation was an enormous relief and I commend the Federal Members who acted responsibly and voted for our future.
During 2011, we’ve worked through complex technical and tendering processes for innovative sustainable energy, water efficiency and waste plans.
Just this week, Council endorsed a preferred contractor to provide greener local energy through tri-generation. We are working to establish low-carbon precincts at Green Square, on the CUB site and UTS, and at Town Hall. This could expand to Martin Place and, we hope, to Barangaroo.
Council has also approved a contract to install low-energy LEDs on 6,500 street lights, following an 18 month trial that demonstrated LEDs can halve energy use and pay for themselves in around 12 years.
I’m told that other local councils in NSW are watching our work closely and we hope that Ausgrid (formerly Energy Australia) will follow with installation on its 12,400 lights in our area.
Building retrofits have reduced carbon emissions by 17 per cent across our property portfolio since 2006 and we have signed up to a full portfolio refit that will reduce emissions by 20 per cent.
And we are two years ahead on our waste targets to divert two thirds of household waste from landfill by directing it to recycling and composting.
As part of our promotion of recycling, we joined the national Garage Sale Trail in April, hosting two trails in Surry Hills and Glebe. We’ll expand that across the whole City next year.
We welcome the State Government commitment a light-rail network along George Street, through the City and into surrounding areas, and we’ve set aside $180 million for public domain improvements in George Street when light rail proceeds.
This will be one of the most important projects that will transform our city —culturally, environmentally and economically—for coming decades.
Meanwhile, we’ve completed the Kent Street bike route connecting Pyrmont with the Harbour Bridge (our “Bridge to Bridge” route) and the Bourke Street cycleway (“the Woop”) from Woolloomooloo to Waterloo, including stunning landscaping that sets the standard for our major walking and cycling routes.
Council has endorsed design for a separated cycleway on Wentworth Avenue from Liverpool Street to Elizabeth Street — which will link College Street through Prince Alfred Park and on to Redfern and south.
Cyclists are helping minimise congestion, which costs the economy $4.8 billion annually—and is set to nearly double to $8 billion by 2020 if we do nothing. Cycling has increased by 60% this year.
We know cycling is not for everyone, but we need to make it safe and via