Message from the CEO
Welcome to the December edition of EPA Connect with our focus on assisting community.
NSW EPA CEO Tony Chappel
While the year may be drawing to a close for some, the high paced work of the EPA continues unabated. We round out this year still on the front lines dealing with floods while making great strides in issues that are close to our heart and which will set the agenda in the years to come.
The flood events of 2022 are still front of mind after the recent inundation of central western NSW communities. Once again, we have established another incident management team to deal with the massive clean up to follow, working closely with our government colleagues to help people get back on their feet.
The work we do in flood affected areas matters to those communities, as I saw last month when I visited Lismore to announce new funding for contaminated land. Visiting the front lines of one of the most catastrophic floods in our history and seeing the change that has taken place since that disaster highlighted for me the important role we play in the process of recovery.
But our role is not just in the here and now – although that is vital work – it is also vital for the sustainability of NSW long into the future.
Our recently established Environment Youth Advisory Council is an important area where we are looking ahead, this time through the eyes and with the support of the next generation. Working with the Council ensures our decisions and plans are informed by those who are likely to be most affected by these decisions.
Last month at NSW Parliament House we had an inspiring and productive meeting with the Minister and the Council members where we discussed a wide range of topics from climate change policy to forming community partnerships and we finalised our first Youth Engagement Strategy.
You can read more about this, access the strategy and see the short video here.
The discussion we had with the Youth Council touched on some of the challenges that we face at the EPA and which are highlighted in our
Among the many challenges of this year there have also been some triumphs. One of those highlights is the successful campaign that launched the single-use plastic bans. It’s a great early step in moving towards our goal of a circular economy and we expect to see those bans extended further in the coming years.
As we all know, significant changes at a state-wide scale never happen without community support in big and small ways. I encourage you to join me in playing your part to support the latest single-use plastics ban by making changes to your choices and behaviours and encouraging your family and friends to do the same.
And talking about the festive season, you really should check out the great tips we provide for preventing food waste. Some of the solutions are absolutely delicious.
I would like to wish you all a wonderful end to the year and an enjoyable festive season. It’s a time to sit back, look on all we have achieved and indulge for a little bit after the extraordinary year that has been 2022. Stay safe and well. I look forward to seeing you all again in 2023.
Chief Executive Officer, NSW EPA