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Sustainable Cities Award winners announced

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Sustainability

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The City of Canada Bay in Sydney has won the Australian Sustainable Cities Award for 2009.

The announcement was made last week at Parliament House in Canberra, by Keep Australia Beautiful National Chairman Don Chambers and Senator Ursula Stephens. The City of Canada Bay was praised for its proactive and innovative approach in engaging the community to reduce its eco footprint.

The Sustainable Cities Awards celebrate local sustainability achievements of urban communities across all Australian states and territories. Previous winners include the Melton Shire and the City of Frankston, both from Victoria. This is the first time a city in New South Wales has won the national award.

This year, it was Canada Bay's "comprehensive approach to creating a more sustainable city" that saw it take out the award, said competition judge Sean Rooney.

"They have successfully combined a strong vision, holistic and inclusive planning, and effective on-ground actions to demonstrate real impact and results," he said.

Canada Bay's Walk/Shop/Wheel program received particular attention from the judges. By distributing wheelie bags to individuals who have committed to walking or riding to local shops, the program reduces carbon emissions and encourages people to get fit at the same time.

Energy use has also been reduced in Canada Bay by 15 to 20 per cent after the installation of solar lighting in parks and the implementation of a lighting management system at 17 local sports fields.

The city's Water Savings Action Plan, which was developed with a portable water use reduction target of 40 per cent, has also been successful. Already a local hockey park has recycled over 6.5 million litres of water in the past 18 months, and the Powell Creek Reserve Stormwater Harvesting project is saving 2 million litres of water each year.

Even the local library has many energy reduction features in place including carbon neutral carpet, natural ventilation incorporated into the air conditioning system, solar panels to pre-heat water, and energy efficient lighting. It also has Powermates for loan which measure the greenhouse gas emissions created by household appliances.

While Canada Bay was the overall winner of this year's Sustainable Cities Awards, other category winners included Ipswich in Queensland for environmental innovation and protection, Port Adelaide in South Australia for resource recovery and waste management and Hobsons Bay in Victoria for community action.