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Capturing local government development/planning activities in aspect register

#1
Hi,
I'm working on developing an EMS for a local government. I developed 5 themes (flora & fauna, water, land & waste, fire air & energy, community & heritage) I then had a list of impacts & benefits associated which each theme. From there I have identified the impacts/benefits associated with operational activities the local government undertakes (eg. mowing, refuelling, collecting bins, tree planting). That has been going ok.

However I now want to capture the non-physical activities of the local government and the way that influences the environment. eg. decisions on development approvals, or development of the local planning scheme. Its been doing my head in trying to work out how to capture them and these activities have a major impact on the environment as it is here where land uses are decided, specs for materials used, etc etc is determined.

I was thinking I would capture it by assessing the potential impacts from the types of developments that occur. eg. the aspect would be: minor subdivisions, major subdivisions, building envelope modification, etc. A major subdivision for example will have impacts/benefits that cover all the themes, but I guess that is acceptable. Then from that controls would be things like the approval process for applications, development guidelines or training for staff

Is this the right way of thinking? Have any of you got experience at EMS for local government authorities and did you capture the non-physical activities the local government undertakes and how did you go about that?

Any feedback is appreciated
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Your approach seems reasonable. Aspects such as decisions on development approvals and the development of local planning schemes may or may not be significant in terms of the impacts or benefits (positive impacts).

What is important to your EMS is to have significance criteria consistently applied.

Try not to do everything at once knowing that in the future you’ll escalate the criteria for determining significance as your EMS steadily reduces adverse impacts and increases positive impacts as you set new objectives and targets.
 
#3
Thanks for the confirmation John. And great point that the criteria will modify as the EMS reduces the Citys impacts. Today I'll be workshopping this idea with the planners so hopefully it will prove to be a good way of capturing the influence we have on our built environment and associated impacts/benefits.
 
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