Thumbs up for coun­cil scheme to play it cool

CALL FOR MORE TREES AND BET­TER PLAN­NING

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - What else can be done to cool the area? Face­book.com/ mt­druitt­stan­dard

“As a for­mer child­care worker we used to make sure we had shade cloths, chil­dren were wear­ing hats and ap­pro­pri­ate cloth­ing, that they had ac­cess to drink­ing wa­ter and there were plenty of trees around to shield them from hot tem­per­a­tures.

“I think it is es­pe­cially im­por­tant that schools and child­care cen­tres have the right shad­ing ar­eas …”

Pen­rith Coun­cil voted to en­dorse the draft plan at its meet­ing last week.

The coun­cil’s se­nior sus­tain­abil­ity plan­ner Jen Guice said im­me­di­ate ac­tion was un­der way to im­ple­ment heat man­age­ment strate­gies in the area.

“One of the projects we can start look­ing at is hav­ing coun­cil and the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion work­ing to­gether to as­sess west-fac­ing pedes­trian ar­eas around schools,” Ms Guice said.

“Key find­ings showed that the whole Pen­rith LGA ex­pe­ri­ences high tem­per­a­tures. A heat map­ping pro­ject also iden­ti­fied the five hottest ar­eas, which in­cluded Crane­brook, Pen­rith CBD, Kingswood, St Marys and Glen­more Park.

“The re­port also high­lighted the vul­ner­a­ble groups in the com­mu­nity that suf­fer most from heat, which in­cluded young chil­dren and the el­derly.”

Coun­cil­lor Kevin Crameri said: “Cer­tainly more could be done around these ar­eas.

“I work at Wal­la­cia Public School one day (a week) and the area around the school is much cooler be­cause there are plenty of trees.

“If this is an is­sue at other schools then we need to start putting shel­ters around bus stops and shad­ing.”

Ms Guice said sug­gested strate­gies in­cluded po­ten­tial plan­ning changes, de­vel­op­ing com­mu­nity re­sources, plant­ing more trees, in­ves­ti­gat­ing lo­cal wa­ter sup­plies, look­ing at re­flec­tive build­ing ma­te­ri­als and work­ing with busi­nesses and gov­ern­ment de­part­ments.

The Aus­tralian Re­search Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence for Cli­mate Sys­tem Science found new residential ar­eas on the fringes of Syd­ney could see tem­per­a­tures rise be­tween 1.1 and 3.7 de­grees.

OPIN­ION

Pic­ture: MATT SUL­LI­VAN

St Marys res­i­dent Sa­man­tha Smith is en­thu­si­as­tic about Pen­rith Coun­cil plans to cool the area by plant­ing trees and tak­ing a look at plan­ning changes.

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