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Office of Environment and Heritage

Culture and heritage

Culture is a way of understanding and living in the world. Heritage is the environment, objects and places that we inherit from the past and pass on to future generations to use, learn from and be inspired by. Together these frame our understanding of the past and influence the decisions we make about what is worth keeping. The Office of Environment and Heritage, in partnership with our government agencies and Aboriginal people, has a role in protecting and promoting Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal culture and heritage environments of NSW.

Environmental issues

The NSW community is faced with many significant issues due to the demands placed on our environment. Education, compliance and regulation all play a part in improving our environment. The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) works together with the NSW community to help protect the environment. OEH has a regulatory role in relation to biodiversity, Aboriginal cultural heritage, waters and rivers, wildlife management and native vegetation and continues to undertake active programs to contain and reduce soil degradation and invasive pests and weeds. The Environment Protection Authorityexternal link (EPA) focuses on minimising pollution and any risks to human health associated with use of hazardous materials, pesticides and waste, and on improving water quality, reducing the impacts of waste, air emissions and noise and regulating our forest activities.


Prepare NSW for unavoidable changes in our climate

NSW 2021: A plan to make NSW number one includes a target to minimise the impacts of climate change in local communities.

The Government has worked with the ACT Government and the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW to provide local-scale projections of future changes in temperature, rainfall and other climate variables for the whole of NSW and the ACT. These fine-scale projections will help local government, business and the community to build resilience in the face of future extreme events and hazards by helping them to understand the impacts of climate change in their local areas.

By understanding climate impacts, the community, business and government can better manage risk and take actions to adapt.

OEH’s climate change adaptation programs  are aimed at building the resilience of the State's natural environment, economy and communities by:helping communities adapt (including assessing regional communities’ vulnerability)

  • preparing for the impacts of climate change
  • protecting ecosystems and natural resources
  • managing water resources.

The NSW Adaptation Research Hub researches the best adaptation responses for NSW under the themes of coasts, biodiversity and communities.

To understand some of the risks, the NSW Climate Impact Profile provides an assessment of projected biophysical changes across the State. The profile has helped decision-makers with their planning and response strategies.

In the NSW 2021 Regional Action Plans there are also 19 related commitments for the delivery of climate information and the identification of opportunities to increase resilience in local communities.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in NSW

The NSW Government is working to deliver economically efficient and environmentally effective policies and programs that do not duplicate initiatives of the Australian Government. They include:

  • understanding NSW emissions
  • providing financial support through the Climate Change Fund
  •  promoting energy efficiency
  • promoting clean and renewable energy
  • promoting soil carbon sequestration


NSW 2021 sets goals and targets that support practical action to tackle climate change. They include:20% renewable energy by 2020

  • help for businesses and households to realise annual energy savings of 16,000 gigawatt-hours by 2020 compared with ‘business as usual’ trends
  • support for 220,000 low-income households to reduce their energy use by up to 20% by June 2014
  • an increase in the share of commuter trips made by public transport, including increasing the proportion of journeys made to work by public transport in the Sydney Metropolitan Region to 28% of the total by 2016
  • targets to increase walking and cycling
  • planning policy to encourage job growth in centres close to where people live and to provide access by public transport.

The NSW Government has outlined a series of plans and strategies to deliver these goals and targets. They include the Renewable Energy Action Plan, the NSW Energy Efficiency Action Plan, the Long Term Transport Master Plan and the draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney.

In July 2014, the NSW Government launched the Government Resource Efficiency Plan (GREP) to reduce the environmental impacts of its departments and improve departmental cost-efficiency.
NSW Climate Change Council

The NSW Climate Change Council provides independent, expert advice to OEH on matters relevant to the NSW Government's response to climate change.

Radevski Coolstores Low-Cost Finance

Radevski Coolstores is a family owned and operated business, and a major Goulburn Valley supplier of apples and pears to Coles Supermarkets. As experienced growers, the family members are involved in every aspect of the business from marketing, orchard and pack house management, to quality control and dispatch. Radevski Coolstores has grown from one orchard in 1959 to its present 450 acres of apple and pear orchards, in the productive heartland of Goulburn Valley’s Shepparton East district. Its turnover is around 20,000 bins of fruit per year. Increasing energy and refrigerant prices have significantly increased the business’s operating costs.

Project Details

To beat rising energy bills, Radevski Coolstores is undertaking a $1.15 million refrigeration upgrade of its cool rooms. A new ammonia-based refrigeration system servicing its 16 cool rooms, will reduce those costs by over $140 000 and will also take advantage of improvements in refrigerator design to reduce carbon emissions by 24 per cent.

The project, being carried out by Low Carbon Australia strategic alliance partners and refrigeration specialists MINUS40, will involve upgrading the plant to operate on ammonia refrigerant and the implementation of condenser fan speed control, to further improve the system’s energy efficiency and performance.

RWTA member company MINUS40, did the design and facilitated the contact between Radevski Coolstores and LCA/CBA. The Radevski project was used as a trial project to perfect the LCA/CBA product, which is now fully available. This finance product currently appears to be the cheapest on the market (by up to 2%, depending on client), but an energy audit/business case report is required to qualify. It is also much easier and less cumbersome to access than direct LCA finance.

MINUS40 can assist with accessing this facility as they are now working directly with the finance product management team at the Commonwealth Bank.

Commonwealth Bank, Low Carbon Australia and Clean Energy Finance Corporation

The nation’s largest bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd, is working with Low Carbon Australia under a ground breaking agreement for financing Australian manufacturers and businesses to reduce their energy costs.

By working together, Low Carbon Australia (LCA) and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) present a unique offer that is a clear demonstration of the Bank’s commitment to remain at the forefront of financial innovation, for the benefit of its clients.

The boards of Low Carbon Australia and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), have announced an in principle agreement to integrate Low Carbon Australia into the CEFC, which will commence investment operations from July 2013.

MINUS40 Project Services

MINUS40 assisted Radevski Coolstores with the following project services:

  • Project identification, conceptual design and feasibility study
  • Selection of critical equipment such as compressors, condenser, evaporators and vessel sizing.
  • Work scope documentation preparation
  • Tender management process
  • LCA Funding application assistance
  • Project measurement and verification (upon project completion)

GM Scott

GM Scott is a privately owned meat processor based in Cootamundra, New South Wales. Established in 1952, it now employs 200 staff, making it Cootamundra's largest employer.

The abattoir processes 3,500 lambs and 200 cattle daily. It's gas-flushed, cryovac sealed lamb products are sold into export and domestic markets, while its fresh beef and lamb are produced under the Noble Farm brand. The factory also processes boneless legs of lamb and frenched racks for NSW Woolworths supermarkets.

Project Details

The current refrigeration systems at GM Scott consist of a newly-built ammonia plant and a separate plant operating on R-404a refriferant. The ammonia refrigeration plant consists of a single stage arrangement for the medium temperature loads and an economised across line arrangement for the low temperature loads.

The plant serves various chiller rooms, the load out, plate freezers and a freezer store. The R-404a refrigeration plant operates in a single stage economised arrangement and provides cooling to other chiller rooms, a carton chiller and a packing and boning room.

MINUS40 proposed the implementation of the following energy efficiency upgrades for the ammonia and R-404a refrigeration plants:

  • Ammonia Plant - Variable Head Pressure Control: The installation of condenser fan VSD's and implementation of an intelligent control logic varies the refrigeration plant's head pressure set-point to minimise the total plant's power consumption as a function of plant load and ambient conditions. An additional advantage is that it stabilises the plant's operation.
  • Both Plants - Evaporator Fan Speed Control: The evaporator fans in both freezer rooms and carcass chillers are fitted with VSD's and a suitable speed control logic is implemented. The control logic was specifically designed for each room, in an effort to minimise fan speeds without compromising production and meat quality. Lowered fan speeds significantly reduce fan power consumption and reduce the overall heat load in the room.

MINUS40 Project Services

MINUS40 assisted GM Scott with the following project services:

  • Project identification, conceptual design and feasibility study
  • Provision of functional descriptions for plant control logic
  • Work scope documentation preparation
  • Tender management process
  • CTIP grant application assistance
  • LCA funding application assistance
  • Project measurement and verification (upon project completion)

Project Funding

Throughout the project, MINUS40 assisted GM Scott in acquiring the following financial project assistance:

  • OEH Energy Saver Program: Subsidised 70% of feasibility study
  • Clean Technology Investment Program: $85,373 CTIP Grant
  • Low Carbon Australia: Additional LCA-supported loan


Want to learn how to reduce energy costs on  your commercial cold storage and display cabinets?The NSW Office of Environment & Heritage has developed a brand new, half day course on Commercial

The M40 team at Foodtech QLD after a successful 3 days.

 Energy, in the form of electricity and gas, is one of the largest business costs in the food sector.

Foodtech Qld is the new trade event for the food and beverage manufacturing industry in Queensland.  The show will be held in Queensland from 26-28 June at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition

Take a look at the February edition of Ecolibrium, where the recent AIRAH awards were featured and Inga Doemland of Minus40 made an appearance for winning 2015 Student of the year.