Environment a priority for Council
Bass Coast Shire Council has committed to preserve, protect, restore and enhance the natural environment across the Shire over the next 10 years with the adoption of the Natural Environment Strategy 2016-26 at this week’s meeting.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Jordan Crugnale, said the Strategy demonstrates Council’s commitment to sustainable environmental outcomes and good governance.
“The Strategy will provide the opportunity for Council to demonstrate leadership for the community, a clear strategic approach, continuity of service delivery, and long term financial planning and investment of resources,” Cr Crugnale said.
“Council has identified the environment as a valued asset and, as such, the community has an expectation that we will have a strategy to deliver sustainable environmental outcomes.”
“It will also help successive councils identify and prioritise environment sustainability activities across the Shire, and increase the capacity and understand of environment sustainability issues in the community.”
Having been released for consultation in November last year, the draft Strategy received considerable feedback from the community, with the feedback analysed, and ammendments and additions made to the Strategy as a result.
The following main themes that influenced and informed changes to the Strategy were:
- The need for an increased focus on environmental education for the community
- The inability of the Victorian Planning Scheme and local planning scheme to protect the environment (primary native vegetation removal)
- Increase focus on the threat of industrialisation as well as urbanisation
- Increase emphasis on measuring and monitoring to measure success
- Recognitino of other government agencies and organisations, particularly Parks Victoria
- Increased role of environmental volunteer groups
“We’d like to thank everyone who provided feedback and contributed to the development of the Natural Environment Strategy. It’s been a collaborative effort by the wider community, environmental interest groups and Council,” Cr Crugnale said.
Council will also invite community representatives including South Gippsland Conservation Society, Phillip Island Conservation Society, Bass Coast Landcare Network, Phillip Island Nature Parks, The Energy Innovation Cooperative, submitters to the Strategy, Councillors and Council officers to develop an on-going Working Group.
This group will assist Council in developing a Natural Environment Action Plan as part of the Strategy that clearly articulates the actions and measures for the first three years of the strategy, as well as develop natural environment plans for local areas to restore vegetation and wildlife corridors.
The Natural Environment Strategy 2016-26 will be available online at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/ness.