Bass Coast,

First Native Vegetation Offset Site Established

A Native Vegetation Offset Site will be established at Smiths Beach Reserve, Bass Coast Shire Council determined at Wednesday night’s meeting.

Smiths Beach Reserve will be the first site established under the Native Vegetation Offset Scheme since it was introduced by Council at the November meeting last year.

Mayor, Cr Neil Rankine, said the new site would benefit the Shire.

“Establishing a Native Vegetation Offset Site at Smiths Beach Reserve gives Council the opportunity to improve management of Council owned land, improve biodiversity outcomes, and receive funding to do so,” Cr Rankine said.

“The Reserve site has been assessed for suitability, having taken into account; future access tracks, land use for drainage requirements, fire management, and consultation with the neighbours and the Smiths Beachcombers Association. Council also resolved to investigate options for the integrated management of the whole of Smiths Beach Reserve."”

While Council discourages vegetation removal, property owners and developers are able to apply for native vegetation to be removed where it cannot be avoided,. If their application is approved, the individual or developer will be required to purchase an offset for the same type of vegetation.

The Native Vegetation Offset Site at Smiths Beach Reserve will allow permit holders to meet their offset requirements, as well as create larger scale offsets with improved environmental values.

Offsets require permit holders to either protect or replace a greater amount or area of native vegetation, depending on the quality of the vegetation removed.