Monday, September 22, 2008

environment strategy launch

Last week I had the great pleasure of MCing the launch of the Shire’s Environment Strategy at Birdsland in Belgrave Heights. .



The weather turned on a treat and it was a great celebration of all things environmental. What a great setting, Birdsland is one of the Shires high conservation reserves and supports considerable populations of native animal and bird species. The area is also home to an important colony of platypus.

The Grade 2ers from The Patch Primary School provided the entertainment and sung some beautiful songs with an environmental flavour including a very special rendition of ‘All the Earth is Sacred’ a Native American song about the environment.

I was one of the councillor representatives on the Steering Committee assisting with the development of the strategy. There were countless meetings and numerous readings of the document, and all worth the effort. I think the Shire of Yarra Ranges now has a strategy it can be proud of, I know I certainly am.

The strategy covers these policy directions:
Reducing our Human Footprint
- Climate Change
- Water Scarcity
- Purchasing, consumption and Waste
Protecting natural assets and enhancing biodiversity
- Land, waterways and wetlands
- Flora and Fauna
- Air Quality
Facilitating environmental stewardship

I am proud to have played a significant role in its development. I had the opportunity to speak at the launch and said:

“The Shire of Yarra Ranges plays an important part in the liveability of Melbourne, for we are the lungs of Melbourne and the water supply of Melbourne. Our environment is fragile, faces many threats and is under much pressure.

To give you a picture of the environment in the Shire we have 1,920 flora species, of those 108 are rare or threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act and 7 are significant under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity (EPBC) Act. We have 408 Fauna species, 62 of these are rare or threatened under the FFG Act and 41 are significant under the EPBC Act.

If we fail to act to protect our environment there will be serious consequences such as reduced biodiversity, pollution, nutrient loss or nutrient build up, erosion, reduced air and water filtration, reduced carbon sequestration, reduced productive land and decline of natural eco systems, the very thing that keeps us alive.

Of the land in the Shire, 2% is owned by council, 30% is in private ownership and the rest is Crown Land. Given this mix of ownership it is important that the Shire, the community and government agencies all work together to improve our environment.

We have an intergenerational obligation to work towards a more sustainable future, one that aligns with our community’s aspiration in Vision 2020.”

If you would like a copy of the:
Environment Strategy
State of Environment Report or
Environmental Iniatives
email me on

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