Monday, April 02, 2012

flora and fauna gets the go ahead

report from the roundtable - 27 mar
It was terrific to be able to move a motion at the last council meeting to endorse the Yarra Ranges Council Flora and Fauna Plan 2012.

The plan is based on the core ecological goals of Protect, Enhance and Restore. After being part of the steering committee for many years, reading and contributing to many iterations of this plan it's great to see it finalised and unanimously endorsed by council.

A long time in the making, originally endorsed for public comment in November, 2010, it caused much controversy when local media misreported the intent of strategy with outlandish claims that council was going to stop people planting roses.

Council received numerous submissions from the public, many of them misguided due to misunderstandings about the content of the strategy. Legitimate concerns were raised about bushfire safety, human safety, property rights, offsets and enforcement. On analysis of these submissions council decided to create a document that was much clearer, concise and easy to read.

The Plan is structured in two parts. The first part articulates the framework for decision making used by council and council's flora and fauna goals based on our ecological principles. This front end document is supported by a series of eight theme based action sheets that are purposely designed to meet community needs:

Broad scale habitat management
Habitat management on your property
Urban backyards
Waterways and wetlands as habitats
Threatened species and vegetation communities
Environmental weeds
Pest animals.

The plan does not introduce any new policy or regulation. It frames the guiding principles and goals that are currently used in council practice and is consistent with Council's Environment Strategy and other existing State and Federal government policy and legislation.

I'm proud to be able to put forward the Yarra Ranges Flora and Fauna Plan 2012 for endorsement.

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