Project: Identify objectives and actions to better integrate biodiversity with planning, development and natural area management in the Eurobodalla Shire.
Timeframe: expected completion late 2024
Cost and funding:
- Australian Government grant of $30,000 under the Building Better Regions Fund
- Council funding of $30,000
Last updated: November 2023
We are working to: prepare and implement a biodiversity strategy that:
- identifies biodiversity values within the Eurobodalla Shire
- identifies key threats or pressures to biodiversity
- outlines a range of actions that Council and the community can carry out to protect and enhance biodiversity
- establishes a long-term vision and goals to integrate biodiversity in all that we do.
Benefits to the community:
- a framework with measurable actions to maintain and enhance biodiversity connectivity, integrity, and resilience
- ensuring Eurobodalla’s plants and animals continue to have a place to live as the human populations grows.
Biodiversity is the variety of all living things. The three levels of biodiversity are:
- genetic diversity: the variety of genetic information contained in individual plants, animals, and micro-organisms
- species diversity: the variety of species
- ecosystem diversity: the variety of habitats, ecological communities and processes.
Biodiversity is important because:
- it provides us with clean air, water, and healthy soils
- it is vital to our health, wellbeing, and connection with nature
- Aboriginal people have a close and unique connection with biodiversity
- it contributes to our economy, such as nature-based tourism, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and aquaculture
- regardless of the value to humans, all species have a right to exist.
Background and purpose
Biodiversity is in decline globally. In Australia, State of the Environment reporting indicates biodiversity is under increasing pressure and is in decline overall. There are over 200 threatened plants, animals and ecological communities listed in the Eurobodalla LGA.
Eurobodalla's residents and visitors value nature; it is one of the main reasons people live or holiday here. The shire’s population is forecast to increase to over 45,000 by 2036, with thousands of additional homes needed. A biodiversity strategy will ensure Eurobodalla’s plants and animals continue to have a place to live as the human populations grows.
The strategy will include a set of actions to support the work we already do and build on that to:
- value, protect and enhance biodiversity
- enable people of the Yuin Nation to care for Country
- investigate opportunities to benefit from the biodiversity offsets scheme locally
- maintain and enhance our connection with nature
- reverse the decline of our threatened native plants and animals.
We acknowledge that we work within a complex legislative framework. There are often competing priorities, such as planning for bushfire and flooding, engineering standards, and housing demand. We will consider and try to balance these matters in the strategy.
The Biodiversity Strategy will be implemented through Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework and will align with Council’s Community Strategic Plan, Local Strategic Planning Statement and Climate Action Plan.
The strategy will also consider and align with other state and regional documents, such as the South East and Tablelands Regional Plan.
We are seeking community input to develop the Biodiversity Strategy. Your values, ideas and feedback are an important part of its development.
Between April and July 2022 we asked different individuals, groups, communities and stakeholders why biodiversity is important and what opportunities and barriers exist for achieving good biodiversity outcomes in Eurobodalla. To find out we:
- hosted an online survey for community members to tell us what they value about Eurobodalla’s biodiversity
- held three community workshops and an information stall
- hosted community information sessions specifically for Aboriginal community members
- received written feedback from people who couldn’t attend in-person sessions
- met with NSW Government agencies, Aboriginal community knowledge holders, Eurobodalla Aboriginal Advisory Committee, ecologists and environmental consultants to gather their ideas around a Biodiversity Strategy.
The feedback we received shows our community:
- appreciates the natural environment
- enjoys a wide range of recreation activities in natural areas, such as bushwalking, water sports, bird watching
- believes there is a shared responsibility to look after nature and biodiversity for future generations
- is concerned about Eurobodalla’s biodiversity.
We identified four common themes the community would like to see in the Biodiversity Strategy:
- support Traditional Owners to Care for Country
- plan to value and protect biodiversity
- enhance and restore biodiversity on public and private land
- collaborate and share knowledge.
In October 2022 we returned to the community and stakeholders for input on how to prioritise possible actions emerging from these four themes. We held:
- four community information sessions, attended by 69 people
- an online survey, completed by 74 people.
The feedback we received shows key priorities for the strategy include:
- identify, protect and enhance important wildlife corridors
- use traditional knowledge and employ Traditional Owners to care for Country.
The top priorities nominated by participants are listed under each theme.
- employ Aboriginal people to help Care for Country. For example, Aboriginal ranger program (81%)
- use traditional knowledge and expertise in land management programs. For example, cultural burning, traditional and chemical-free approaches to land management - especially in native bushfood areas (80%)
- encourage partnerships and networking around traditional practices and issues. For example, share traditional knowledge about Caring for Country with community, Council staff receive education on traditional land use practices (57%)
- use traditional dhurga language in the strategy and signage (51%)
- support Aboriginal community to establish Indigenous Protected Areas within Eurobodalla and further declarations of Aboriginal places in Eurobodalla (49%).
- identify, protect and enhance important wildlife corridors. For example, identify and map a network of wildlife corridors, validate wildlife corridor mapping, develop mechanisms to protect wildlife corridors (77%)
- prepare and adopt a subdivision development control plan (DCP) to ensure biodiversity impacts are avoided and minimised in subdivision developments (47%)
- adopt land use planning practices that place a high value on biodiversity (42%)
- align all relevant Council strategies, policies and procedures to value, protect and enhance biodiversity. For example, incorporate the avoid, minimise, mitigate, offset hierarchy (40.5%)
- advocate to stop native forest logging (39%).
- take proactive action to enhance habitats in ways that connect patches of vegetation so animals can move across the landscape. For example, revegetate linkages between patches of vegetation and riparian areas, establish wildlife crossings – such as overpasses and underpasses - on roads with high rate of wildlife vehicle strikes (84%)
- support community groups financially to regenerate degraded areas, increase support for Landcare activities, provide native plants to the community (56%)
- improve domestic cat management (52%)
- use native and endemic species in Council parks, gardens, roundabouts, reserves, developments, etc (47%)
- improve feral animal control (47%).
- promote the importance of high value habitat. For example, hollow bearing trees and wildlife corridors (74%)
- support Landcare and other community environmental groups (49%)
- provide recommendations of what species to plant and where. For example, wildlife friendly, low fire risk, site and soil suitability (47%)
- provide green space in urban areas to connect people with nature, for wildlife, food and to celebrate biodiversity (47%)
- provide information and support to landholders who are willing to protect and restore biodiversity on their land (44%).
Mid 2023: Preparing the draft strategy
We are considering all the feedback received so far and continuing to draft the Biodiversity Strategy.
Before the draft is on public exhibition, we will host an information session about the process for preparing the draft strategy and the recommended actions. We will invite people who have participated in the community engagement process or signed up for updates.
Mid 2024: Public exhibition
We will place the draft Biodiversity Strategy on public exhibition for community feedback in late 2023. We will use the feedback to prepare the final strategy before it is presented to Council for adoption.
For more information or register for updates about the Biodiversity Strategy, please contact Council’s Environmental Planner Stacey Clohesy on:
- T: 02 4474 1000
- E: Council