Residents are urged to help shape the future of the Tweed’s natural environment by providing feedback on Council’s draft Tweed Conservation Strategy.
The Conservation Strategy was placed on public exhibition today (7 September), coinciding with National Threatened Species Day, and follows extensive community consultation undertaken in 2022.
Council’s Director Sustainable Communities and Environment Naomi Searle said Council had listened to the community and aimed to incorporate their feedback in the new strategy.
“The Tweed is one of Australia’s most biodiverse regions, supporting World Heritage Areas, 56 distinct vegetation types, more than 200 significant plant species and at least 100 threatened animal species,” Ms Searle said.
“Protecting the Tweed’s natural environment is critical in the face of increasing climate change, as well as pressures associated with urbanisation and population growth.
“The purpose of this Conservation Strategy is to communicate how Council will lead environmental conservation programs and work with the community to achieve key targets that will support our shared vision.
“Placing the Conservation Strategy on public exhibition on 7 September has important significance. It is National Threatened Species Day, which is a day to reflect on what we can all do to make a difference.
“Understanding that healthy ecosystems are at the heart of our wellbeing, this 10-year strategy contains 17 actions to fulfil six conservation targets by 2033. It will guide our actions to protect, improve, collaborate and adapt to conserve the Tweed’s natural environment from the caldera to the coast and we ask residents to provide their feedback.”
Targets outlined in the strategy include ensuring vegetation is maintained at a minimum of 51% across the Shire, protecting threatened and priority species, improvements to habitat condition and connectivity and developing and implementing a biodiversity climate risk adaptation plan.
Progress on the actions over the life of the strategy will be reported to Council annually.
The strategy further showcases six case studies that help to identify some of the more commonly recognisable environmental features of the Tweed. Each case study describes how to recognise these natural systems, understand the main threats to them and identify what the community can do to help protect and improve them.
Previous engagement with the community took place from 15 June to 27 July 2022. Council received more than 358 responses, spoke to community members at the World Environment Day festival and received feedback via letters and emails.
This feedback played a crucial part in the preparation of the Tweed Conservation Strategy which reflects what the community values most about the natural environment, current conservation issues, threats to the environment (clearing land to make space for new homes, climate change and pest animals such as cane toads) and positive land management opportunities.
Ms Searle said we all shared a responsibility to improve and enhance the region’s biodiversity and to find ways to reduce our impacts on the environment.
“By protecting and improving biodiversity, we are improving quality of life and liveability of the Tweed for all living things,” she said.
Council has been undertaking environmental management actions under the Tweed Vegetation Management Strategy since 2004, through a range of programs such as Land for Wildlife, koala conservation and recovery, bushland reserve management and biodiversity grants.
In addition to these actions, Council is preparing to implement the NSW Government’s Conservation Zone Review which defines areas of the natural environment that need to be carefully managed. This is a separate process to the development of the Tweed Conservation Strategy.
The Tweed Conservation Strategy is on public exhibition until Thursday 19 October 2023. Residents are asked to review the strategy and participate in this next round of community feedback by taking part in a short survey. Visit yoursaytweed.com.au/conservationstrategy.
Straddling the border between NSW and Queensland, Mt Cougal West Peak overlooks the Tweed caldera which boasts the highest biodiversity of any region in NSW. (Photo credit Michael Corke.)
Photo 1: Golden-headed cisticolaCaption: Residents are asked to provide feedback on the draft Tweed Conservation Strategy currently on public exhibition. Pictured here is the Golden-headed cisticola found throughout the region. (Photo credit Marama Hopkins.)
Photo 2: Mt CougalCaption: Straddling the border between NSW and Queensland, Mt Cougal West Peak overlooks the Tweed caldera which boasts the highest biodiversity of any region in NSW. (Photo credit Michael Corke.)
Connection to Council’s Community Strategic Plan:
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