Environment Strategy 2012 - 2017

The Wingecarribee Environment Strategy 2012 – 2017 follows through the commitments in the Community Strategic Plan;

It builds on previous work by Council and the community to protect and enhance the local environment. The Strategy has been further informed by findings of State of Environment Reports as well as additional community feedback via surveys in late 2011 regarding the continuance of the Environment Levy. 

Environment Strategy

The scope of the Strategy is intended to identify and target those areas of environmental management that require further action and are largely over and above that which is already in place across Council’s varied services. For example, Council’s Water and Sewer services employ best practice planning and management and further actions in this area are not specifically included, however these services will be included for actions associated with reviews of environmental systems. Therefore the focus is on the activities that will ultimately provide the biggest changes and place Council on the most direct path to positive outcomes in our local environment.

The Environment Strategy directs the environmental actions and facilitation roles that Council will undertake over 2012 – 2017. A program of works was prepared for the Strategy and formed the basis of the program of expenditure In Council’s Environment Levy application to IPART. Full implementation of this Strategy is critically dependent on the Environment Levy remaining in place.

The Strategy outlines key focus areas proposed for the management of the Wingecarribee with a particular focus on the 5 years from 2012-2017. The focus areas and objectives established for the Wingecarribee Environment Strategy are as follows:

Biodiversity Conservation

1.1 Reduced impact of invasive weeds

1.2 Net increase in native vegetation extent

1.3 Increase area of significant native vegetation conserved to reduce threats to biodiversity resilience

1.4 Enhanced capacity of Council and community to protect and restore natural ecosystems.

River Health and Wetlands

2.1 Improved water quality management for our major rivers and creeks.

2.2 Improvement in the health and function of our riparian areas.

Sustainable Living

3.1 Continuous improvement in waste avoidance and resource recovery

3.2 Reduced usage of fossil fuels and carbon emissions within Wingecarribee Shire

3.3 Majority of community actively chooses sustainable products and services.

Community Capacity and Commitment

4.1 Improved access to information to enable our community to act on local environmental issues

4.2 Increased support and skills development for environmentally active members of our community

4.3 More effective communication of planning and results of environmental activities between Council and community members

4.4 Significant increase in leveraging environmental education/incentive projects available from Non Government Organisations, NSW and Australian Governments.

Environmental Systems

5.1 Monitoring, evaluation and reporting system in place to support best practice Natural Resource Management (NRM) and environmental program performance

5.2 Foundations for NRM Asset Management are in place.