Council has several environmental studies, strategies, reports and plans available to viewed on the following pages.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Under the Local Government Act, Councils are required to include a local State of the Environment Report (SOE) in their annual report in the year in which an ordinary election of councillors is to be held.
This report provides a summary of the local environmental issues relevant to the objectives established in the Wingecarribee Community Strategic Plan 2031+. The report also includes an update on local environmental impacts and ongoing trends in environmental indicators over time.
Every other year the annual report will include reporting on environmental objectives relevant to Council’s Operational Plan for that year.
Past State of the Environment Reports
This report identifies the type and location of species and communities and interprets this information into a series of maps designed to help planners and landholders manage their land for optimal biodiversity. The report also provides a blueprint for ecologically sustainable development (ESD) and environment management in the Shire.
This report accompanies a series of GIS layers that will be utilised by Council for future planning and management. Specifically, the following information has been provided to Council:
- Pre 1750 Vegetation Community Map Wingecarribee Biodiversity Strategy Cover
- Extant Vegetation Community Map
- Threatened Species Database
- Threatened Species Habitat Association Models
- Conservation Significance Assessment
Council has prepared a riparian management plan for the extent of Mittagong Creek between Old South Road and the Bowral Sewage Treatment Plant.
The Mittagong Creek Riparian Management Plan guides the management and restoration of Mittagong Creek between Old South Road and the Bowral Sewage Treatment Plant.
The final plan can be downloaded using the links below:
Council is nearing the end of this strategic plan, and many outcomes have been achieved to date. A revised and updated plan was adopted by Council on 27 September 2017. The three-tiered system of engagement with the community will continue in Wingecarribee Shire and these popular programs are funded by the Environment Levy.
Habitat for Wildlife was launched on World Environment Day, 5th June 2015, for urban and peri-urban residents interested in making their backyard gardens wildlife friendly.
Land for Wildlife is for landholders keen to conserve wildlife on larger properties with at least 0.5 hectare of native bush land or other natural area (for example rainforest, grasslands or wetlands).
The Environment Levy funded Vegetation Conservation Program grants were finalised in June 2019 and replaced by other Private Land Conservation external funded grants that are accessible to Southern Highlands landholders.
By getting involved, landholders commence a journey of discovery on their land in the context of the regional landscape.
The strategic plan guides investment, with a focus on conserving high value environmental lands such as threatened ecological communities (TECs) and threatened species, with an emphasis on protecting larger remnants within high priority corridors such as the Great Western Wildlife Corridor and the Illawarra Escarpment.
Wingecarribee Web is a free newsletter keeping you up to date with local environmental and sustainability news, notices and events.
If you are interested in protecting and enhancing the unique & beautiful environment of the Southern Highlands, or keen to explore ways in which we may all live more sustainably, then this update is for you!
To subscribe to Wingecarribee Web please click here.
To view past editions of Wingecarribee Web, please click on the below links;
Wingecarribee Web - December 2020 to January 2021
Wingecarribee Web - September to November 2020
Wingecarribee Web - May to July 2020
Wingecarribee Web - February to April 2020
Southern Highlands Nature News is a free newsletter to keep you up-to-date with Council’s Bushcare and Citizen Science Program.
This newsletter is produced by the Natural Resources team at Wingecarribee Shire Council, supported by Council's Environment Levy.
If you are interested in nature, biodiversity conservation, citizen science, Bushcare, Rivercare or Landcare then this update is for you!
Please click here to view Southern Highlands Nature News.
Please click here to Subscribe to Southern Highlands Nature News - Bushcare & Citizen Science Newsletter.