The Environment Levy was introduced in the year 2000 to help address the many challenges faced in managing natural resources in the Southern Highlands. In 2016, the Levy was approved in perpetuity, and continues to deliver the community’s environmental goals for the Shire as outlined in the Community Strategic Plan: Wingecarribee 2031+.
Download: Environment Levy Brochure (PDF, 2Mb)
Your Environment Levy achieves this through 4 focused program areas:
Focusing on the protection and restoration of natural ecosystems, improving connectivity between remnant bushland, controlling threats to biodiversity and protecting threatened species such as koalas, and endangered habitats like Mount Gibraltar.
Working with the community and alongside key agencies such as WaterNSW and Local Land Services to improve water quality in key rivers and creeks such as the Wingecarribee River and Mittagong Creek, and improving the health and function of the surrounding riparian areas.
Focusing on reducing waste, fossil fuel usage and improving efficiency while developing programs to help our community to choose to live more sustainably, and supporting initiatives such as solar panel installations and community gardens.
Strengthening the capacity and commitment of the broader community to act together to address environmental issues, including support for our local schools, Bushcare volunteers, community groups and rural landholders.
Where your money goes
The Environment Levy currently costs the average rate paying household around $50 p.a. (or 96c per week). It raises around $1.18 million annually which is invested directly back into our local environment & community.
With over 4,000ha of bushland reserves, approximately 130km of public waterways, and over 100 species of endangered plants and animals requiring ongoing management, it is essential to make every dollar count. We do this in three main ways:
Pic: Supporting the community on National Tree Day, Mittagong Creek, Bowral.
You can see the results
The funds raised from the Levy, combined with well over $1 million in grants that Council has been able to attract because of the strong base provided by the Environment Levy, has allowed our distinct and diverse environment to be enhanced in many ways, including:
Since being introduced, a lot has been achieved, not only by Council staff (such as our professional Bushcare crew) but also as a result of the thousands of hours volunteers have contributed to environmental works.
Photos of the creek beside Centennial Park in Bowral prior to revegetation in 2012, and then 18 months later in 2013.
While the physical landscape around us has improved due to the Environment Levy, the funds have also provided many benefits for the humans in our Shire as well. The Environment Levy has provided:
If you require any further information contact council's Manager, Environment & Sustainability on 4868-0852.