East Gippsland Shire Council is stepping up its protection for local biodiversity, ecology and ecosystems, endorsing a new environmental protection strategy that charts a course for the next decade.
The Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2022-2032 recognises that East Gippslanders love their mountains, beaches and wilderness, and redoubles efforts to conserve and protect the shire’s environment.
The strategy, endorsed by Council on Tuesday 28 June, demonstrates how Council can act, inform, educate and lead to conserve our natural assets.
Mayor Cr Mark Reeves welcomed the adoption of the decade-long strategy.
“Our natural environment contributes to our residents’ health and wellbeing, forms part of our cultural identity, and underpins our tourism offerings and much of our economic activity,” Cr Reeves said.
“Through a combination of proactive planning, suitable and timely design work and strong advocacy, we want to ensure East Gippsland’s natural and built environment is sustainable and meets community needs now and well into the future.”
The strategy aligns with the Community Vision 2040, developed with community, and sets out what Council wants to achieve. It recognises that a long-term view is needed to achieve strategic outcomes.
The strategy has seven goals:
· Conservation of the natural environment and biodiversity
· Sustainable management of natural resources
· Community participation in the climate response
· Respect and alignment with the rights of Traditional Owner groups
· Environmental sustainability supporting sustainable economic growth and new job opportunities
· Growth in the circular economy
· Community resilience to respond to increasing climate risks and natural disasters
During development of the Council Plan 2021-24, climate change was recognised by locals as the greatest threat to the shire’s natural environment. The Environmental Sustainability Strategy was developed in response to community input into that Council Plan, as well as the Community Vision 2040, various community plans, a workshop with councillors and extensive public consultation.
Community interest in the development of the strategy was strong, with 472 website visits; 184 downloads of the draft strategy; 55 survey responses and detailed written submissions from individuals and community groups representing 150 members.
The lucky winners of our draft Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2022-2032 survey prizes are: Robert Edis of Lakes Entrance; Lynne Kahsnitz of Eagle Point and Sally Kendall of Bairnsdale.