In an effort to preserve the shire’s biodiversity, Eurobodalla residents are being asked which parts of the natural landscape are most important to them.
As the human population grows, Eurobodalla Shire Council is seeking input into how the region’s natural environment can be preserved and enhanced for the future.
Are there opportunities for habitat restoration within urban areas?
Should there be opportunities for local landholders to set aside areas of their property to offset residential development and generate an income?
These are the kind of ideas that will be discussed at a series of community biodiversity strategy workshops to be held in May.
Around the country – and the world – biodiversity is in rapid decline. As a service provider, land-use and regulatory authority and landowner and manager, council has a role to play in protecting the shire’s biodiversity.
A biodiversity strategy would identify ways council, the community and other stakeholders can facilitate ecologically sustainable development and enhance biodiversity connectivity, integrity and resilience.
Council’s environmental planner Stacey Clohesy said Eurobodalla’s residents and visitors value nature and it’s one of the main reasons people live or holiday in the region.
However, Ms Clohesy said, by 2036 the shire’s population is forecast to increase by 5000 to more than 45,000 people, with an estimated 4000 additional homes needed.
Biodiversity contributes to and also competes with other social and economic values, such as the need for land for urban development.
“Eurobodalla already has more than 200 plants, animals and ecological communities listed as threatened,” Ms Clohesy said.
“A biodiversity strategy ensures our plants and animals also have a home as the human population grows.”
With work on the draft strategy about to commence, MsClohesy said council was looking for community input right now.
“We want to know your thoughts before we start drafting,” she said.
“How can individuals, groups, businesses and council promote biodiversity in the shire?”
People can participate in an online survey on council’s website over the next month or attend in-person workshops in May.
“Alternatively, it is possible to talk to council staff working to draft the strategy and I encourage everyone interested to sign up for project updates,” Ms Clohesy said.
Once the draft strategy is complete in September, it will go on exhibition for public comment.
The first workshop will be held at the Moruya Golf Club on Monday 9 May from 1 pm to 2:30 pm for rural landholders. On Tuesday 10 May, two workshops will be held at the club for community representatives from 2 pm to 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm to 7 pm.